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Lava Continues to Fill Fissure 8 Cone

September 4, 2018, 8:10 AM HST (Updated September 4, 2018, 8:10 AM)
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VIDEO: During an overflight of fissure 8 this morning, HVO geologists observed low-level spattering on the new pad of lava within the cone. Slow-moving lava had just barely entered the spillway, but was not advancing down the channel.

Monday, Sept. 3, 2018, 9:37 a.m.: HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY STATUS REPORT, U.S. Geological Survey

Seismicity remains low and ground deformation is negligible at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano. Earthquakes, probably aftershocks of the magnitude-6.9 earthquake in early May, continue on South Flank faults.

On the volcano’s lower East Rift Zone (LERZ), the crew on the Sept. 3 morning overflight confirmed that weakly active lava continues to fill the deep crater in the Fissure 8 cone with no lava extending outside the walls of the cone and no flows heading down the spillway.

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    Other vents were steaming due to morning rains.

    Sulfur dioxide emission rates at the summit, Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and LERZ are drastically reduced; the combined rate (less than 1,000 tons per day) is lower than at any time since late 2007. On Aug. 31, LERZ emission rates were still too low to measure.

    HVO crews continue to restore communication with several monitoring stations on the east side of the island that was disrupted by the passage of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Lane but the losses do not significantly reduce our ability to assess volcanic conditions. Whiteout conditions could occur on the new lava field due due to steam produced by heavy rainfall on still-hot lava flows.

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    The HVO continues to closely monitor Kīlauea’s seismicity, deformation, and gas emissions for any sign of reactivation, and maintains visual surveillance of the summit and LERZ.

    Ground and drone crews are in the field today, but continue to be hampered by weather conditions.

    An Unmanned Aircraft Systems overflight of Fissure 8 on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 1, 2018, showed incandescence within the cinder cone, with reports that lava had covered the 210-by-45-foot crater floor by evening. Webcam views overnight showed weak incandescence occasionally reflected on the eastern spillway wall from the crater, suggesting that the lava in the crater remained active. PC: USGS HVO

    An Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) overflight on early Sunday afternoon, Sept. 2, 2018, showed that lava remained active within the Fissure 8 cone. HVO geologists and UAS crews were on site and closely monitoring the lower East Rift Zone, including the fissure 8 activity. PC: USGS HVO

    This UAS oblique image of Fissure 8 taken on Sept. 2, 2018, shows that the new lava is mostly confined to the crater floor within the cone, although a small amount extended a short distance into the spillway. By early evening, HVO geologists noted that the lava activity was at a low level, with only minimal (if any) incandescence emanating from the cone. Gas emissions from the vent were nearly nonexistent. PC: USGS HVO

    Another UAS image captured on Sept. 3, 2018, looks directly down into the Fissure 8 cone. The new lava is lighter in color compared to the older, darker lava farther down the spillway (left). PC: USGS HVO

    Early on the morning of Sept. 3, 2018,, the Unmanned Aircraft Systems team was able to conduct a brief overflight of Fissure 8 between passing rain showers, which resulted in abundant steaming on the flow field. This UAS image shows a small pond of lava on the floor of the crater within the fissure 8 cone, with some minor, low-level spattering and slow-moving lava just barely entering (but not heading down) the spillway. Nothing unusual was observed anywhere else on the lower East Rift Zone. PC: USGS HVO

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