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HVO VIDEO, PHOTOS: Halema‘uma‘u Pond Continues to Rise

August 28, 2019, 8:50 AM HST (Updated August 28, 2019, 8:54 AM)
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Since the Aug. 22, 2019, “Volcano Watch” was published, the USGS Hawaiian Volcanos Observatory has issued photo updates.

Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory geologists noticed a recently exposed hole with a smoother slope descending below it in the eastern wall of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō. It is unclear if this is simply a rockfall or collapse feature with a debris slope or if it is part of the conduit that fed earlier activity.

The pond of water at the bottom of Halema‘uma‘u continues to enlarge.

Kīlauea Summit, Aug. 19

This view of the collapse crater at the summit of Kīlauea is from the Keanakāko‘i overlook area in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. In the distance, Mauna Loa, a textbook example of a shield volcano, looms above Kīlauea. PC: USGS, Aug. 19, 2019

A closer view of the steep crater walls in Halema‘uma‘u, with visible scars from rock falls and rockslides. A section of Hawai‘i Volcano National Park’s Crater Rim Drive that dropped into the crater during the 2018 summit collapse events can be seen in the lower left corner of the photo. PC: USGS, Aug. 19, 2019

HVO Overflight of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō, Aug. 22

During an Aug. 22 overflight, HVO geologists noticed a recently exposed hole with a smoother slope descending below it in the eastern wall of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō. It is unclear if this is simply a rockfall or collapse feature with a debris slope or if it is part of the conduit that fed episode 61 activity. PC: USGS/C. Parcheta, Aug. 22, 2019

This telephoto image provides a closer view of the hole in the east wall of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō. PC: USGS/C. Parcheta, Aug. 22, 2019

Overflight of Kīlauea Summit, Aug. 22

This wide angle view from the helicopter overflight shows the deepest part of the Kīlauea Caldera, with the lower flanks of Mauna Loa visible in the background. The water pond is visible at the bottom of the crater (center of image). PC: USGS/C. Parcheta, Aug. 22, 2019

A closer aerial view of the water pond in Halema‘uma‘u. PC: USGS/C. Parcheta, Aug. 22, 2019

VIDEO: Clear weather afforded good views of the water pond in Halema‘uma‘u. No major changes were observed in the pond, but the water continues to slowly rise. The water surface was steaming, and its temperature was approximately 158°F. For scale, the pond is about 230 feet long. VC: USGS/M. Patrick, Aug. 22, 2019

Overflight of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō, Aug. 22

An HVO technician (far left) performed routine maintenance on monitoring instruments on Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō during field work on Aug 22, 2019. PC: USGS/C. Parcheta

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VIDEO: Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō remains quiet. Clear weather during HVO’s Aug. 22 overflight provided good views into the drained crater. Rubble from crater wall collapses has filled in much of the deeper part of the crater, with the bottom now at about 820 feet below the east rim. The curvature of the horizon is caused by the wide-angle view of the camera. VC: USGS/M. Patrick

Southern Wall of Kīlauea Caldera

This view of the southern wall of Kīlauea’s caldera shows a feature known as the “south sulfur bank.” A sulfur-rich and highly altered area was present here prior to the summit collapse events in 2018, but more of it was exposed as the crater walls dropped during the collapses. The exposure is approximately 300 feet tall, whereas the exposed sulfur bank was only a couple of yards high before 2018. PC: USGS/C. Parcheta, Aug. 22, 2019

Halema‘uma‘u Water Pond, Aug. 25

The pond of water at the bottom of Halema‘uma‘u continues to enlarge. In these photos from Aug. 23 at 10:32 a.m. (L) and Aug. 25 at 12:22 p.m. (R), note the change at the western (near) end of the pond and the disappearance of the rocks near the eastern (far) end of it. No bubbles were visible on the pond surface during the Aug. 25 observations. PC: USG/D. Swanson

Water Pond at the Bottom of Halema‘uma‘u Still Growing, Aug. 26

These photos show the growth of the water pond in Halema‘uma‘u over a period of two weeks. On Aug. 7, the main pond was about 15 yards wide and separated from two smaller ponds; by the next day, the water level has risen enough that all three ponds were joined. On Aug. 23, the single elongate pond was about 35 yards wide and about 80 yards long—and still growing. PC: USGS/D. Swanson

Halema‘uma‘u Water Pond, Aug. 27

Clear weather provided ideal conditions for HVO’s observations of the water pond at the bottom of Halema‘uma‘u. Routine laser rangefinder measurements indicate that the pond continues to rise. The rate at which the water is rising is estimated to be less than one yard per week, so day to day changes in the pond dimensions are subtle. PC: USGS/M. Patrick, Aug. 27, 2019

Telephoto view of the Halema‘uma‘u water pond. Most of the water’s surface is greenish-yellow in color. Steaming across the water rises slowly and moves with the shifting wind. Shimmering on the water, visible as tiny white specks in this image, appears on the pond surface intermittently. PC: USGS/M. Patrick, Aug. 27, 2019

 

 

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