Kīlauea volcano eruption update
Update Tue 22 Apr 21:26
Week of April 21st, 2014
Update Mon 21 Apr 23:39Here on Kilauea over the past week we have seen the lava lake at the summit rise and drop several times! This is due to the several DI tilt events that have occured. Gas emissions continued to be elevated at the summit as well. On the East Rift Zone, near Pu'u 'O'o we have seen no major changes - Spatter cones on the floor of Pu'u 'O'o crater displayed strong glow and the lava level of the circulating lava pond was elevated within the collapsed northeast spatter cone. USGS Webcams recorded continued activity from the small tube breakout that started Saturday morning and at the flow front.
Week of April 14th, 2014
Update Wed 16 Apr 21:31Kilauea summit tiltmeters record continued DI inflationary tilt (+3 microradians over the past 36 hrs) and the lava lake is now at an estimated 48m (157ft) below the floor of Halema`uma`u crater. Gas emissions continued to be elevated at the summit eruption. The Pu`u `O`o eruption, on the East Rift Zone of Kilauea, continued to be sluggish with no significant changes.
Week of April 7th, 2014
Update Wed 09 Apr 21:39
Week of March 31st, 2014
Update Mon 31 Mar 22:28No significant changes in Kilaueas eruption activity over the past week - although the lava lake rose slightly to about 46m (151ft) below the floor of Halema`uma`u crater.
The northeast spatter cone complex continued to feed the Kahauale`a 2 lava flow, though this flow is still not legally or safely accessible. Smoke plumes from forest fires during the day and glowing spots at night confirm that the flow remains active on the East Rift Zone of Kilauea.
Week of March 24th, 2014
Update Tue 25 Mar 20:43No major changes in eruption activity on Kilauea over the past week - lava lake at summit remains 45 m (148 ft) below the floor of Halema`uma`u crater. All surface flows on the east rift zone remain slow in progress, but continue to burn tree lines in the closed Kahauale`a reserve.
Week of March 17th, 2014
Update Mon 17 Mar 21:42Lava lake at Kilauea summit remains stable at a high point of 37m (124ft) and despite rainy and windy conditions over the weekend, the summit glow viewing is still clear and as bright as ever from the Jaggar Museum.
Update Fri 14 Mar 23:49
Update Fri 14 Mar 01:28Kilauea summit lava-lake level stabilizes at 40m (131ft) below the floor of Halema`uma`u crater - will the lava lake rise or fall next?
Update Wed 12 Mar 22:31Eighteen earthquakes were strong enough to be located beneath Kilauea Volcano in the past 24 hours - about average for the past couple weeks
Update Tue 11 Mar 21:50Kilauea summit tiltmeters recorded minor fluctuations and the lava-lake rose to a measured 40m (131ft)- 20m (65ft) more until visible from the summit!
Update Mon 10 Mar 22:36
Update Fri 07 Mar 19:50Nineteen earthquakes were strong enough to be located beneath Kilauea Volcano in the past 24 hours - just below average for one day!
Update Thu 06 Mar 23:28The summit tiltmeter at Kilauea recorded a switch to DI inflationary tilt and the summit lava-lake rose several meters last night!
Update Wed 05 Mar 22:35Kilauea summit tiltmeters recorded continuing DI deflationary tilt, 2 microradians in the past 24 hrs - a fairly large deflation!
Update Tue 04 Mar 21:47Kilauea summit tiltmeters recorded the start of another DI deflationary tilt at 3:30 am this morning - lava lake at summit drops 3m (6ft)
Update Mon 03 Mar 19:21Summit tiltmeters record weak inflationary tilt, the lava-lake level dropped slightly to around 39m (128ft) below the floor of Halema`uma`u
Update Wed 26 Feb 21:58Last night a swarm of very deep earthquakes occurred in the area of Punalu`u on the SW flank of Kilauea in the Ka`u district of the Big Island!
