LavaTalk: Kilauea Volcano Status for Sunday (Oct 9)

Sunday, October 9, 2016 U.S. Geological Survey/Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Kilauea Volcano Status

Activity Summary: Kīlauea Volcano continues to erupt at its summit and at the Puʻu ʻŌʻō vent on its East Rift Zone. Inflationary tilt at the summit continues. The lava lake surface was 29 m (95 ft) below the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater as of Saturday afternoon. The 61g lava flow continues to flow into the sea at Kamokuna. The flow poses no threat to nearby communities.

Summit Observations: Summit tiltmeters continue to record inflationary tilt. The lava lake surface, as of Friday morning stood 29 m (95 ft) below the rim of the Overlook Vent. Webcam views of the lava lake can be found at the following webpage:

Summit seismicity is at typical levels this morning while volcanic tremor amplitudes continued to fluctuate in association with lava lake spattering. Average daily summit sulfur dioxide emission rates ranged from 6,200 to 6,600 metric tons/day over the past two days. GPS and InSAR data have recorded a long-term inflationary trend of the summit magma reservoir complex since 2010.

Puʻu ʻŌʻō Observations: No significant changes are visible on webcam images, with persistent glow continuing at long-term sources within the crater. HVO fieldworkers at Puʻu ʻŌʻō last Friday reported no significant changes since the previous visit a couple of weeks before that. A tiltmeter on the north flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō has recorded no significant tilt in the past week. The sulfur dioxide emission rate from all East Rift Zone vents was about 310 metric tons/day when last measured on September 26.

Lava Flow Observations: The 61g lava flow, extending southeast from PuÊ»u ʻŌʻō on KÄ«lauea’s south flank continues to supply lava to the ocean at Kamokuna. The easternmost of the coastal entries was active Friday, while the western one was inactive. No active breakouts were visible on the coastal plain via satellite imagery as of Saturday.

Last Friday, HVO’s field crew also noted that cracks running parallel to the coast have developed in the large, 5.2 hectare (12.9 acre) eastern delta. NPS Eruption Crew staff reported a collapse of the eastern portion of the delta sometime between Sunday evening and Tuesday afternoon. This indicates that the delta is becoming increasingly unstable and could collapse further into the sea. Hazardous delta collapses occur without warning and can trigger explosions of hot flying debris as seawater contacts newly exposed molten lava. See next paragraph for further cautionary information.

As a strong caution to visitors viewing the 61g flow ocean entry (where lava meets the sea), there are additional significant hazards besides walking on uneven surfaces and around unstable, extremely steep sea cliffs. Venturing too close to an ocean entry exposes you to flying debris created by the explosive interaction between lava and water. Also, the new land created is unstable because it is built on unconsolidated lava fragments and sand. This loose material can easily be eroded away by surf, causing the new land to become unsupported and slide into the sea. In several instances, such collapses, once started, have also incorporated parts of the older sea cliff. Finally, the interaction of lava with the ocean creates a corrosive seawater plume laden with hydrochloric acid and fine volcanic particles that can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs.

Please see these fact sheets for additional information:

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