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8:30 PM: Pele’s Hair Fallout Warning

June 7, 2018, 7:25 AM HST
* Updated June 7, 8:33 PM
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Lava glowing underneath the constellation Scorpius on June 6, 2018. The Milky Way can be seen across the entire image. This was shot from the Southern slopes of Mauna Kea at around 12,500 feet by Matthew Wahl.

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.

KĪLAUEA SUMMIT LIVESTREAM

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Thursday, June 7, 2018, 8:30 p.m.

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Over the past 24 hours web cams and local reports indicate volcanic emissions continue to erupt from Halema‘uma‘u Crater, an active fissure in Leilani Estates, and from lava flowing into the ocean near Kapoho.

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Live Panorama of Lower East Rift Zone Camera from Lower East Rift Zone [PGcam]
Last Updated June 7, 2018 at 8:25 p.m.

Low level winds will remain light overnight then becoming easterly to southeasterly by Friday morning, pushing ash and particulates toward the west and northwest of these volcano emission sources. Trace amounts of volcanic ash and Pele’s hair fallout will likely occur over the northern Ka‘ū District, the Puna District, portions of South Hilo area and the Saddle region. This includes the communities of Pāhoa, Kapoho, Hawaiian Beaches, Hawaiian Paradise Park, Glenwood, Mountain View and portions of Hilo.

Pele’s hair and other lightweight volcanic glass particles from a high fountaining fissure in Leilani Estates are being carried downwind. These volcanic particles can cause skin and eye irritation similar to volcanic ash, so avoid exposure. Pele’s hair can scratch glass and car finishes. Use plenty of water to rinse Pele’s hair off vehicles and avoid using windshield wipers.

Avoid excessive exposure to ash which is an eye and respiratory irritant. Those with respiratory sensitivities should take extra precaution to minimize exposure.

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Clear conditions at Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō provided good views into the crater. The crater floor collapsed, and the lava lake drained, a little more than a month ago. The crater now has a funnel-shape geometry with a deeper cylindrical shaft. Rubble fills the base of the shaft.

Thursday, June 7, 2018, 6 p.m.

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

Lava fountaining at Fissure 8 fluctuated with heights varying between 190 and 215 feet. This activity is feeding a lava channel flowing east to the ocean entry in the Kapoho Bay area. The noon overflight found that the delta is about 1.2 mi wide in the Vacationland/Waopae area and observed the flow was expanding northward through Kapoho Beachlots. A large area of upwelling offshore suggests the presence of lava flowing on the ocean floor in that area.

No other fissures are active.

Due to the current volcanic activity, the following is provided for your information:

  • The mandatory evacuation order continues for Leilani Estates, Pomaikai Street and to the east.
  • The curfew has been lifted west of Pomaikai. Access is for residents with official credentials only.
  • If you have been displaced, please fill out a Universal Intake Form at the Recovery Information and Assistance Center (RIAC) at the Pāhoa Community Center, Monday thru Friday, 9 a.m to 3 p.m. This allows you to register as a disaster survivor so you can apply to receive assistance.

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.

Kīlauea Volcano Summit

The Halema‘uma‘u parking lot is sliced into blocks by cracks.

Click to enlarge

These cracks, first noted in a very early stage on May 13, now are the dominant features of the parking lot. The cracks, which are circumferential to Halema‘uma‘u, warp and offset the pavement and curbing, as seen here. The crack responsible for warping this curbstone is visible on both sides of it.

Crack on Crater Rim Drive just east of the parking lot, with the National Park sign indicating “Halema‘uma‘u” at right. This crack shows 42 cm (16.5 in) of right lateral offset—as measured by fitting the center stripe on the road back together)—and was about 25 cm (10 in) wide. Click to enlarge.

Seismic activity at the summit was increasing slowly after yesterday afternoon’s small explosion. We anticipate an additional small explosion probably in about 24 hours. Inward slumping of the rim and walls of Halema`uma`u continues in response to ongoing subsidence of the summit.

An even larger crack, shown here, arcs across the parking lot and bounds one of the large blocks mentioned above.

Over the last week, sulfur dioxide emissions from the volcano’s summit have 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.

Thursday, June 7, 2018noon

Fissure 8 is very active and producing a large channelized flow that has filled in Kapoho Bay. The channel is overflowing occasionally northward through remaining areas of Kapoho Beach Lots.

