Categorized | Featured, Sci-Tech, Volcano

Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for Thursday (Dec 29)

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Time-lapse movie of Halemaumau Overlook Vent December 22-29, 2011

This skylight provided a clear view of the lava stream inside the lava tube on today'€™s overflight, and a swiftly moving current could easily be seen. Photo courtesy of USGS/HVO

This skylight provided a clear view of the lava stream inside the lava tube on today'€™s overflight, and a swiftly moving current could easily be seen. Photo courtesy of USGS/HVO

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

This near-vertical view from the helicopter shows the surface of the lava lake at Halemaumau. Photo courtesy of USGS/HVO

This near-vertical view from the helicopter shows the surface of the lava lake at Halemaumau. Photo courtesy of USGS/HVO

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 is visible by HVO’s Webcam, rose and fell slightly during the week in response to deflation-inflation cycles.

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. A deflation-inflation cycle that began on Tuesday, December 27, appeared to have slowed down surface flow activity at the time of writing (Thursday, December 29); flow activity will likely increase within a few days.

One earthquake beneath Hawai`i Island was reported felt this past week. A magnitude-3.8 earthquake occurred at 6:40 p.m., HST, on Tuesday, December 27, 2011, and was located 20 km (13 mi) west and offshore of Kawaihae at a depth of 10 km (6 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

Lava has continued to enter the ocean at West Kailiili, with numerous entry points scattered along a broad section of the coast. The small boat in the center of the image provides a rough sense of scale. Photo courtesy of USGS/HVO

Lava has continued to enter the ocean at West Kailiili, with numerous entry points scattered along a broad section of the coast. The small boat in the center of the image provides a rough sense of scale. Photo courtesy of USGS/HVO

One of the individual streams of lava cascading over the sea cliff, producing a thick steam plume at the water’s edge. Photo courtesy of USGS/HVO

One of the individual streams of lava cascading over the sea cliff, producing a thick steam plume at the water’s edge. Photo courtesy of USGS/HVO

Map showing the extent of lava flows erupted during Kilauea'€™s ongoing east rift zone eruption and labeled with the years in which they were active. Episodes 1–48b (1983–€“1986) is shown in dark gray; Episodes 48–€“49 (1986–€“1992) is pale yellow; Episodes 50–€“53 and 55 (1992–€“2007) is tan; Episode 54 (1997) is yellow; Episode 58 (2007–€“2011) is pale orange; the episode 59 Kamoamoa eruption (March 2011) is at left in light reddish orange; and the episode 60 Pu‘u ‘O‘o overflows and flank breakout (March–€“August 2011) is orange. The currently active flow (episode 61) is shown as the two shades of red–€”pink is the extent of the flow from September 21 to December 13, and bright red marks flow expansion from December 13 to December 27. The fissure eruption that started this flow opened on September 21, which was the anniversary of International Peace Day. Thus, we are informally calling this the Peace Day flow. The flow continues to enter the ocean at the West Kaili€˜ili entry site, where a narrow lava delta is being constructed

Map showing the extent of lava flows erupted during Kilauea'€™s ongoing east rift zone eruption and labeled with the years in which they were active. Episodes 1–48b (1983–€“1986) is shown in dark gray; Episodes 48–€“49 (1986–€“1992) is pale yellow; Episodes 50–€“53 and 55 (1992–€“2007) is tan; Episode 54 (1997) is yellow; Episode 58 (2007–€“2011) is pale orange; the episode 59 Kamoamoa eruption (March 2011) is at left in light reddish orange; and the episode 60 Pu‘u ‘O‘o overflows and flank breakout (March–€“August 2011) is orange. The currently active flow (episode 61) is shown as the two shades of red–pink is the extent of the flow from September 21 to December 13, and bright red marks flow expansion from December 13 to December 27. The fissure eruption that started this flow opened on September 21, which was the anniversary of International Peace Day. Thus, we are informally calling this the Peace Day flow. The flow continues to enter the ocean at the West Kaili€˜ili entry site, where a narrow lava delta is being constructed

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