Categorized | Environment, Sci-Tech

Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for week of Feb. 18

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

Surface flows have been active on Pulama pali within the Royal Gardens subdivision and on the coastal plain west of the subdivision. There has been little forward advancement toward the ocean, however, due to last week’s disruption in lava supply caused by a deflation/inflation (DI) event at Kilauea’s summit.

Rapid deflation at Kilauea’s summit started again on Thursday and will probably lead to a slow-down in surface activity. When the volcano reinflates, there will likely be a corresponding increase in surface activity on the pali as the system recovers.

At Kilauea’s summit, a spattering and roiling lava surface, deep within the collapse pit inset within the floor of Halemaumau Crater, was visible via Webcam. For much of the week, the lava surface was seen to cyclically rise and fall.

This behavior may stop as the lava surface lowers in response to the ongoing DI deflation, and may start again when the volcano reinflates. Volcanic gas emissions remain elevated, resulting in high concentrations of sulfur dioxide downwind.

One earthquake beneath Hawaii Island was reported felt during the past week.

A magnitude-3.4 earthquake occurred at 10:41 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23, and was located 8 km (5 miles) southeast and offshore of Kalapana at a depth of 44 km (28 miles).

Visit the HVO Web site ( for detailed Kilauea and Mauna Loa activity updates, recent volcano photos, recent earthquakes, and more; call 967-8862 for a Kilauea summary; e-mail questions to

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