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10:30 PM: Thermal Map Shows Fissure System

June 5, 2018, 6:55 AM HST
* Updated June 6, 7:29 AM
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This short video compilation shows conditions at Kapoho Bay during a helicopter overflight on June 4, 2018, around 6:15 a.m. HST and again around 1:38 p.m. HST. By 6:15 a.m., lava from fissure 8 had entered the ocean for over seven hours. The flow front was about a half-mile wide, with lava building a delta a few hundred yards into the bay. The ocean entry sends a large laze plume into the air along the coastline. In the second video, taken about seven hours later (around 1:38 p.m.), lava had nearly filled the shallow bay.

This news story will be updated throughout the day as new information becomes available and new articles will be added to the website’s “News” section. Previous information about ongoing events can be found in Big Island Now’s “Volcano Blog” section.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018, 10:30 p.m.: Fissure 8 is reaching heights of 150 to 180 feet

Vigorous eruption of lava continues from the lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) fissure system in the area of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens.

Persistent lava fountaining at Fissure 8 is reaching heights of 150 to 180 feet. This eruptive activity continues to feed a channel transporting lava to the east to the ocean entry in the Kapoho Bay area. Minor breakouts along the channelized flow have been very small and stagnated before traveling any significant distance.

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HVO’s late afternoon overflight showed that the Fissure 8 flow is continuing to form a lava delta with limited continuing advances into the surviving parts of the Kaphoho Beach Lots and Vacationlands neighborhoods. The northernmost lobe of the Fissure 8 flow is advancing very slowly to the northeast. No other fissure vents are active.

Click to enlarge.

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Pele’s Hair and other lightweight volcanic glass from high fountaining of Fissure 8 are falling downwind of the fissure and accumulating on the ground within Leilani Estates. Winds may waft lighter particles to greater distances. Residents are urged to minimize exposure to these volcanic particles, which can cause skin and eye irritation similar to volcanic ash.

This thermal map shows the fissure system and lava flows as of 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 5.

Click to enlarge.

The flow from Fissure 8 remains active, with the flow front entering the ocean. The black and white area is the extent of the thermal map. Temperature in the thermal image is displayed as gray-scale values, with the brightest pixels indicating the hottest areas. The thermal map was constructed by stitching many overlapping oblique thermal images collected by a handheld thermal camera during a helicopter overflight of the flow field. The base is a copyrighted color satellite image (used with permission) provided by Digital Globe.

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Volcanic gas emissions remain very high from the fissure eruptions. Trade wind conditions are bringing vog to the south and west sides of the Island of Hawaii. Afternoon easterly winds may bring vog to communities in the Volcano area.

The ocean entry is a hazardous area. Hazards include walking on uneven, glassy lava flow surfaces and around unstable, vertical sea cliffs. Venturing too close to an ocean entry on land or the ocean exposes you to flying debris from sudden explosive interaction between lava and water. Also, the lava delta is unstable because it is built on unconsolidated lava fragments and sand. This loose material can easily be eroded away by surf, causing the new land to become unsupported and slide into the sea. In several instances, such collapses have also incorporated parts of the older sea cliff. Additionally, the interaction of lava with the ocean creates “laze,” a corrosive seawater plume laden with hydrochloric acid and fine volcanic particles that can irritate the skin, eyes and lungs.

Magma continues to be supplied to the lower East Rift Zone. Earthquake locations have not moved farther downrift in the past few days and the number of located earthquakes remains low. Seismicity remains relatively low with numerous small magnitude earthquakes and low amplitude background tremor.

6 p.m.: Ocean entry has completely filled Kapoho Bay 

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that vigorous lava eruptions continue in the lower East Rift Zone.

Fissure 8 is still active and producing a large channelized flow that has inundated most of Vacationland and Kapoho Beach Lots.

The ocean entry has completely filled Kapoho Bay and is extending .8 miles from shore.

A large laze plume is blowing inland along the coastline.

Due to the lava entering the ocean, the following policies are in effect:

  • Be aware of the laze hazard and stay away from any ocean plume.
  • Health hazards of laze include lung damage, and eye and skin irritation.
  • Be aware that the laze plume travels with the wind and can change direction without warning.
  • Residents are advised to stay away from all areas of volcanic activity.

