Categorized | Sci-Tech

Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for week of Sept. 16

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

No active surface flows from Kilauea’s east rift zone eruption have been observed over the past week. Small flows were active within the Puu Oo crater last weekend, but no incandescence has been seen via Webcam since.

Lava continues to enter the lava tube system, however, and is carried downslope to Puhi-o-Kalaikini, near Kalapana, where it enters the ocean. The vigor of the ocean entry steam plume has waxed and waned over the past several weeks, recording fluctuations in the amount of lava being erupted.

These fluctuations are caused by the frequent deflation-inflation cycles impacting the volcano.

At Kilauea’s summit, the circulating lava lake deep in the collapse pit within the floor of Halemaumau Crater has been visible via Webcam throughout the past week. The lava level has fluctuated slowly in tandem with the deflation-inflation cycles.

This slow change has also been interrupted sporadically by abrupt increases in the height of the lava surface. These periods of high lava level have been short-lived, lasting up to several hours, and each ended with a sudden drop of the lava surface back to its previous level.

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-2.9 earthquake occurred Wednesday, Sept. 22 at 1:03 p.m. and was located 2 km (1 mile) northeast of Holualoa at a depth of 36 km (22 miles).

Visit the HVO Web site (http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov) 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 askHVO@usgs.gov.

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