The ocean entry continues to send a large laze plume into the air along the coastline.

Due to the current volcanic activity, the following is provided for your information:

The mandatory evacuation order continues for Leilani Estates, Pomaikai Street and to the east.

The curfew has been lifted west of Pomaikai. Access is for residents with official credentials only.

If you have been displaced, fill out a Universal Intake Form at the Recovery Information and Assistance Center (RIAC) at the Pāhoa Community Center, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m to 3 p.m. This allows you to register as a disaster survivor so you can apply to receive assistance.

A community meeting on volcanic ash and VOG will be held tonight, Thursday, June 7, in Volcano at the Cooper Center at 7 p.m.

10 a.m.: USGS Video Update, Jessica Ball, Volcanologist

A Kīlauea Summit explosion is expected within the next 24 hours.

9:15 a.m.: USGS Photo Update From Early Morning Overflight

Kīlauea Volcano’s lower East Rift Zone images from morning helicopter overflight, June 7, 2018. The fissure 8 fountain feeds a lava channel that travels to the ocean, some 8 miles away. PC: USGS

Kīlauea Volcano’s lower East Rift Zone images from morning helicopter overflight, June 7, 2018, 6:30 a.m..The fissure 8 fountain reaches heights of 130 to 210 feet. PC: USGS

Kīlauea Volcano’s lower East Rift Zone images from morning helicopter overflight, June 7, 2018. Lava enters the ocean in the vicinity of Vacationland. The ocean entry produces a white plume called “laze,” which drifts downwind. Laze can irritate the lungs, eyes and skin.PC: USGS

Kīlauea Volcano’s lower East Rift Zone images from morning helicopter overflight, June 7, 2018.Lava enters the ocean in the vicinity of Kapoho Bay, building out a delta. PC: USGS

How much lava has erupted since May 3?

About 4008.2 million cubic feet; enough to fill 45,400 Olympic-sized swimming pools, cover Manhattan Island to a depth of 6.5 feet, or fill 11.3 million average dump trucks.

That’s a lot of lava, but it’s only half the amount of the 1984 Mauna Loa eruption.

In short, there are no major changes to Fissure 8 and the lava flow field. The Fissure 8 fountain continues to reach heights of 130 to 210 feet and feeds an active lava channel.

Lava enters the ocean along a broad front at Vacationland and Kapoho Bay.

The laze (lava haze) plume rises of the ocean entry and includes hydrochloric acid, seawater steam, and small pieces of volcanic glass.

The hazard is most severe right at the ocean entry, but the impacts diminish quickly downwind.

These images of Kīlauea Volcano’s lower East Rift Zone were collected during the early-morning helicopter overflight.

8:50 a.m.: HVO UPDATE

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.

Overnight, lava fountaining at Fissure 8 fluctuated, reaching heights of 230 feet. This activity is feeding a lava channel flowing east to the Kapoho Bay area. Observations by HVO geologists and the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo UAS crew during the night indicated that the northern lobe of the Fissure 8 flow is not receiving significant lava, and the lobe that was active on the west side of the Four Corners cinder pit is inactive.

The morning overflight confirmed these observations and revealed minor overflows from the channel.

Lava is entering the ocean along a broad front in the general area of Kapoho Bay and Vacationland. Lava also continues to creep north through what remains of Kapoho Beach Lots.

No other fissures are active.

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.

Observations are collected on a daily basis from cracks in the area of Highway 130; no changes in temperature, crack width, or gas emissions have been noted.

Volcanic gas emissions remain very high from Fissure 8 eruptions. For the next few days, easterly wind conditions may bring vog not only to the south and west sides of the Island of Hawai‘i, but also upslope to the island’s interior.

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.

Kīlauea Volcano Summit

Seismic activity at the summit was subdued overnight—a natural consequence of yesterday afternoon’s small explosion.

Earthquake activity is on the rise, however, and HVO anticipates an additional small explosion probably in about 24 hours. Inward slumping of the rim and walls of Halema‘uma‘u continues in response to ongoing subsidence of the summit.

Over the last week, sulfur dioxide emissions from the volcano’s summit have 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 at http://www.ivhhn.org/information#ash (health impacts) OR https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanic_ash/ (other impacts).