Update Wed 26 Feb 00:07Seismic tremor levels were low w/ dropouts starting 12:30pm yesterday-32 earthquakes recorded earthquakes at Kilauea Volcano the past 24hrs
Update Mon 24 Feb 20:52The Kahauale`a 2 lava flow reached 7.8 km (4.8 mi) northeast of Pu`u `O`o by mid-January before stalling. Recent surface flows have been active as small scattered breakouts behind the flow front.
Update Mon 24 Feb 02:42The south spatter cone at Pu'u 'O'o erupted lava across the crater floor from about 6 pm yesterday and about 2 am this morning.
Update Thu 20 Feb 20:07Summit tiltmeters record inflationary tilt & the lava-lake level rises again to an estimated 35 m (115 ft) below the floor of Halema`uma`u.
Update Wed 19 Feb 21:4243 earthquakes were strong enough to be located beneath Kilauea Volcano in the past 24 hours - 9 of them were on the south flank faults!
Update Tue 18 Feb 20:48
Update Mon 17 Feb 19:52The tiltmeters at the summit of Kilauea and at Pu`u `O`o cinder cone both recorded continued DI inflationary tilt over the past 24HRS!
Update Fri 14 Feb 20:32
Update Mon 10 Feb 21:44
Update Sat 08 Feb 03:46
Small lava pond in Pu'u 'O'o crater
Update Sun 02 Feb 13:04
At the middle east rift zone, the Pu`u `O`o vent continued to feed the Kahauale`a 2 lava flow which was active to the northeast.
Spatter cones on the floor of Pu`u `O`o crater displayed persistent glow with the northeast spatter cone hosting an active lava pond of about 15 m diameter.
Update Fri 24 Jan 04:32Lava levels are rising again in Kilauea's Overlook Crater - 10 m recovered from the 20 m drop in the last week, so far.
Update Fri 24 Jan 04:29Kilauea's summit stretched 1.5cm in the previous month then shrank 2cm over the past week! That's a lot of rock wiggling above the magma!
Update Mon 20 Jan 22:53Booming sounds from Kilauea summit this week, heat from high lava lake cracks the crater walls! Levels dropping again now in natural cycle.
Update Fri 17 Jan 22:22
Update Tue 07 Jan 01:51
Update Tue 07 Jan 01:31It's Volcano Awareness Month in Hawai'i! 10 informational events island-wide by HVO over the next 30 days: hvo.wr.usgs.gov
Update Sat 04 Jan 01:17
Update Fri 03 Jan 17:24
At the middle east rift zone, the Pu`u `O`o vent continued to feed the Kahauale`a 2 lava flow, which was active as small scattered breakouts burning forest to the northeast. Gas emissions remained elevated. (USGS)
Update Thu 19 Dec 09:22
Update Thu 19 Dec 08:50The following video shows the activity at Pu'u 'O'o in a time-lapse over the past 2 weeks; images from the USGS thermal webcam placed on the northern rim of Pu'u 'O'o. 3 active vents with occasional small lava overflows are visible:
Update Wed 18 Dec 23:45Activity at Kilauea volcano has not changed significantly lately. No lava is currently active at or near the ocean. The lava lake in Halema'uma'u at the summit continues to rise and fall with inflation / deflation patterns; the vents at Pu'u 'O'o cone on the eastern rift zone continued to feed the Kahauale`a 2 lava flow that was active as small scattered breakouts burning forest to the northeast. Gas emissions remained elevated. (Source: HVO / USGS)
Update Sat 30 Nov 10:11Eruptive activity has remained essentially unchanged over the past weeks. The summit lava lake in Halema'uma'u continues to rise and fall with the ongoing cycles of inflation and deflation. No lava flows currently reach the ocean as the Peace Day flow is probably no longer active.
At the middle east rift zone, the Pu`u `O`o vent continued to feed the Kahauale`a 2 lava flow that was active as small scattered breakouts burning forest to the northeast.
Update Tue 24 Sep 19:31Lava effusion through the tube system of the Peace Day flow continues. Due to blocking of the former tube, new breakouts of surface flows are currently found and accessible on the upper pali in the Royal Gardens area at about 16000 ft elevation (about 3-4 hours one way hike).