Due to the current volcanic activity, the following policies are in effect:

  • Government Beach Road, between Kahakai Boulevard and Cinder Road, is open to Wa‘a Wa‘a and Papaya Farms Road residents only with official credentials. There is no curfew.
  • Residents in this area should heed warnings from Civil Defense officials and be prepared to evacuate with little notice.
  • The Kea‘au Armory shelter has reached capacity. The shelter at Pāhoa Community Center is open and pet-friendly.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports volcanic gas emissions remain very high from the fissure eruptions. Due to the elevated gas levels, the following is provided for your information:

A community meeting on volcanic ash and vog will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, June 6, in Kona at the West Hawaii Civic Center Council Chambers – Building A, at 5:30 p.m.

The public can now monitor sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide on Hawai‘i Island by visiting the Civil Defense website or go directly to www.epa.gov/kilaueaairdata.

3 p.m.: Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Update

https://www.facebook.com/BigIslandNow/videos/1676785255732350/

 

NOON: Lava inundates Vacationland and most of Kapoho Beach Lots

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that vigorous lava eruptions continue in the lower East Rift Zone. Fissure 8 is still active and producing a large channelized flow that has inundated Vacationland and most of Kapoho Beach Lots.

The ocean entry has filled Kapoho Bay and is extending .7 miles from shore. A large laze plume is blowing inland into the air along the coastline.

Government Beach Road between Kahakai Boulevard and Cinder Road is open to Wa‘a Wa‘a and Papaya Farms Road residents only with official credentials. There is no curfew.

The Kea‘au Armory shelter has reached capacity.

The shelter at Pāhoa Community Center is open and pet-friendly.

An eruption community information meeting will be held at the Pāhoa High School cafeteria this evening, Tuesday, June 5, at 5 p.m.

Monday, June 4, 2018, MEDIA BRIEFING

Tuesday June 5, 2018, 10:30 a.m.: Fissure 8 lava flow front completely fills Kapoho Bay

VIDEO: The Fissure 8 lava fountain height has diminished. Previously, fountain heights reached a sustained 260 feet. During the overnight hours of June 4-5, fluctuating heights were measured at about 100 to 160 feet. The fountain is partially obscured by a cone built by lava spatter, which is about 115 feet high. View from Nohea and Leilani Streets, in the Leilani Estates subdivision. VC:USGS

As of this morning, the Fissure 8 lava flow front has completely filled Kapoho Bay.

Heights of Fissure 8 fountain have slightly diminished.

Lava fountaining continues at Fissure 8, although overnight crews reported reduced heights of 130 to 164 feet. The fountain has built a 115 foot-high cone, and an actively-growing spatter rampart on its eastern side. The lava channel leading from the cone is full to its banks.

As of the morning of June 5, the fissure 8 lava flow front had completely filled Kapoho Bay.

USGS UPDATE: U.S. Geological survey scientists use fly-overs to track active lava flows

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

USGS scientists conduct fly-overs daily to track active lava flows along Kīlauea Volcano’s Lower East Rift Zone.

The work that we’re doing here has importance for the future by the example it sets in terms of physical observation in the field that are meaningful, and the creativity and craft of technology to expand our understanding of how this volcano works.

Both in terms of its subterranean behavior patterns of activity, signals that it provides otherwise would be missed without the assistance of that technology…

In the future, there’ll be new technologies. There’ll still be a need for physical observation, however, to correlate with what our clever use of instruments and monitoring equipment tells us.

8:10 a.m.: HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY STATUS REPORT

KĪLAUEA VOLCANO

Current Volcano Alert Level: WARNING
Current Aviation Color Code: RED

Kīlauea Volcano Lower East Rift Zone

Vigorous eruption of lava continues from the Lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) fissure system in the area of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens.

The intensity of lava fountaining at Fissure 8 declined overnight, and fountain height is fluctuating between 130 and 160 feet (not far above the top of the cone that has formed over the past week). Fissure 8 continues to feed a channel transporting lava to the northeast along Highway 132 and east to the ocean entry in Kapoho Bay.

HVO’s 6:30 a.m. overflight confirmed that lava completely fills Kapoho Bay, extending .7 miles from the former coastline. To the south, lava is entering the water at the Vacationland tidepools, having inundated most of that subdivision. To the north, lava has covered all but the northern part of Kapoho Beach Lots. The northernmost lobe of the Fissure 8 flow, in the Noni Farms Road area, advanced downslope about 200 yards overnight.

No other fissure vents showed significant activity this morning.

Pele’s Hair and other lightweight volcanic glass from high fountaining of Fissure 8 are falling downwind of the fissure and accumulating on the ground within Leilani Estates. Winds may waft lighter particles to greater distances. Residents are urged to minimize exposure to these volcanic particles, which can cause skin and eye irritation similar to volcanic ash.

