Hawaii Volcano Observatory Kilauea Update


U.S. Geological Survey
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
3:57 PM HST (Thursday, June 14, 2018, 01:57 UTC)

19°25'16" N 155°17'13" W, Summit Elevation 4091 ft (1247 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: WARNING
Current Aviation Color Code: RED

Kīlauea Volcano Lower East Rift Zone

The eruption of lava continues from the lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) in Leilani Estates.

Lava fountain heights of 30-40 m (100-130 ft) were observed at Fissure 8 during the day. Lava spreading northeast from the fissure flowed through the well-established channel to the ocean at Kapoho, with rare small overflows of the channel levees. A laze plume at the ocean entry was blown onshore this afternoon, and areas of upwelling offshore were present throughout the day. The limited activity at fissures 16 and 18 of the past several days (spattering and small flows) continues this afternoon.

Pele's hair and other lightweight volcanic glass fragments from the lava fountain at fissure 8 continue to fall downwind of the fissure, with accumulation on the ground mostly within a few hundred meters (yards). High winds may waft lighter particles to greater distances. Residents are urged to minimize exposure to these volcanic particles, which can cause skin and eye irritation similar to volcanic ash.

The most recent map of lava flows can be found at https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_maps.html

HVO field crews are on site tracking the fountains, lava flows, and spattering from Fissure 8 as conditions allow and are reporting information to Hawaii County Civil Defense. Observations are also collected on a daily basis from cracks in the area of Highway 130; no changes in temperature, crack width, or gas emissions have been noted for several days.

Volcanic gas emissions remain very high from Fissure 8 eruptions. Gas emissions have increased over the past two weeks. Wind conditions are changing and may bring VOG to the central, south, and western parts of the Island of Hawaii. VOG information can be found at https://vog.ivhhn.org/

The ocean entry is a hazardous area. Venturing too close to an ocean entry on land or the ocean exposes you to flying debris from sudden explosive interaction between lava and water. Also, the lava delta 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. Additionally, the interaction of lava with the ocean creates "laze", a corrosive seawater plume laden with hydrochloric acid and fine volcanic particles that can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs.

Magma continues to be supplied to the lower East Rift Zone. Seismicity remains relatively low in the area with numerous small magnitude earthquakes and low amplitude background tremor. Higher amplitude tremor is occasionally being recorded on seismic stations close to the ocean entry.

Additional ground cracking and outbreaks of lava in the area of the active fissures are possible. Residents downslope of the region of fissures should heed all Hawaii County Civil Defense messages and warnings.

Kīlauea Volcano Summit

Following this mornings small explosion at Kīlauea's summit, earthquake activity returned to low levels for much of the day, but began a steady increase by this late afternoon. Inward slumping of the rim and walls of Halema`uma`u continues in response to ongoing subsidence at the summit.

Sulfur dioxide emissions from the volcano's summit have dropped to levels that are about half those measured prior to the onset of the current episode of eruptive activity. This gas and minor amounts of ash are being transported downwind, with small bursts of ash and gas accompanying intermittent explosive activity.

More Information:

Volcano Ash Hazard

Recent Earthquakes in Hawaii