Volcano news & updates: Kilauea volcano (Big Island, Hawaii)
Kilauea's 21 July fissure eruption continued to feed an advancing lava
flow. Observations on 26 October confirmed that a tube-fed pahoehoe flow along the N margin of the main channel advanced 2.4 km from the channel end. A few
small earthquakes were located beneath Halema'uma'u crater, and along
the lower SW rift zone and S flank faults during the reporting period.
Kilauea's 21 July fissure eruption continued to feed an advancing 'a'a
lava flow that frequently overflowed its channel edges. Several of the
lava flows that branched from the main channel continued to advance,
widening the flow field. An 'a'a flow that developed within the
previous two weeks crusted over and pahoehoe breakouts issued from
near the flow front on 14 September. A few small earthquakes were
located beneath Halema'uma'u crater, the S flank, and the lower SW
rift zone during the reporting period.
On July 21, the activity inside Pu'u 'O'o cone ceased, and a new intrusion made its way to the surface in the area east of the cone and uprift from Kupaianaha shield (active in the 1990s). More news and photographs about this remarkable change in the ongoing eruption can be found at HVO's update pages: http://volcano.wr.usgs.gov/hvostatus.php.
Over the past week, the lava lake inside the Puu Oo crater became less and less alimented, dropped several meters inside an 8-shaped system of levees. It remaining active in this smaller area, fed by the eastern vent, but by yesterday, its activity appears to have ended according to information from HVO. Instead, new vents have become active in the western area of the Puu Oo cone.
Lava continues to erupt from several vents at the bottom of Puu Oo crater. Over the past days, a small lava lake has been forming.
On July 2nd, HVO reported new lava deep on the bottom of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater, which has subsided by about 100 m in places during the recent drainage eposide associated with a brief eruption higher up the Rift Zone. The first sightings being made by local helicopter companies on their routine sightseing flights over the crater, fresh lava flows probably erupted this morning and covered older flows on the bottom of the crater.
In the afternoon, lava was flowing across the crater floor and the lava source was below the location of the Beehive vent. The lava flowed eastward and ponded near the crater center. Loud, gas-jetting noises could be heard associated with spattering on the crater floor.
The crater is still filled with fume making the new lava difficult to see.
No lava was seen anywhere on the flow field or at the sea entry where it was last seen on June 20. After a similar event in late January, 1997, lava returned to Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō 23 days later and again flowed towards the ocean a few weeks after that.
There is no lava on the surface of Kilauea volcano. Since the last, brief eruptive episode due to an intrusion in the upper eastern rift zone on 18/19 June, Pu'u O'o, the vent of the recent long-lasting eruption, is slowly deflating while HVO records continuing inflation at the summit caldera.
Wether this is the end of the longest known historic eruption on Hawaii - starting in 1983 and virtually ongoing uninteruptedly until 19 June 2006, is still unclear or a matter of definition. The near to medium future (weeks to months, probably) will also tell whether the present inflation of the summit caldera heralds some new summit activity, similar as in the early 1980s.