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Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for Feburary 23, 2012

Time-lapse movie of Halemaumau Overlook Vent

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

A lava lake present within the Halema`uma`u Overlook vent during the past week resulted in night-time glow that was visible from the Jaggar Museum overlook. The lake, which is normally about 100–125 m (330–410 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 a series of large deflation-inflation cycles.

On Kilauea`s east rift zone, surface lava flows were slowly advancing down the pali over the past week. As of Thursday, February 23, flows were active in the middle part of Royal Gardens subdivision, at an elevation of about 275 m (900 ft). These flows are following the west margin of the Peace Day flow, which may bring them close to the last occupied structure in Royal Gardens. There are no active flows on the coastal plain, and there is no active ocean entry.

Five earthquakes beneath Hawai`i Island were reported felt this past week. A magnitude-3.2 earthquake occurred at 11:18 p.m., HST, on Saturday, February 18, 2012, and was located 100 km (62 mi) northeast of Kaunakakai, Moloka`i at a depth of 26 km (16 mi). A magnitude-3.2 earthquake occurred at 7:21 a.m. on Tuesday, February 21, and was located 14 km (9 mi) southeast of Ho`okena at a depth of 11 km (7 mi). Three earthquakes—a magnitude 3.0 at 3:57 a.m., a magnitude-2.5 at 6:35 a.m., and a magnitude-3.2 at 6:55 a.m.—occurred on Wednesday morning, February 22, and were located 5 km (3 mi) northwest of Kilauea summit at a depth between 4 and 4.4 km (2.5-2.7 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

Time-lapse movie of Pu‘u ‘O‘o February 9-23, 2012

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