East Hawaii News

Kilauea Summit Update – 5/18/15

May 18, 2015, 10:39 AM HST
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In the past 24 hours, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that no changes have occurred in tilt at the summit of Kilauea. The steady tilt levels follow a week-long deflation period in which the level of lava in the Overlook crater lava lake has lowered steadily and significantly.

HVO has reported what may be next to come as activity at the summit shifts. Some of the scenarios include magma continuing to collect at shallow depths and then suddenly stopping, continued accumulation at shallow depths until rapid intrusion into the Southwest Rift Zone occurs, or possibly a continued gathering of magma until it rises to the surface and erupts in the upper Southwest Rift Zone, the Caldera, or both.

Currently, seismicity in the area remains elevated. HVO reports that while seismicity is still at a higher than normal rate, the frequency and extent of the earthquakes decreased slightly over the weekend.

The level of the lava lake in the Overlook crater has not changed since Sunday and currently remains about 150-165 feet below the original crater floor.

At the north flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, HVO reported Monday morning that only small changes had been detected over the past day. Seismicity rates in the area were also recorded as normal.


HVO scientists continue to monitor the June 27 lava flow that is within 5 miles to the northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Through webcam imagery, HVO reports that surface flow activity continues.

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