Lava Eruption Update

September 30, 2018 

Kīlauea summit and lower East Rift Zone

On Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone (ERZ), no significant incandescence was visible overnight in the collapse pit within the fissure 8 cone. Minor fuming has been visible during the day.

Seismicity and ground deformation remain low at the summit of Kīlauea. Rates of tilting throughout both the summit and the ERZ are much lower than those observed during the recent period of major eruptive activity.

There has been no change in seismicity during the past week. Small aftershocks from the magnitude-6.9 earthquake in early May are still being generated along faults located on the south flank of Kīlauea.

Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission rates at the summit, Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and the lower ERZ are drastically reduced; the combined rate is well less than 1,000 tonnes/day, which is lower than at any time since late 2007. SO2 emission rates from the summit were approximately 30 tonnes/day on September 26, and emission rates from lower ERZ vents were below the detection threshold of the measurement technique when last measured on September 11. Minor amounts of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) are being emitted at the summit, at Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and the lower ERZ.

September 10, 2018 - Kilauea Middle East Rift Zone

September 10, 2018
Kīlauea Middle East Rift Zone

On September 8, a series of small collapses occurred within the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater throughout the day, with each producing a visible brown plume. The largest, shown in this webcam image, occurred at about 10:30 a.m. HST. The collapses generated small tilt offsets and seismic energy recorded by nearby geophysical instruments, but had no discernible effect on other parts of the rift zone.

September 4-7 - Kilauea Lower East Rift Zone 

On September 4-7, the Unmanned Aircraft Systems team flew several missions documenting changes within fissure 8 on Kīlauea's lower East Rift Zone. On September 4, lava erupted on the crater floor within the vent, building a small cone on the floor and creating a flow that did not extend beyond the vent walls. On September 5, gas bursts briefly lifted the crust over a small opening on the lava flow surface. On September 6, minor incandescence was visible overnight, but only fuming was observed during daylight hours. On September 7, activity was limited to fuming and slight deflation of the lava flow surface near the center of fissure 8.

September 6, 2018 - East Rift Zone

Incandescence from fissure 8 was noted a couple of times overnight, but no spattering or glow was visible during the Unmanned Aircraft Systems overflight around 8:00 a.m. this morning, as shown here. Lava within the fissure 8 crater looked much the same as yesterday, except that the new cone appeared less prominent. Steam in background is due to recent rainfall.

September 5, 2018 - Kilauea Lower East Riftk Zone

An Unmanned Aircraft Systems overflight yesterday (September 4, 2018) showed a small cone on the floor of the crater within fissure 8. The cone formed as lava erupted from an opening on the surface of the flow that covers the crater floor.

A Closer Look ...

A closer view of the small cone forming on the floor of crater within fissure 8 today (Sept. 5). By this morning, bits of molten lava emitted from the cone every few seconds had built it up to an estimated height of around 3-4 m (about 10-13 ft).

September 4 - Lower East Rift Zone

Hovering at about 180 m (600 ft), the Unmanned Aircraft Systems captured this view into the fissure 8 cinder cone. Lava has filled the small footprint-shaped crater inside the cone. Sluggish Pāhoehoe flows have crept across the crater floor, but are not flowing down the spillway. Other lower East Rift Zone vents were steaming due to morning rainfall.

September 1, 2018

An Unmanned Aircraft Systems overflight of fissure 8 on Saturday afternoon (Sept. 1, 2018) showed incandescence within the cinder cone, with reports that lava had covered the 65x15 m (210x45 ft) crater floor by evening. Webcam views overnight showed weak incandescence occasionally reflected on the eastern spillway wall from the crater, suggesting that the lava in the crater remained active. 

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