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4 PM: Lava Could Resume Any Time

August 6, 2018, 6:48 AM HST
* Updated August 6, 10:20 PM
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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” sectionPrevious information about ongoing events can be found in Big Island Now’s “Volcano Blog” section.

KĪLAUEA SUMMIT LIVESTREAM LINK from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory tower viewed toward the east-southeast.

KĪLAUEA SUMMIT LIVESTREAM LINK from the Northeast Caldera Rim viewed toward the south.

CLICK HERE FOR INTERACTIVE LAVA MAP FOR AUG. 6, 2018

Monday, Aug. 6, 2018, 4 p.m.: Lava Could Resume Any Time

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Map as of 2 p.m., Aug. 6, 2018.

USGS Map on Aug. 6, 2018. Click to enlarge. PC: USGS

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Given the dynamic nature of Kīlauea’s lower East Rift Zone eruption, with changing vent locations, fissures starting and stopping, and varying rates of lava effusion, map details shown here are accurate as of the date/time noted. Shaded purple areas indicate lava flows erupted in 1840, 1955, 1960, and 2014-2015.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that eruptive activity has decreased at the Kīlauea summit and lower east rift zone at Fissure 8.  Seismic activity is low with few felt earthquakes at the summit. Weak activity was reported in the Fissure 8 cone with no activity seen in the upper channel. At the ocean entry, mild incandescence was reported.

This morning’s overflight revealed a weak to moderately active pond of lava bubbling within the fissure 8 cone, but no visible supply of lava from fissure 8 into the channel. The perched channel and braided sections downstream were essentially crusted over with some incandescence noted. Active flow in the channel was observed immeidately west Kapoho Crater. Click to enlarge. PC: USGS

HVO continues to monitor Kilauea for signs of reactivation of activity. Several overflights are scheduled throughout the day to visually monitor the volcano.

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Motorists on Highway 11 between the 28 and 32 mile marker are advised to stay on the pavement, be alert for changing roadway conditions, and drive with caution. Motorcyclists and bicyclists should proceed with extreme caution.

The following guidelines remain in effect:

  • Do not access the flow field due to extreme hazard. Lava eruption could resume at any time.

Monday, Aug. 6, 2018, 3 p.m.: Bubbling Lava Lake Within Fissure 8 Cone

Looking more directly into the fissure 8 vent this morning, the inner walls of the cone and lava surface could be seen. The level of lava within the vent and spillway (left) were down compared to yesterday. A dark crust, which forms as the lava surface cools, had formed on the lava with the spillway. Click to enlarge. PC: USGS

In a Monday, Aug. 6, 2018, conference call held with U.S. Geological Survey, it was asked if scientist were expecting lava to rise back up inside the crater at the summit.

USGS Scientist in Charge, Tina Neal, explained that it was a possible outcome but there was an “open pipe” going down the rift zone and they can’t discount the fact that lava could return to the summit.

Kīlauea Volcano Lower East Rift Zone

Activity and lava output from Fissure 8 remains low. This morning’s overflight crew saw a weak to moderately active bubbling lava lake within the Fissure 8 cone, a weak gas plume, and a completely crusted lava channel. Later in the morning, ground crews found the upper channel largely devoid of lava confirming that the channel is empty to at least the vicinity of Kapoho Crater where a short section of spiny active lava in a channel was present. There were small active ooze outs near the coast on the Kapoho Bay and Ahalanui lobes but the laze plume was greatly diminished. Active lava is close to the Pohoiki boat ramp but has not advanced significantly toward it.

The significance of this change is not yet clear and hazardous conditions remain in the area. HVO field crews and the UAS team will monitor activity throughout the day and overnight.

It is common for eruptions to wax and wane or pause completely. A return to high levels of lava discharge or new outbreaks in the area of active fissures could occur at any time.

Residents should remain informed and heed Hawai‘i County Civil Defense messages and warnings.

Kīlauea Volcano Middle East Rift Zone

On Friday, Aug. 3, gas measurements of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō plume indicated an emission rate of over 1,000 tons/day of SO2, the highest rate from this vent in several years. Readers may recall that a white plume has been observed issuing from Puʻu ʻŌʻō over the past several weeks. From this morning’s overflight, observers confirmed that increased gas and steam are coming from the crater but that temperatures do not seem significantly higher than on previous visits. No active lava was observed.

Kīlauea Volcano Summit

The volcano’s summit remains quiet following the most recent collapse event four days ago (11:55 a.m. Aug. 4). This continues a significant departure from the pattern of seismicity and deformation over the past several months, with very low rates of seismicity continuing today. The deformation at the summit as measured by tiltmeter and GPS instruments has virtually stopped.

Summit and LERZ changes considered together imply that the rate of magma leaving the summit to feed the Lower East Rift Zone eruption has decreased. How long this condition will persist is unknown. It is possible that outflow will pick up again, resulting in renewed summit area deflation leading to another collapse event and renewed eruption vigor on the LERZ.

A “then and now” look at Halema‘uma‘u (view is to north). At left, Halema‘uma‘u, as we once knew it, and the active lava lake within the crater are visible on April 13, 2018. At right is a comparable views captured on July 28, 2018, following recent collapses of the crater. The Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Jaggar Museum and USGS-HVO can be seen perched on the caldera rim (middle right) with the slopes of Mauna Loa in the background. PC: USGS

Monday, Aug. 6, 2018, 6 a.m.: Kīlauea Summit & Fissure 8 Remain Quiet

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that eruptive activity has deceased at Kīlauea Summit and Lower East Rift Zone eruption from Fissure 8.

Seismic activity is low with few felt earthquakes at the summit.

Crews overnight in the LERZ report only glow in Fissure 8.

HVO continues to monitor Kīlauea for signs of reactivation of activity. Several overflights are scheduled throughout the day to visually monitor the volcano.

Motorists on Highway 11 between the 28 and 32 mile marker are advised to stay on the pavement, be alert for changing roadway conditions, and drive with caution. Motorcyclists and bicyclists should proceed with extreme caution.

Do not access the flow field due to extreme hazard. Lava eruption could resume at any time.

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