Kīlauea volcano eruption update
'June 27' flow advances on Kilaueas East Rift Zone
Update Wed 30 Jul 21:29The June 27 flow front has advanced more rapidly over the past four days, and is now 4.2km (2.6mi) from the vent (Seen in first photo below). This recent increased advance rate is due to the confinement of the flow against the slopes of an older perched lava channel, from 2007. The advance rate will likely drop in the coming days as the flow passes the confines of the perched channel and spreads out on flatter topography.
Rockfall trigger explosive eruption of lava lake on 23 JulyA piece of the crater walls of the Halema'uma'u lava lake collapsed on 23 July and triggered a small explosive eruption. Liquid spatter was ejected to the outer perimeter of the pit crater (including webcam position and the closed observation area) and an ash plume was generated.
The reason for the event was a sudden disturbance of the gas influx and release equilibrium of the lava lake induced by the rockfall, triggering a spontaneous and very strong degassing phase.
Kilauea Eruption Update - Week of July 21st, 2014
Update Mon 21 Jul 20:42Kīlauea continued to erupt at its summit and within the East Rift Zone, and gas emissions in both areas remained elevated. There was no significant change in tilt recorded at the summit, and the lava lake level was relatively steady over the past week leveling at ~30m (98ft).
At the middle East Rift Zone, lava flows continued to erupt from the northeast flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone, spreading to the northeast. The June 27th breakout continued to spread toward the northeast in two main lobes, reaching about 2km (1.2m) from the vent on the northeast flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Small lava ponds were present within the two southeastern pits in the crater floor, and glow above the other two pits indicated lava was at least close to the surface there as well.
The most recent sulfur-dioxide emission-rate measurement was 500 tonnes per day (from all East Rift Zone sources) on July 3, 2014; emission rates have typically ranged between 150 and 450 t/d since July 2012.
Kilauea Eruption Update - Week of July 14th, 2014
Update Mon 14 Jul 21:32
At the middle East Rift Zone, lava flows continued to erupt from the northeast flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone, spreading to the north. These new flows, which began June 27th, are stalled out in a flat area but are slowly making progress downhill and towards the ocean. Gas emissions remained elevated all along the East Rift Zone.
A new lava shield is being built on Puʻu ʻŌʻō
Update Wed 09 Jul 22:12
Kilauea Eruption Update - Week of July 7th, 2014
Update Mon 07 Jul 22:46
At this summit of Kilauea, the eruption within Halemaumau crater continues and the summit lava lake has stabilized at ~34m (110ft). This large lava lake, now 160m (520ft) by 210m (690ft) wide, continues to produce intense glow at both sunset and sunrise in turn making for some excellent photo opportunities!
Seismic tremor levels have been low however, with an average of 15 to 20 earthquakes per week.
Continuing lava flows from new vents at Pu'u 'O'o
Update Tue 01 Jul 16:31The new June 27 lava flows continue to be very active, at expense of the previously active Kahaualeʻa 2 flow which seems to have stopped being active.
The lava flows expanded in area and extended approx.1.6 km (1 mi) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone yesterday, HVO reports. It is believed that only the lowest-elevation fissure on the NE flank continued to erupt lava on Saturday.
New lava flows from new vent at Pu'u 'O'o crater's north flank
Update Sun 29 Jun 09:45
The event was marked by a sudden deflation of the cone, indicating that magma drained from underneath the Pu'u 'O'o crater terrace and moved to the new vent. This rapid drop in magma level under the crater terrace resulted in the collapse of several of the spatter cones. Until yesterday, these had been the site of frequent overflows and were feeding the Kahaual'a2 flow field.
Overall, activity at the volcano has been relatively stable over the past months, with good magma supply to both the summit lava lake in Halema'uma'u and the Pu'u 'O'o vents on the eastern rift zone in 10 km distance. The new vent at Pu'u 'O'o is simply a change in the surface configuration of vents for Kilauea's continued magma supply.
Update Sun 29 Jun 10:11
Week of June 2nd, 2014
Update Mon 02 Jun 23:46
Over 100 earthquakes have been recorded over the past week around various areas of Kilauea! Along the east rift zone of Kilauea, glow was observed from the north, south, southeast and northeast spatter cones within Pu'u 'O'o crater. This suggests that activity is building at this location, which has been erupting consistently since January 1983.
With the lava lake at such a high point, right now is an excellent time to view the summit eruption. When the weather is right the bright orange glow produced by this lava lake within Halemaumau crater is the brightest we have seen yet! Stay tuned for more information as eruption conditions change here on Kilauea-
Week of May 19th, 2014
Update Tue 20 May 03:31After a week of many changes here on Kilauea, summit tilemeters recorded slowing inflationary tilt. The summit tiltmeters recorded the start of inflationary tilt at 6:30pm on Saturday May 17th - this suggests that the unusual deflationary tilt recorded since May 10 may have been a DI tilt event that totaled almost 8 microradians before the tilt switched.
Because of this deflationary tilt the lava lake dropped around 20m (65ft) is has stabilized at 58m (191ft) below the floor of Halema'uma'u crater. There were 3 days last week that over 100 earthquakes were recorded at the summit of Kilauea each day!
Along the East Rift Zone at Pu'u 'O'o minimal activity was recorded. Most of the flows on the crater floor stopped or slowed, however over the past 48 hours the activity to the Northeast and South of the cinder cone gained momentum.
Stay tuned for more updates as eruption activity develops here on Kilauea!
Week of May 12th, 2014
Update Mon 12 May 20:36Some big changes in eruption activity here on Kilauea over the past few days. In the past 24 hours alone, 65 earthquakes were strong enough to be located beneath Kilauea Volcano! Gas emissions continued to be elevated at the summit over the past week as well.
Perhaps the biggest change in eruption activity was that the summit tiltmeters recorded almost 4 microradians of (possibly DI) deflationary tilt. The lava-lake level dropped slightly but is still at a measured 51m (167ft) below the floor of Halema'uma'u crater.
On the east rift zone at Pu'u 'O'o cinder cone, the USGS recorded about -2.3 microradians of deflationary tilt over the past 2 days. Via webcams glow is persistent from the north, south, and northeast spatter cones on the Pu'u 'O'o crater floor. From our observations, it looks as though the lava that spilled over the edge of the cinder cone last week to the south is forming a channel and, possibly a lava tube in turn, pointing towards the ocean. We are excited about this new activity on the east rift zone, which may allow us to safely and legally access surface flows once again here on Kilauea!
Week of May 5th, 2014
Update Tue 06 May 01:04
At Pu'u 'O'o cinder cone on the east rift zone, we have seen several new flows including some spilling over to the south. These flows got so close to the webcams that the USGS had to move some of them (seen in this photo). Flows also continue north east of Pu'u 'O'o although they seem to be weakening.
Earthquake activity and gas emissions continue to be elevated at the summit, as well as along the east rift zones. These are very exciting times for Kilaueas current eruption - stay tuned for the latest conditions!
Week of April 28th, 2014
Update Mon 28 Apr 22:30Kilauea continues to erupt in two locations, at the summit within Halemaumau crater and along the East Rift Zone at Pu'u 'O'o. Over the past week the lava lake at the summit has risen and fallen several times and is currently stabilized at 34m (112ft). Volcanic gases levels at the summit continue to be elevated.
Along the East Rift Zone, we have seen some new activity within Pu'u 'O'o cinder cone - The lava flow that began late on April 22 on the floor of Pu'u 'O'o crater slowly continued to drain. The flow on the upper north flank continued to be active as well as to the southeast of the cone suggesting another overflow of lava from the crater floor in that direction.
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)