Volcano news & updates: Kilauea volcano (Big Island, Hawaii)
Kilauea volcano update: Eruption at east rift zone continues at moderate - low levels
Tuesday May 08, 2018 10:35 AM | IS
At 10:00 a.m. HST, steam rose from fissure 9 on Moku Street in the Leilani Estates Subdivision. HVO scientists on the scene reported hearing rumbling noises in the area. (image: HVO/USGS)
At 12:20 a.m. HST, fissure 12 (shown here) opened shortly after fissure 11 became inactive. Fissure 12 opened in the forest south of Malama Street in Leilani Estates. (image: HVO/USGS)
Updated thermal map of the fissure eruption in the Leilani Estates subdivision, showing the 12 fissure segments and the long northward lava flow from fissure 8 (image: HVO/USGS)
Eruption of lava and gas continues at a low level along Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone within the Leilani Estates subdivision. USGS reports that on Monday 7 May 2 new fissures opened up and temporarily erupted lava, making a total of 12 fissure segments that broke ground and were active since the start of the eruption in the Leilani Estates. The longest lava flow thereby advanced about 0.9 km (0.6 miles) northward from fissure 8 before stopping. Large cracks have now also appeared on Highway 130 west of the eruption site and they continue to widen (up to 7 – 8 cm by now) and expel volcanic gasses and steam. Rates of seismicity and deformation changed little throughout the day and gas emissions likely remain elevated in the vicinity of fissures.
Map indicating the lava hazard on the Big Island, Hawaii. Red Zone 1 is where fissures begin eruptions. Downhill, pink Zone 2 is where those eruptions are most likely to feed flows. The current eruption in the Leilani Estates is in the bottom right Red Zone 1 (image: USGS)
Compilation video of the activity of fissure segments in the Leilani Estates Subdivision in the past few days (footage from Tropical Visions Video, Inc. and Paradise Helicopters)
Lower East Rift Zone
During the night from 6 to 7 May lava emission from fissures was minimal whilst strong degassing continued. However, seismicity in the area continued at the same rate, indicating that this was only a short pause in activity and that additional outbreaks and/or resumption of activity at existing fissures was likely. This was confirmed when two new fissure segments broke ground on Monday 7 May, with activity focused on the southwest portion of the eruption area. The first (fissure 11) opened in a forested area southwest of Leilani Estates about 9:30 am and was active for only 3 hours. The second (fissure 12) opened about 12:20 between older fissures 10 and 11. By 3:15 pm, both new fissures were in active but the west end of fissure 10 was steaming heavily.
Tiltmeters at the summit of Kilauea Volcano continue to record the deflationary trend of the past week and the summit lava lake level continues to drop. Rockfalls from the steep crater walls into the retreating lake continue to produce occasional ash plumes above Halema'uma'u crater. Since Friday’s magnitude-6.9 earthquake, seismic activity in the summit remains elevated but has decreased over the past few days. Many of these earthquakes are related to the ongoing subsidence of the summit area and earthquakes beneath the south flank of the volcano.
A tiltmeter on the Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone continues to record the deflationary pattern that followed collapse of the crater floor on April 30. Rockfalls from the steep crater walls will likely continue to collapse intermittently, producing small ashy plumes. There is however no more active lava in the Puʻu ʻŌʻō area and also the 61g lava flow is no longer active.
Continued eruptive activity (fluctuating and intermittent) in the lower East Rift Zone is likely. New outbreaks or resumption of lava production at existing vents can occur at any time. Areas downslope of erupting fissures are at risk of lava inundation. The general area of Leilani Estates remains at the greatest risk. However, as the eruption progresses, other areas of the lower East Rift Zone may also be at risk.
High levels of volcanic gas including sulphur dioxide are being emitted from the fissure vents. In addition, smoke from burning houses and burning asphalt is a health concern and should be avoided. As the lava lake level inside Halemaʻumaʻu drops, rockfalls from the enclosing walls may increase in frequency prompting explosions of spatter from the lake onto the nearby crater rim and lofting plumes of ash. Dustings of ash from these events can occur downwind. Additional aftershocks from the magnitude-6.9 earthquake are expected and some may be strong. (HVO/USGS)
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Monday, May 07, 2018
The intermittent eruption of lava from several small fissures in the Leilani Estates continues: yesterday, Fissure 8 erupted lava fountains until about 16:00 local time, and generated an a'a lava flow that advanced slowly northward through the afternoon, even after the lava fountains shut down, HVO reported. ... [more]
Sunday, May 06, 2018
The eruption in the Leilani Estates in the lower East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano continues. HVO reported that fissure 7 stopped erupting in mid-afternoon yesterday, while a new fissure erupted this evening near fissures 2 and 7, and produced lava fountains up to 70 m tall. ... [more]
Sunday, May 06, 2018
The eruption seems to be increasing in intensity. HVO published an image showing a new fissure (the 8th?) which started last night at around 20:44 local time near fissures 2 and 7. By 21:00, it erupted already lava fountains as high as about 70 m (230 ft): [more]
Sunday, May 06, 2018
The (so-far) weak eruption of lava and gas from several fissures in the Leilani Estates subdivision continues. As of last evening, at least 7 fissures were active, but so far only erupted relatively small amounts of lava. ... [more]
Saturday, May 05, 2018
Volcanic Ash Advisory Center Washington (VAAC) issued the following report: ... [more]