Categorized | Sci-Tech

Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for week of May 27

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

Over the past week, most of the activity on the east rift zone flow field has been focused on the construction of low shields, topped by lava ponds. This activity was located high above the Pulama pali over the breakout point of the Quarry flow, which is still weakly active on the pali and coastal plain.

As of Thursday, June 3, small breakouts had reached to within a few hundred meters (yards) of the ocean just west of the Ki ocean entry, which is now inactive. In addition to that lava erupting and flowing through the TEB tube system, lava is also erupting from two vents within Puu Oo. These vents are supplying lava to a growing lava pond that is slowly filling Puu Oo’s crater.

At Kilauea’s summit, a circulating lava pond deep in the collapse pit within the floor of Halemaumau Crater was visible via Webcam throughout the past week. The baseline lava level has been slowly rising, and was also punctuated a few times by short-lived lava-level increases that brought the lava surface to its highest level yet recorded. Volcanic gas emissions remain elevated, resulting in high concentrations of sulfur dioxide downwind.

Four earthquakes beneath Hawaii Island were reported felt during the past week.

Three of them — a magnitude-3.2 earthquake at 3:05 a.m., a magnitude-3.1 at 1:24 p.m., and a magnitude-2.9 at 6:54 p.m. on Friday, May 28 — were located in the same area 10-19 km (6-12 miles) northwest of Naalehu at a depth between 7-10 km (4-6 miles).

A magnitude-2.6 earthquake occurred at 10:52 a.m. Tuesday, June 1, and was located 7 km (4 miles) east of Captain Cook, at a depth of 8 km (5 miles).

Visit the HVO Web site ( for detailed Kilauea and Mauna Loa activity updates, recent volcano photos, recent earthquakes, and more; call (808) 967-8862 for a Kilauea summary; email questions to

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