Categorized | Environment

Kilauea eruption being named Kamoamoa Fissure Eruption

Tuesday, March 8, 2011 6:56 PM HST (Wednesday, March 9, 2011 04:56 UTC)

19°25’16” N 155°17’13” W, Summit Elevation 4091 ft (1247 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: WARNING
Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE

The eruption on KÄ«lauea volcano’s east rift zone continued throughout the day on the eastern and western ends of the 2.3 km long fissure located between Pu’u ‘ÅŒ’ō and Nāpau Crater, but late this afternoon, the eastern part of the fissure shut down.

The effusion rate remains high, with lava spatter reaching as high as 75 m. Lava erupted from the fissure is typically forming short, thick flows, but a channelized flow from the western end of the fissure reached about 800 m in length by late afternoon.

East rift zone gas emissions are significantly elevated above the 300 tonnes/day measured during the past several months and the long-term average of 1,700 tonnes/day. Gas measurements on March 7-8 show an SO2 emission rate of at least 10,000 tonnes/day, the highest measured on the east rift zone since an eruptive surge in July 2008 produced an emission rate of 7,000 tonnes/day.

Pu’u ‘ÅŒ’ō and the TEB vent downrift of Pu’u ‘ÅŒ’ō remain inactive today.

Summit SO2 emissions today were around 500-600 tonnes/day.

Seismicity continues at significantly elevated levels at both KÄ«lauea’s summit and east rift zone.

Deflation has slowed at the summit and east rift zone.

At KÄ«lauea’s summit, the lava lake within the Halema’uma’u Crater vent is estimated to be about 220 m below the crater floor based on visual observations this morning.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory is one of five volcano observatories within the U.S. Geological Survey and is responsible for monitoring volcanoes and earthquakes in Hawai`i.

Volcanologists have begun calling the vent, which started erupting Saturday (March 5), Kamoamoa, after the ahupua‘a (land division) in which it is located.

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