Hawaii Volcano Blog

Hawai‘i Volcano Activity Update: Dec. 14, 2017

December 16, 2017, 9:30 AM HST
* Updated December 15, 11:12 AM
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Visitors observe Kīlauea summit lava lake last month from the Jaggar Museum observation deck, open 24 hours a day in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. NPS photo/Janice Wei.

This past week, Kīlauea Volcano’s summit lava lake level generally rose in concert with summit inflation, ranging from about 98 to 162 feet below the vent rim. On the East Rift Zone, the 61g lava flow remained active downslope of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō, with scattered breakouts on the pali and coastal plain. The ocean entry remained inactive. The 61g flows do not pose an immediate threat to nearby communities.

Mauna Loa is not erupting. Small-magnitude earthquakes continue to occur beneath the summit caldera and upper Southwest Rift Zone at depths less than three miles. A few deeper earthquakes were scattered beneath the volcano’s southeast and west flanks at depths of three to eight miles. GPS and InSAR measurements continue to show slow deformation related to inflation of a magma reservoir beneath the summit and upper Southwest Rift Zone. Overall, rates of seismicity and deformation have decreased. No significant changes in volcanic gas emissions were measured.

There were three events with three or more felt reports in the Hawaiian Islands during the past week. On Dec. 13, at 07:09 a.m. HST, a magnitude-2.8 earthquake occurred two miles NW of Honaunau-Napoopoo at eight miles depth. On Dec. 11, at 6:39 a.m. HST, a magnitude-2.7 earthquake occurred six miles SSE of Volcano at five miles depth. On Dec. 10, at 2:13 p.m. HST, a magnitude-2.5 earthquake occurred two miles ESE of Leilani Estates at one mile in depth.

The “Hawai‘i Volcano Activity Update” is a weekly article written by U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists and affiliates.

Call for summary updates at (808) 967-8862 (Kīlauea) or (808) 967-8866 (Mauna Loa); email questions to [email protected].

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