An interactive map of the area can be found here.

HVO field crews are on site tracking the fountains, lava flows, and spattering from multiple fissures as conditions allow and are reporting information to Hawai‘i County Civil Defense.

These thermal images of Fissure 8 fountains erupting on Kīlauea’s lower East Rift Zone show 1) The lava fountains have gained height—with the tallest one growing from 150 feet to over 250 feet; 2) A pu‘u (cone) has built up downwind; 3) The amount of material wafting downwind is greater. Fountain temperatures are reaching up to about 2,040 degrees F. The composition of the lava erupted has high MgO (magnesium oxide) values, which comes from olivine crystals that are being pulled from deep in the rift zone.

Volcanic gas emissions remain very high from the fissure eruptions. Trade wind conditions are bringing vog to the south and west sides of the Island of Hawai‘i. Afternoon easterly winds may bring vog to communities in the Volcano area.

The ocean entry is a hazardous area. Hazards include walking on uneven, glassy lava flow surfaces and around unstable, vertical sea cliffs. Venturing too close to an ocean entry on land or the ocean exposes you to flying debris from sudden explosive interaction between lava and water. Also, the lava delta is unstable because it is built on unconsolidated lava fragments and sand. This loose material can easily be eroded away by surf, causing the new land to become unsupported and slide into the sea. In several instances, such collapses have also incorporated parts of the older sea cliff. Additionally, the interaction of lava with the ocean creates “laze,” a corrosive seawater plume laden with hydrochloric acid and fine volcanic particles that can irritate the skin, eyes and lungs.

Magma continues to be supplied to the lower East Rift Zone. Earthquake locations have not moved farther downrift in the past few days and the number of located earthquakes remains low. Seismicity remains relatively low with numerous small magnitude earthquakes and low amplitude background tremor.

Additional ground cracking and outbreaks of lava in the area of the active fissures are possible. Residents downslope of the region of fissures should heed all Hawaii County Civil Defense messages and warnings.

USGS/HVO continues to monitor the lower East Rift Zone activity 24/7 in coordination with Hawaii County Civil Defense.

Kīlauea Volcano Summit

Morning view of Halema‘uma‘u and the Kīlauea Caldera from the Kīlauea overlook. Heavy steam dominates the view and strong winds are blowing the plume to the southwest.

Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook Vent from HVO Observation Tower, May 5, 2018, 8:55 a.m.

High levels of earthquake activity occurred for most of Monday night and into Tuesday morning. A small explosion, with an equivalent earthquake magnitude of 5.5, occurred at 4.32 a.m., generating a small plume that rose about 1000 feet above the summit. Since the small explosion, summit seismicity has been low, following the pattern of previous events. Inward slumping of the rim and walls of Halem‘uma‘u continues in response to ongoing subsidence of the summit.

Locally felt earthquakes are expected to continue and further ash explosions are likely.

Over the last week, sulfur dioxide passively degassing from the volcano’s summit has decreased, but emission rates remain high enough to impact air quality in downwind regions. Additional bursts of gas released with intermittent explosive activity are also transported downwind and may temporarily affect air quality as well.

For forecasts of where ash would fall under forecast wind conditions, consult the Ash3D model output here.

Information on volcanic ash hazards and how to prepare for ash fall maybe found here (health impacts) OR here (other impacts).

6 a.m.: Civil Defense Message

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that vigorous lava eruptions continue in the Lower East Rift Zone.

Fissure 8 is very active and producing a large channelized flow that is filling in Kapoho Bay.

The ocean entry is sending a large laze plume into the air along the coastline.

Due to the lava entering the ocean, the following policies are in effect:

  • Laze is formed when hot lava hits the ocean sending hydrochloric acid and steam with tiny glass particles into the air.
  • Be aware of the laze hazard and stay away from any ocean plume.
  • Health hazards of laze include lung damage, and eye and skin irritation.
  • Be aware that the laze plume travels with the wind and can change direction without warning.

Due to the current volcanic activity, the following policies are in effect:

  • Government Beach Road, between Kahakai Boulevard and Cinder Road, is open to Wa‘a Wa‘a and Papaya Farms Road residents only with official credentials. There is no curfew.
  • Residents in this area should heed warnings from Civil Defense officials and be prepared to evacuate with little notice.

The shelter at Pāhoa Community Center is open and pet-friendly. The Kea‘au Armory shelter has reached capacity.