Lava returns to Peace Day tube above Kalapana
Update Thu 19 Sep 02:20
There are signs of life on the Peace Day lava tube downhill of Pu`u `O`o, with scouts reporting lava flows at the surface around the 1600 foot elevation within but near the top of the abandoned Royal Gardens subdivision. This flow appears to be moving downhill and access will get closer & easier with coming days, but reportedly is already on private land belonging to one of the Kalapana ohana.
There are certainly safety, logistic & legal issues to work out given the need for new hiking routes and different hazards presented by a different volcanic terrain, but in this particular case it's not unreasonable to be hopeful that there will be a legal but more difficult access to lava flows in a matter of days instead of weeks. Similar flows in the past have taken days to weeks to make it to the flats where there is easier access. At any point, there's never any guarantee of a viewing on any particular day as the volcano is subject to change with little notice, and we must really consider it a blessing that lava flows have been accessible safely and relatively easily, and most remarkably, continuously for the previous year and a half.
Meanwhile elsewhere on the volcano, glow from Kīlauea's summit is as bright as ever, visible on recent clear nights by many residents through the forest in nearby Volcano Village. The best viewing point remains the Jaggar Museum within the National Park, and lava lake levels in the Overlook Vent in Halema`uma`u crater remain near record highs for this phase of the eruption, surely a sign of things yet to come at the volcano's summit. The lava itself is not directly visible from the overlook, at least not yet at the time of this writing... but the orange glow in the evening, and especially at sunset and sunrise, just gets better and better.
There are still lava flows active within the Kahauale`a Forest Reserve, burning a little of the forest but also flowing in the interior of the thickening flow field to the north of Pu`u `O`o. This area remains out of legal access based on the multiple hazards associated with that part of the volcano -- quickly moving lava flows, unstable ground, methane explosions, forest fires, volcanic gases & smoke not least among them -- but it can be viewed legally from the air, dependent on occasional rain in the area.
Reports are that there are some nice lava flows visible from the air in this area, but that perhaps there is not enough volume flowing there to account for the disruption of the Kalapana lava flows. Thus it's not surprising to hear of renewed activity along the Peace Day tube, the pipeline to recent lava flows near Kalapana, to account for some of the missing volume. The final piece to understanding what's happening with the volcano right now is observing a contraction of its summit in the GPS signal, which may account for the rest of missing volume of lava compared to what we have seen in recent months.
In any case, these are still glory days on Kīlauea, regardless of how close we can get on a day-to-day basis, as we get to witness and be a part of Pele's continual changes! I urge everyone to appreciate what you CAN see today and how special that is in the grand scheme of things. Good luck to all of us on our upcoming viewings!
Kalapana activity pauses; lava focus inland
Update Mon 09 Sep 03:25
However, in the past few weeks this activity has gradually diminished, with first one then the other ocean entry coming to a halt, and just within the last day all lava activity on the coastal plain of the volcano has come to a pause. In the past, these pauses have lasted from several days to several months, and occasionally signal a bigger change in the character of the volcano's eruption.
Also immediately important is a large lava flow-field developing north of Pu`u `O`o which has increased in activity over the past few weeks. On our overflight this morning, this area hosted at least a dozen of breakouts within the thickening flow-field, which apparently has diverted most or all of the flow from Kalapana.
At the summit, the overlook vent lava lake remains persistently high with no significant changes so far this year, with fantastic glow still visible for volcano visitors. As only time will tell when this balance will shift again, we will continue to watch and enjoy the changes of Kīlauea! A hui hou!
Update Wed 18 Dec 23:36Activity at Kilauea volcano has not changed significantly. No lava is currently active at or near the ocean. The lava lake in Halema'uma'u at the summit continues to rise and fall with inflation / deflation patterns; the vents at Pu'u 'O'o cone on the eastern rift zone continued to feed the Kahauale`a 2 lava flow that was active as small scattered breakouts burning forest to the northeast. Gas emissions remained elevated. (Source: HVO / USGS)