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Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for May 14, 2015

Thermal image time-lapse movie of Halemaumau Overlook Vent. The electronic tilt graph shows the radial tilt at Uwekahuna (UWE), on the northwest rim of Kīlauea’s caldera, and Puʻu ʻŌʻō (POC), on the north flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone, as recorded by continuously operating electronic tiltmeters. Positive changes often indicate inflation of the magma storage areas beneath the caldera, but may also result from heavy rainfall or, occasionally, instrumental malfunctions. The Y-axis is in microradians, an angular measure in parts per million; for example, one microradian represents the tilt of a 1-km-long bar, one end of which is lifted up or down 1 mm. April 23-30, 2015. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO

Time-lapse movie of Halemaumau Overlook Vent. May 7-14, 2015. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO

Time-lapse movie of Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook Vent from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. May 7-14, 2015. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO

Time-lapse movie of Halemaumau Crater from the south rim. May 7-14, 2015. Images courtesy of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Time-lapse movie of Halemaumau Overlook Vent from the West Rim of Halemaumau Crater. May 7-14, 2015. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO

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

Kīlauea’s summit lava lake dropped out of view early in the week in response to summit deflation. As of Thursday, May 14, the lake was about 37 m (120 ft) below the vent rim, or 29 m (95 ft) below the pre-overflow floor of Halema‘uma‘u Crater. Elevated seismicity and pronounced deformation beneath the south end of Kīlauea’s summit caldera suggested an accumulation of magma in that area.

Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow continues to feed widespread breakouts northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. The most distant active lava was about 8 km (5 mi) from Puʻu ʻŌʻō when mapped on May 5.

Two earthquakes were reported felt on the Island of Hawai‘i in the past week. On Saturday, May 9, 2015, at 2:18 a.m., HST, a magnitude-4.5 earthquake occurred 8.8 km (5.5 mi) north of Nā‘ālehu at a depth of 8.8 km (5.5 mi). On Sunday, May 10, 2015, at 7:21 a.m., HST, a magnitude-2.8 earthquake occurred 5.2 km (3.2 mi) southeast of Kīlauea Summit at a depth of 1.9 km (1.2 mi).

Visit the HVO website ( for past Volcano Watch articles, Kīlauea daily eruption updates and other volcano status reports, current volcano photos, recent earthquakes, and more; call (808) 967-8862 for a Kīlauea summary update; email questions to

Time-lapse movie from images gathered from a temporary thermal camera looking into Pu’u ‘O’o Crater. The temperature scale is in degrees Celsius up to a maximum of 500 Celsius (932 Fahrenheit) for this camera model, and scales based on the maximum and minimum temperatures within the frame. Thick fume, image pixel size and other factors often result in image temperatures being lower than actual surface temperatures. May 7-14, 2015. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO

Video courtesy of Tropical Visions Video with air transportation by Paradise Helicopters.

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