LavaTalk: Kilauea Volcano status update for Sunday (Nov 27)

Time-lapse movie of Pu’u ‘O’o Crater East Flank. November 21-27, 2016. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO

Sunday, November 27, 2016 U.S. Geological Survey/Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Kilauea Volcano Status

Activity Summary: Eruptions continue at Kīlauea Volcano’s summit and East Rift Zone. The 61g lava flow in the East Rift Zone continues to enter the ocean at Kamokuna. Active lava breakouts are noted inland from the ocean entry and in the upper portion of the 61g flow field southeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. The lava flows pose no threat to nearby communities at this time. The lava lake at Kīlauea’s summit continues to circulate and spatter, with lake surface level also fluctuating in conjunction with measured summit tilt. Yesterday afternoon the measured depth to the surface of the lake was 17m (56feet) below the adjacent floor of Halemaʻumaʻu crater. Low rates of seismicity and ground surface deformation continue.

Summit Observations: Summit surface deformations and seismic activity continue at low rates. Early this morning, deflationary tilt reversed and the summit region has begun to reinflate. Webcam views of the lava lake show continued circulation and spattering as well as fluctuations in lava lake surface level. Current views of the lava lake are available at:

Yesterday afternoon, before summit deflationary tilt reversed, the depth to the surface of the lava lake was measured at 17m (56feet) below the adjacent floor of Halemaʻumaʻu crater. Seismic tremor at the summit persisted throughout the day with small fluctuations in amplitude. Over the past week, the average daily sulfur dioxide emission rate at the summit has ranged from 2,100 to 6,200 metric tons/day.

Puʻu ʻŌʻō Observations: Thermal webcam views show persistent glow from sources within Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater, as well as from sources near its northeast rim. Seismicity continues at low levels. The sulfur dioxide emission rate from all East Rift Zone vents was about 300 metric tons/day when last measured on November 3.

Lava Flow Observations: Lava from the 61g flow continues to enter the ocean along Kīlauea Volcano’s south coast at Kamokuna. Activity at the ocean entry is concentrated on the eastern side of the delta. Along the 61g flow field inland from the ocean entry, several active lava breakouts have also been noted. The breakout that originated in the uppermost part of the 61g flow field near Puʻu Halulu continues and satellite images show its front at roughly 1km from where it first issued lava.

Prominent cracks in the surface of the relatively large eastern lava delta have been observed and suggest instability and an increased potential for larger collapse events.

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:
For comprehensive information on volcanic air pollution please see the vog dashboard at:

November 24, 2016 New Lava Flow from Mick Kalber on Vimeo.

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

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: