Whats Going On With the Volcano?

Eruption update of Puu , Halemaumau and the East Rift Zone in lower Puna.

Photo courtesy USGS – Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Friday, August 10, 2018, 1:17 PM HST

Klauea Volcano Lower East Rift Zone (LERZ)

A small lava pond remains in the Fissure 8 cone. Observations yesterday (August 9) show the pond to be largely crusted over with only minor areas of incandescence. Fissure 8, and the channel leading from Fissure 8, show no sign of reactivation. Fissures 9, 10, and 24 up-rift of Fissure 8, and the down-rift Fissures 13, 23, 3, 21 and 7 continue to steam, but are not incandescent. Lava is oozing at several points along the Kapoho Bay and Ahalanui coastline creating wispy laze plumes.

Although the lull in LERZ activity continues, it is common for eruptions to go through periods of diminished output, or to pause completely, only to return with renewed vigor days or weeks later, or longer. Resumption of the activity on the LERZ could occur at any time, and residents should remain informed and heed Hawaii County Civil Defense messages and warnings.

SO2 emissions from the summit, Pu῾u ῾῾ , and the Lower East Rift Zone are all at low levels. LERZ emissions on August 5-6 were ~ 200 tons/day; Pu῾u ῾῾ emissions on August 6-7 were 200-300 tons/day, and Summit emissions when last measured on July 19 were around 100 tons/day. This SO2 release represents the lowest SO2 emitted from Klauea for over a decade.

Despite the low emission rates, SO2 plumes were blown toward populated areas in east Hawaii by SE winds on August 9, and many individuals reported detecting the smell of sulfur. Weather conditions contributed to this, but in addition, as the eruption vents cool down, small amounts of H2S are generated. The human nose can detect H2S at very low levels, adding to the overall perception of increased sulfur emission.

It has been over a week since the most recent collapse event at the summit on August 2. Summit seismicity continues to be low over the last 24 hrs, with less than 5 located earthquakes per hour and a maximum magnitude of M2.0. Summit deflation is negligible.

HVO will continue to monitor Klauea closely for any signs of change in activity.

The next status report will be issued tomorrow morning unless significant changes occur.

Map Courtesy USGS – Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Klaueas lower East Rift Zone lava flows and fissures, August 9, 2:00 p.m. HST

Given the dynamic nature of Klaueas lower East Rift Zone eruption, with changing vent locations, fissures starting and stopping, and varying rates of lava effusion, map details shown here are accurate as of the date/time noted. Shaded purple areas indicate lava flows erupted in 1840, 1955, 1960, and 2014-2015.

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Map Courtesy USGS – Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Thermal map of fissure system and lava flows

This thermal map shows the fissure system and lava flows as of 6 am on Thursday, August 9. Residual lava in the Fissure 8 flow continues to drain, feeding numerous small ocean entries (shown in main map). In the Fissure 8 cone there was a small, mostly crusted, lava pond (shown in small inset map). The black and white area is the extent of the thermal map. Temperature in the thermal image is displayed as gray-scale values, with the brightest pixels indicating the hottest areas. The thermal map was constructed by stitching many overlapping oblique thermal images collected by a handheld thermal camera during a helicopter overflight of the flow field. The base is a copyrighted color satellite image (used with permission) provided by Digital Globe.

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Klauea summit on November 28, 2008

Photo courtesy USGS – Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Photo courtesy USGS – Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

USGS – Hawaiian Volcano Observatory:

Then and now. It has proven difficult to exactly match past and present views of Klaueas summit to show the dramatic changes in the volcanic landscape, but heres our latest attempt. At left is a photo taken on November 28, 2008, with a distinct gas plume rising from the vent that had opened within Halemaumau about eight months earlier. At right is a photo taken on August 1, 2018, to approximate the 2008 view for comparison.

Photo courtesy USGS – Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

June 19, 2018- View of the southern edge of the growing Halemaumau crater (middle right) during helicopter-assisted work at Klaueas summit. The once-popular parking lot (closed since 2008) that provided access to Halemaumau is no longer–the parking lot fell into the crater this past week as more and more of the Klauea Crater floor slides into Halemaumau. The Crater Rim Drive road (middle) now ends at Halemaumau instead of the parking lot. The view is toward the west-northwest.

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Photo courtesy USGS – Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

– During the helicopter overflight on June 18, crews captured this image of the growing Halemaumau crater viewed to the southeast. With HVO and Jagger Museum sitting on the caldera rim (right side, middle where the road bends to the left) it is easier to comprehend the scale of subsidence at the summit. The estimated total volume loss is about 260 million cubic meters as of June 15th.

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Halemaumau aerial view on June 12, 2018

Photo courtesy USGS – Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

– Events at the summit of Klauea over the past few weeks have dramatically reshaped Halemaumau, shown here in this aerial view, which looks west across the crater. The obvious flat surface (photo center) is the former Halemaumau crater floor, which has subsided at least 100 m (about 300 ft) during the past couple weeks. Ground cracks circumferential to the crater rim can be seen cutting across the parking lot (left) for the former Halemaumau visitor overlook (closed since 2008). The deepest part of Halemaumau (foreground) is now about 300 m (1,000 ft) below the crater rim. The Halemaumau crater rim and walls continue to slump inward and downward with ongoing subsidence at Klaueas summit.

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Video of the lava lake activity in Halemaumau Crater on April 9, 2018. This is a zoomed video from the observation deck at Jaggar Museum, which is about a mile from the eruption site. Video by Volunteer Ranger Russell Atkinson.

Please note the lava lake dropped on May 2, 2018 and the crater began collapsing soon after.

Resources for more information about the lava flows:

by phone at: (808) 935-0031 (7:45 am – 4:30 pm)

Photo Comparison – Drag the Arrows Left & Right

USGS overflight view of the episode 61G lava flow entering the ocean at Kamokuna on March 30, 2017

– Photos courtesy USGS – Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

USGS – Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

– Following the December 31, 2016, lava delta collapse at Klauea Volcanos Kamokuna ocean entry, lava continued to flow into the sea without building a new lava delta, most likely because the lava was cascading down a steep offshore slope to deeper parts of the ocean. But in late March 2017, a new delta finally began to form, although it was obscured by steam during HVOs March 30 overflight (left photo). The thermal image at right shows lava streaming into the ocean from the leading edge of the delta (bright yellow area in center of image) and the adjacent heated seawater (discolored water in the photo). It also shows the trace of the active lava tube that carries lava from the vent to the sea (right side of image), as well as small breakouts of lava along the tube and surface flows near the Puʻu ʻʻ vent (top of image).