An eruption community information meeting will be held at the Pāhoa High School cafeteria this evening, Tuesday, May 5, at 5 p.m.

4:40 a.m.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reported a 5.6 magnitude earthquake occurred in the summit region of Kīlauea Volcano at approximately 4:30 a.m. No tsunami was generated and there is no tsunami threat to Hawai‘i.

Monday, June 4, 2018, 10:21 p.m.: HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY STATUS REPORT

Current Volcano Alert Level: WARNING
Current Aviation Color Code: RED

Kīlauea Volcano Lower East Rift Zone

Overflight photograph at approximately 6:13 a.m. on June 4, 2018, shows the lava flow originating from Fissure 8 (not visible in photograph) entering Kapoho Bay. The ocean entry was reported to have occurred by 10:30 p.m. on the night of June 3, 2018.

Vigorous eruption of lava continues from the Lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) fissure system in the area of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens.

Fountaining at Fissure 8 continues to feed a robust channel transporting lava to the northeast along Highway 132 and east to the ocean entry in Kapoho Bay. Multiple observations from field crews and overflights suggest the Fissure 8 fountain is less vigorous this evening, with maximum heights of 130-160 feet. As of early evening, lava was filling Kapoho Bay, extending out approximately 750 yards from shore. A laze plume is blowing inland from the ocean entry but is dissipating quickly. The lava breakout on the north side of the Kapoho cinder pits continues to be stalled southeast of the intersection of Railroad Avenue and Cinder Road. A lava breakout from the south margin of the flow near the intersection of Highway 132 and Railroad Avenue has completely encircled the Green Lake cone.

Sluggish lava flows are present in the vicinity of Fissure 18, and there are reports of spattering at Fissures 6/13. All other fissures are inactive.

Pele’s Hair and other lightweight volcanic glass from high fountaining of Fissure 8 are falling downwind of the fissure and accumulating on the ground within Leilani Estates. Winds may waft lighter particles to greater distances. Residents are urged to minimize exposure to these volcanic particles, which can cause skin and eye irritation similar to volcanic ash.

HVO field crews are on site tracking the fountains, lava flows, and spattering from multiple fissures as conditions allow and are reporting information to Hawaii County Civil Defense.

Volcanic gas emissions remain very high from the fissure eruptions. Trade wind conditions are bringing vog to the south and west sides of the Island of Hawai‘i. Afternoon easterly winds may bring vog to communities in the Volcano area.

The ocean entry is a hazardous area. Hazards include walking on uneven, glassy lava flow surfaces and around unstable, vertical sea cliffs. Venturing too close to an ocean entry on land or the ocean exposes you to flying debris from sudden explosive interaction between lava and water. Also, the lava delta is unstable because it is built on unconsolidated lava fragments and sand. This loose material can easily be eroded away by surf, causing the new land to become unsupported and slide into the sea. In several instances, such collapses have also incorporated parts of the older sea cliff. Additionally, the interaction of lava with the ocean creates “laze”, a corrosive seawater plume laden with hydrochloric acid and fine volcanic particles that can irritate the skin, eyes and lungs.

Magma continues to be supplied to the lower East Rift Zone. Earthquake locations have not moved farther downrift in the past few days and the number of located earthquakes remains low. Seismicity remains relatively low with numerous small magnitude earthquakes and low amplitude background tremor.

Additional ground cracking and outbreaks of lava in the area of the active fissures are possible. Residents downslope of the region of fissures should heed all Hawai‘i County Civil Defense messages and warnings.

USGS/HVO continues to monitor the lower East Rift Zone activity 24/7 in coordination with Hawaii County Civil Defense.

Kīlauea Volcano Summit

Earthquake activity at the summit was low after Sunday’s small explosion, but has slowly increased since that time. Levels are approaching those of Sunday early afternoon, before the most recent small explosion. Inward slumping of the rim and walls of Halema`uma`u continues in response to persistent subsidence. We expect that earthquake rates will increase in the coming hours and culminate in another small explosion, perhaps within the next day, following the pattern of the past few weeks.

Over the last week, sulfur dioxide passively degassing from the volcano’s summit has decreased, but emission rates remain high enough to impact air quality in downwind regions. Additional bursts of gas released with intermittent explosive activity are also transported downwind and may temporarily affect air quality as well.

For forecasts of where ash would fall under forecast wind conditions, consult the Ash3D model output here.

Information on volcanic ash hazards and how to prepare for ash fall maybe found here (health impacts) OR here (other impacts).

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