Categorized | Sci-Tech

Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for week of Aug. 11

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

The lava level within the Halemaumau Overlook vent dropped below the level of the vent floor last weekend, leaving behind a few incandescent openings that sometimes issued short lava flows.

This general decrease in activity was in response to the onset of DI deflation at the summit. Just after noon Wednesday (Aug. 17), the deflation switched back to steep inflation, and a small lava lake reappeared at the bottom of the vent overnight.

This should result in a corresponding increase in the night-time glow visible from Jaggar Museum.

Following the Aug. 3 crater floor collapse and flank eruption, lava had begun to very slowly fill the bottom of Puu Oo crater. This activity slowed and stopped in the past week in response to the DI event at Kilauea’s summit.

Lava output from the Episode 60 flank vent also slowed dramatically, stopping almost completely by mid-week. As of this writing (Thursday, Aug. 18), Puu Oo had not yet responded to summit inflation.

Six earthquakes beneath Hawaii Island were reported felt this past week.

A magnitude-2.5 earthquake occurred at 3:48 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12 and was located 13 km (8 mi) northeast of Hualalai summit at a depth of 14 km (9 mi).

A magnitude-3.1 earthquake occurred at 4:21 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 13, and was located 4 km (2 mi) southwest of Kapoho at a depth of 1 km (1 mi), followed by a magnitude-1.8 earthquake at 5:18 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 14, in the same area.

A magnitude-2.7 earthquake occurred at 5:55 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 14, and was located 8 km (5 mi) northeast of Pahala at a depth of 36 km (22 mi).

A magnitude-2.6 earthquake occurred at 2:40 p.m. Monday, Aug. 15, and was located 4 km (3 mi) northeast of Waikoloa Village at a depth of 8 km (5 mi).

A magnitude-3.5 earthquake occurred at 11:19 a.m. Wednesday, Aug 17, and was located 2 km (1 mi) northwest of Pahala at a depth of 8 km (5 mi).

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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