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PHOTOS: Kīlauea Summit & Lower East Rift Zone

July 28, 2018, 2:08 PM HST
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The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory U.S. Geological Survey issued a status report on Saturday, July 28, 2018, at 10:16 a.m.

Fissure 8 in Kīlauea Volcano’s Lower East Rift Zone continues to erupt lava into the channel leading northeastward from the vent. A few small overflows were reported this morning, hours after the summit explosion-collapse event.

A collapse event at Kīlauea’s summit occurred this morning at 2:37 a.m was similar in character to previous collapse events, releasing energy equivalent to a magnitude-5.3 earthquake. This image, looking to the southwest, shows the summit crater during this morning’s overflight. July 28, 2018. PC: USGS

At the coast, the south edge of the lava flow has not advanced westward in the past day, and remains less than .1 miles from the Pohoiki boat ramp in Isaac Hale Park.

The active ocean entry is a few hundred yards to the east of this lava flow edge.

Fissure 8 from Ho‘okupu Street on July 27, 2018. PC: Crystal Richard

No other fissures are active this morning.

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Pele’s Hair and other lightweight volcanic glass fragments from the lava fountain at Fissure 8 continue to fall downwind of the fissure, dusting the ground within a few hundred yards of the vent. High 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.

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HVO field crews are on site tracking activity as conditions allow and are reporting information to Hawaii County Civil Defense. Observations are also collected on a daily basis from cracks in the area of Highway 130; no significant changes in temperature, crack width, or gas emissions have been noted for several days.

Volcanic gas emissions remain very high. VOG information can be found online.

Fissure 8 from Ho‘okupu Street on July 27, 2018. PC: Crystal Richard

The ocean entry is a hazardous area. The interaction of lava with the ocean creates “laze,” a corrosive seawater plume laden with hydrochloric acid and fine volcanic particles that drifts downwind and can irritate the skin, eyes and lungs. Close to the ocean entry, flying debris from explosive interaction between lava and water is a primary hazard. Additionally, submarine magma-water interaction can result in explosive activity beyond the visible lava delta, creating a hazard that extends offshore. The lava delta is unstable because it is built up to .5 miles from the former coastline 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.

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Magma continues to be supplied to the Lower East Rift Zone. Seismicity remains relatively low although higher amplitude tremor is occasionally being recorded on seismic stations close to the ocean entry.

Green Mountain from Ho‘okupu Street in Leilani Estates on July 27, 2018. PC: Crystal Richard

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

Kīlauea Volcano Summit

The most recent collapse event occurred at 02:37 a.m. HST July 28, and was similar in character and magnitude to previous events; the time intervals between the last three collapse events were about 53.5 and 38.5 hours). Seismicity is slowly increasing since this morning’s collapse event. Inward slumping of the rim and walls of Halemaʻumaʻu continues.

Sulfur dioxide emissions from the volcano’s summit are very low. This gas and minor amounts of ash resuspended by wind are being transported downwind. Small bursts of ash and gas may coincide with the summit collapse events. The summit region is occasionally impacted by sulfur dioxide from the lower East Rift Zone eruption.

Forecasts of ashfall under forecast wind conditions can be found 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).

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