Categorized | Environment, Volcano

Kilauea status report and update (June 10)

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

Activity Summary for past 24 hours:

Lava is only present within Puu Oo crater (middle east rift zone) and the vent inset within the east wall and floor of the summit’s Halemaumau Crater. The summit lava lake level was slowly dropping over the long term. In the east rift zone, sources within Puu Oo crater fed a lava lake perched in the middle of the crater floor whose level remained below the rim. Seismicity levels remained generally low. Gas emissions increased from east rift zone vents while remaining low from summit vents.

Past 24 hours at Kilauea summit:

The summit lava lake level was slowly receding with brief ups and downs – responses to ongoing DI events; the lake is being fed by a cascade from higher sources to the south during which seismic tremor levels were low and steady; splashing of the cascade into the lava lake is visible at the lower edge of the lake visible in the HVO webcam. Unfortunately, our webcam seems to be down this morning but will be repaired as soon as we diagnose the problem and figure out how to repair it.

The summit tiltmeter network recorded the start of DI deflation at 11 am yesterday. The summit GPS network recorded long-term extension while mimicking the minor DI tilt variations. Four earthquakes were strong enough to be located within Kilauea volcano – one west of the lower southwest rift zone and three on south flank faults (Panau Nui area again).

The gas plume is more robust and drifting to the southwest this morning. The most recent (preliminary) sulfur dioxide emission rate measurement was 600 tonnes/day on June 9, 2011. Although not measured this morning, minute amounts of ash-sized tephra were probably wafted in the plume and deposited on nearby surfaces.

Past 24 hours at the middle east rift zone vents: The tiltmeter on the north flank of Puu Oo Cone recorded continued deflation. The GPS network around Puu Oo recorded long-term extension since mid-April. Seismic tremor levels near middle east rift zone vents remained low. The most recent (preliminary) sulfur dioxide emission rate measurement was 1,100 tonnes/day on June 3, 2011, from all east rift zone sources.

A lava lake, fed continuously by sources near the west and northeast edges of the lake, remained perched in the center of the crater floor. The rim of the perched pond was elevated more than 2-3 m (6-10 ft) higher than the surrounding crater floor, which was 39 m (130 ft) below the eastern crater rim when measured June 1.

The lake level remained below yesterday’s small breach through the western lake edge. There was continued minor lava activity from at least one source at the base of the southwest crater wall. The only lava currently erupting in the east rift zone is within Puu Oo Crater. The Puu Oo webcam is down this morning and will be repaired as soon as possible.

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