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HVO UPDATE: Deformation Signals Consistant With Refilling

November 7, 2018, 11:14 AM HST (Updated November 7, 2018, 11:14 AM)
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The U.S. Geological Survey released the Hawai‘i Volcano Observatory Weekly Update on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018.

Kīlauea Volcano’s summit, as viewed from the southwest, shows the collapsed area of Halema‘uma‘u and the adjacent caldera floor. A section of Crater Rim Drive preserved on a down-dropped block is visible at the far right. Volcanic gases rising from magma stored beneath the summit continue to escape to the surface, as they have for as long as Kīlauea has existed, resulting in deposits of sulfur on the crater walls. Click to enlarge. PC: USGS

Activity Summary: Kīlauea Volcano is not erupting. Rates of seismicity, deformation and gas release have not changed significantly over the past week. Deformation signals are consistent with refilling of the Middle East Rift Zone.

Observations: HVO monitoring during the past week shows low rates of seismicity at the summit and East Rift Zone (ERZ). Earthquakes continue to occur primarily at Kīlauea’s summit area and south flank, with continued small aftershocks of the magnitude-6.9 quake on May 4, 2018. Seismicity remains low in the Lower ERZ.

In the ERZ, tiltmeters near Puʻu ʻŌʻō and farther east continue to record an inflationary trend, consistent with refilling of the Middle East Rift Zone. At the summit, tiltmeters have recorded a slight inflationary trend.

Sulfur dioxide gas emissions at the summit averaged 50 tonnes/day as reported on Oct. 24, and 75 tonnes/day at Puʻu ʻŌʻō on Oct. 23. There was no sulfur dioxide detected by our instruments in the lower ERZ.

Hazards are still present in the Lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) eruption area and at the Kīlauea summit. Residents and visitors near recently active fissures and lava flows should stay informed, heed Hawai‘i County Civil Defense and National Park warnings, and be prepared, if necessary, to self-evacuate in the unlikely event of renewed activity. Note that Hawai‘i County maintains a closure of the entire flow field and the vents and prohibits access to the area unless authorized through Civil Defense.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (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 the East Rift Zone. HVO will continue to issue a weekly update (every Tuesday) and additional messages as warranted by changing activity.

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