Categorized | Featured, Sci-Tech, Videos, Volcano

Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for Thursday (Dec 22)

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Time-lapse movie of Holei Pali lava flow into the ocean.

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

A lava lake present within the Halema`uma`u Overlook vent over the past week resulted in night-time glow that was visible from the Jaggar Museum overlook. The lake, which is about 75–100 m (245-330 ft) below the floor of Halema`uma`u Crater and visible by HVO’s Webcam, rose and fell slightly during the week in response to deflation-inflation cycles. A collapse of a portion of the vent crater wall triggered a small explosion at the lava lake on Wednesday, December 14, that threw spatter onto the rim of Halema`uma`u Crater.

On Kilauea’s east rift zone, surface lava flows continued to be active on the coastal plain, entering the ocean at West Ka`ili`ili, within the National Park. The ocean entry has had a weak, wispy plume. Flows continued to be active in the abandoned Royal Gardens subdivision over the past week, as well. The flows traveled through a lava tube fed by the September 21 fissure on the upper east flank of the Pu‘u ‘O‘o cone.

One earthquake beneath Hawai`i Island was reported felt this past week. A magnitude-3.7 earthquake occurred at 2:22 p.m., HST, on Thursday, December 15, 2011, and was located 12 km (8 mi) southwest of Kilauea Summit at a depth of 31 km (19 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

Volcano Watch is a weekly article and activity update written by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

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Halemaumau Overlook Vent time-lapse movie. December 8–22, 2011

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