Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for week of July 8, 2011

A breach in the south wall of the perched pond allowed lava to gush out onto the floor of Pu‘u ‘O‘o Crater. Photo courtesy of USGS/HVO

A breach in the south wall of the perched pond allowed lava to gush out onto the floor of Pu‘u ‘O‘o Crater. Photo courtesy of USGS/HVO

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

The lava lake deep within the Halema`uma`u Overlook vent remained at a relatively steady level throughout the past week. At Pu`u `O`o, the lava lake hosted numerous overflows onto the crater floor last weekend. By the beginning of the week, and continuing at least through Thursday, July 7, the crater floor surrounding the lava lake began to rise. This rise was likely caused by the shallow injection of dense, degassed magma from the lake into the layered flows that make up the crater floor. As a result, the rim of the lake was lifted vertically several meters (yards), forming a ragged palisade around the lake’s perimeter. Two new vents opened on the south side of the crater during the past week, as well. Both produced small, sluggish flows, located outside the portion of the crater formed by the collapse in March 2011.

Two earthquakes beneath Hawai`i Island were reported felt this past week. A magnitude-2.4 micro-earthquake at 3:11 a.m., HST, on Saturday, July 2, 2011, was located 3 km (2 mi) north-northeast of Honaunau at a depth of 12 km (7 mi). A magnitude-3.0 earthquake at 6:41 a.m. on Friday, July 1, was located 22 km (14 mi) northwest of Kailua at a depth of 36 km (23 mi).

Visit the HVO Web site (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.

One Response to “Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for week of July 8, 2011”

  1. Bryan says:

    That south breach started on June 29th when the small vent collapsed during a large surge of lava from beneath the lakes crusted surface. ck out the pics here. http://lavapix.com/2/d0f99/#/gallery/6-29-11-puu-oo-vent/

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