Categorized | Sci-Tech

Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for week of June 26

(Activity updates are written by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.) 

Surface flows in the Royal Gardens subdivision slowed early this past week in response to a deflation-inflation (DI) event at Kilauea’s summit, but had picked up again by Wednesday evening, July 1. 

At the coast, the Waikupanaha and Kupapau ocean entries remain active and continue to produce prominent plumes, accompanied by small littoral explosions, as lava spills into the ocean.

At Kilauea’s summit, a series of collapses in the vent within Halemaumau Crater on Tuesday, June 30, caused a significant widening of the vent.  Rubble from the collapses filled the bottom of the vent and partly choked off the emission of gas, resulting in a wispy plume. 

Despite this rubble, the vent is still emitting elevated amounts of volcanic gas, resulting in high concentrations of sulfur dioxide downwind. The glow from the vent, visible early in the week from Jaggar Museum, was extinguished by the collapses. However, a Webcam recorded a few points of incandescence within the vent on Wednesday night, suggesting that lava still resides deep within the vent below the pile of rubble.

Five earthquakes beneath Hawaii Island were reported felt this past week. 

A magnitude-3.5 earthquake occurred at 8:39 p.m. Sunday, June 28, 2009, and was located 2 miles southeast of Makawao, Maui, at a depth of 19 miles. 

Three earthquakes with magnitudes between 2.4 and 2.6 occurred Tuesday, June 30 (one at 1:38 and two at 2:29 p.m.), and were located beneath Halemaumau Crater at depths between 0.9-1.1 miles. 

A magnitude-3.3 earthquake occurred at 10:45 p.m. Tuesday, June 30, and was located 6 miles northeast of Kukuihaele at a depth of 16 miles.

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