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Lava Lake Reaches Near 700 Feet in Depth

February 4, 2021, 2:35 PM HST
* Updated February 4, 3:15 PM
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9:03 AM HST Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021: USGS Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory

Current Volcano Alert Level: WATCH
Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE

Eruptive activity continues at the western fissure, supplying lava to the lava lake via a lava stream at the inlet site along the west margin. The lava in the lake in Halemaʻumaʻu was about 696 feet deep, with the eastern portion of the lava lake solidified at the surface. SO2 emission rates remain elevated. Lava activity is confined to Halemaʻumaʻu with lava erupting from a vent on the northwest side of the crater.

No major changes were observed at the lava lake in Halema‘uma‘u crater during yesterday’s helicopter overflight. Eruptive activity continues from the western fissure, with active surface lava largely confined to the western half of the lake. USGS photo by M. Patrick.

Seismicity remains elevated but stable, with elevated tremor and a few minor earthquakes. Geodetic monitors indicate that the upper portion of the East Rift Zone (between the summit and Puʻu ʻŌʻō) contracted while the summit deflated at the onset of this eruption. There is no seismic or deformation data to indicate that additional magma is currently moving into either of Kīlauea’s rift zones. SO2 and H2S emissions from Puʻu ʻŌʻō were below instrumental detection levels when measured on Jan. 7.

On Feb. 3, HVO geologists observed continued supply at the inlet site, and no major changes in the lake. Active surface lava remains largely confined to the western half of the lake, as before. The western portion of the lake continues to have scattered crustal foundering. The stagnant eastern area of the lake has recently been about 8 m (26 feet) lower than the perched, elevated, and active western portion. A series of surface cracks separate the active from the stagnant part of the lake. The islands remain stationary over the past week.

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