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Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Update for Dec. 23

December 23, 2015, 8:58 AM HST
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Hawaiian Volcano Observatory at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. USGS HVO photo.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. USGS HVO photo.

The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory released the following update for Kilauea Volcano at 8:21 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015.

The current volcano alert level remains at watch status. The current aviation color code is orange.

Eruptions continue at Kīlauea Volcano’s summit and East Rift Zone. Seismic activity and deformation rates throughout the volcano are within background levels. Scattered lava flow activity continues on the June 27 lava flow field within about 6 km (4 miles) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, but currently poses no threat to nearby communities.

The lava lake remains active and circulating within Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook crater. Seismic tremor levels have been variable but within background values. Over the past 24 hours, little change has been recorded by summit tiltmeters. Lava lake level has continued to drop slightly; on the morning of Dec. 22, the lake surface was 68.5 meters or 225 feet below the Halemaʻumaʻu Crater floor. The summit sulfur dioxide 24-hour average emission rate has averaged 2,300 metric tons/day over the between Dec. 2 and 21.

Puʻu ʻŌʻō webcam images show multiple persistent glow sources within and on the east rim of the crater. Seismic activity remains low. Puʻu ʻŌʻō tiltmeters recorded very little change in tilt over the past day. The sulfur dioxide emission rate from all East Rift Zone vents was about 260 metric tons/day when it was last measured on Dec. 18.

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Webcams show continued activity within the June 27 flow field, scattered within about 6 km (4 miles) of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. These flows are not currently threatening any nearby communities.

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