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Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for January 7, 2016


Around 2:17 p.m., HST, on January 2, a rockfall from the east rim of the Overlook vent within Halemaʻumaʻu Crater at the summit of Kīlauea impacted the lava lake, generating a small explosive event captured by HVO webcams.


Time-lapse thermal image movie of Halemaumau Overlook Vent. December 31, 2015-January 7, 2016. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse movie of Halemaumau Overlook Vent. December 31, 2015-January 7, 2016. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse movie of Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook Vent from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. December 31, 2015-January 7, 2016. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse movie of Kīlauea Caldera from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. December 31, 2015-January 7, 2016. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO

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

Kīlauea continues to erupt at its summit and East Rift Zone. During the past week, the summit lava lake level varied between about 28 and 35 m (95–115 ft) below the vent rim within Halema‘uma‘u Crater. On the East Rift Zone, scattered lava flow activity remained within about 6 km (4 mi) of Puʻu ʻŌʻō and is not currently threatening any nearby communities.

Mauna Loa is not erupting. Seismicity remains elevated above long term background levels. GPS measurements continue to show deformation related to inflation of magma reservoirs beneath the summit and upper Southwest Rift Zone of Mauna Loa.

Two earthquakes were reported felt on the Island of Hawai‘i this past week. On Thursday, December 31, 2015, at 4:06 p.m., HST, a magnitude-2.6 earthquake occurred 4.7 km (2.9 mi) southwest of Kea‘au at a depth of 16.4 km (10.2 mi). On Friday, January 1, 2016, at 9:38 a.m., HST, a magnitude-2.8 earthquake occurred 16.2 km (10.1 mi) southeast of Waimea at a depth of 15.5 km (9.6 mi).

Please visit the HVO website (hvo.wr.usgs.gov) for past Volcano Watch articles, Kīlauea daily eruption updates, Mauna Loa weekly updates, volcano photos, recent earthquakes info, and more; call for summary updates at 808-967-8862 (Kīlauea) or 808-967-8866 (Mauna Loa); email questions to askHVO@usgs.gov


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. December 31, 2015-January 7, 2016. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse movie of Pu’u ‘O’o Crater North Flank from the North Rim. December 31, 2015-January 7, 2016. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse multi-image movie of Pu’u ‘O’o Crater. December 31, 2015-January 7, 2016. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO

This satellite image was captured on Thursday, January 7, by the Advanced Land Imager instrument onboard NASA's Earth Observing 1 satellite. The image is provided courtesy of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Although this is a false-color image, the color map has been chosen to mimic what the human eye would expect to see. Bright red pixels depict areas of very high temperatures and show active lava. White areas are clouds.  The image shows that scattered breakouts continue to be active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, with no overall advancement in recent months. The farthest active lava was 5.6 km (3.5 miles) northeast of the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

This satellite image was captured on Thursday, January 7, by the Advanced Land Imager instrument onboard NASA’s Earth Observing 1 satellite. The image is provided courtesy of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Although this is a false-color image, the color map has been chosen to mimic what the human eye would expect to see. Bright red pixels depict areas of very high temperatures and show active lava. White areas are clouds.
The image shows that scattered breakouts continue to be active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, with no overall advancement in recent months. The farthest active lava was 5.6 km (3.5 miles) northeast of the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

This small-scale map shows Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow in relation to the eastern part of the Island of Hawaiʻi. The area of the flow field on December 3 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow field as mapped on January 5 is shown in red. The yellow lines show the active lava tube system. Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray. The black box shows the extent of the accompanying large scale map.  The blue lines show steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM; for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth's surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. The base map is a partly transparent regional land cover map from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Coastal Management draped over the 1983 DEM. The bathymetry is also from NOAA.  Because the flow field is changing very little at the moment, mapping of the lava flow is being conducted relatively infrequently. We will return to more frequent mapping if warranted by an increase in activity.

This small-scale map shows Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow in relation to the eastern part of the Island of Hawaiʻi. The area of the flow field on December 3 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow field as mapped on January 5 is shown in red. The yellow lines show the active lava tube system. Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray. The black box shows the extent of the accompanying large scale map.
The blue lines show steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM; for calculation details, see pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. The base map is a partly transparent regional land cover map from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Coastal Management draped over the 1983 DEM. The bathymetry is also from NOAA.
Because the flow field is changing very little at the moment, mapping of the lava flow is being conducted relatively infrequently. We will return to more frequent mapping if warranted by an increase in activity.

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field. The area of the flow field on December 3 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow field as mapped on January 5 is shown in red. The yellow lines show the active lava tube system. Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray.  The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over a 10-m digital elevation model (DEM).

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field. The area of the flow field on December 3 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow field as mapped on January 5 is shown in red. The yellow lines show the active lava tube system. Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray.
The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over a 10-m digital elevation model (DEM).

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