6 a.m.: Volcanic Gas Emissions Remain Very High 

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 has filled 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.

  • 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 Waa Waa 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.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports volcanic gas emissions remain very high from 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 today, Thursday, June 7, in Volcano at the Cooper Center at 7 p.m.

You can monitor sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide on Hawaii Island by visiting the Civil Defense website or go directly to www.epa.gov/kilaueaairdata.

June 6, 10:41 p.m.: HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY STATUS REPORT

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

Panorama of Lower East Rift Zone Camera from Lower East Rift Zone [PGcam] last updated June 6 at about 10 p.m. This image is from a temporary research camera positioned near Kapoho looking southwest. From left to right, one can see the eruptive fissures, with Fissure 15 on the far left, and Fissure 8 near the center.

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.

Lava fountaining at Fissure 8 continues, with fountain tops reaching heights of 130 to 210 feet, This activity is feeding a lava channel flowing east to the Kapoho Bay area. Lava is continuing to enter the ocean in the area of the Vacationland subdivision. A late afternoon overflight showed that the ocean entry is creating a vigorous steam plume that is being blown inland to the southwest. The delta that formed at Kapoho Bay extended slightly throughout the day, and a lateral lobe of the flow is pushing slowly north through what remains of the Kapaho Beach Lots subdivision.

The northern lobe of the Fissure 8 flow appears to have stalled with only traces of smoke at the flow front, although there is some incandescence in the finger of that lobe that advanced along a low graben a few nights ago. No other fissures are active.

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 Hawai‘i County Civil Defense.

Volcanic gas emissions remain very high from the fissure eruptions. For the next few days wind conditions may bring vog not only to the south and west sides of the Island of Hawaii, but also the island’s interior.

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.

Kīlauea Volcano Summit

A small explosion, with an equivalent earthquake magnitude of M5.6, occurred at 4.07 PM HST, generating an ash plume that rose to an elevation of about 10,000 feet. Since this small explosion, summit seismicity has dropped significantly, following the pattern of previous events. Inward slumping of the rim and walls of Halema‘uma‘u continues in response to ongoing subsidence of the summit.

Over the last week, sulfur dioxide emissions from the volcano’s summit have 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.

Wednesday, June 6, 7 p.m.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported an eruption at 4:10 this evening at the Kīlauea Summit resulting in a 10,000 foot high ash plume. The National Weather Service is reporting slow, easterly winds over the next two days. Volcanic gas output and ash emissions may affect air quality across the central and southern half of the island.

Explosive eruption at Kīlauea summit, equivalent to energy release of M5.6 (preliminary), occurred at 4:07 p.m. on June 6. Ash plume reached 10,000 feet above sea level. Downwind communities may have experienced ashfall.

Due to the changing wind conditions, the following is provided for your awareness:

  • Take action to limit further exposure.
  • Ash fallout may cause poor driving conditions. Drive with extreme caution, or pull over and park.
  • A community meeting on volcanic ash and VOG will be held at 7 p.m., tomorrow, Thursday June 7th, in Volcano at the Cooper Center.
  • You can monitor volcanic gas levels on Hawaii Island by visiting the Civil Defense website or go directly to www.epa.gov/kilaueaairdata.

https://www.facebook.com/USGSVolcanoes/videos/2055739431121274/?t=4

Satellite radar shows continued slumping of west and southwest margins of Halema‘uma‘u crater

The animated GIF above shows a sequence of radar amplitude images that were acquired by the Agenzia Spaziale Italiana CosmoSkyMed satellite system. The images illustrate changes to the caldera area of Kīlauea Volcano that occurred between May 5 and June 6 at 6 a.m. HST.

The satellite transmits a radar signal at the surface and measures the strength of the return, with bright areas indicating a strong return and dark areas a weak return. Strong returns indicate rough surfaces or slopes that point back at the radar, while weak returns come from smooth surfaces or slopes angled away from the radar.

Over time, expansion of the summit eruptive vent within Halema‘uma‘u crater and the widening of Halema‘uma‘u itself are clear. The last three images in the sequence, from May 29 to June 6, show the development of several cracks outside Halema‘uma‘u and inward slumping of a large portion of the western and southwestern crater rim. The west side of Halema‘uma‘u is clearly unstable, and it is likely that rockfalls and continued slumping will occur in the future.

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