Hawai'i Volcano Blog

Kīlauea Volcano Activity Update: Sept. 14, 2017

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Wispy fumes provided a clear view of the western wall of the Overlook crater this morning. Just above the lake surface (bottom of photo), a “bathtub ring” extends up the wall several meters, marking a recent high stand of the lake. Above that, a thick span of red, white and yellow rock is exposed in the crater wall. The colors originate from oxidation and alteration of older lava that filled Halema‘uma‘u in the 1960s and 1970s. Above the colorful rocks is an 8 m (26 ft) thick section of darker rock layers, which were formed by lava overflowing the vent rim in April and May 2015. The top of the photo shows the flat floor of Halema‘uma‘u, blanketed in a continuous layer of Pele’s hair. USGS/HVO photo. Sept. 13, 2017.

This past week, Kīlauea Volcano’s summit lava lake level fluctuated with summit inflation and deflation and ranged about 102 to 175 feet below the vent rim.

On the East Rift Zone, the 61g flow remained active, with lava entering the ocean near Kamokuna and surface breakouts downslope of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō.

Widening cracks and slumping on the Kamokuna lava delta indicate its instability and potential for collapse.


The 61g flows do not pose an immediate threat to nearby communities.

Mauna Loa is not erupting.

GPS measurements continue to show deformation related to inflation of a magma reservoir beneath the summit and upper Southwest Rift Zone. No significant changes in volcanic gas emissions were measured.


During the past week, small-magnitude earthquakes continued to occur beneath the summit caldera and upper Southwest Rift Zone, primarily at depths less than 3 miles, with some additional deeper events (3 to 8 miles).

No earthquakes were reported felt in the Hawaiian Islands during the week ending Sept. 14, 2017.

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