HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK, Hawaii: The active lava lake in the Halemaumau crater vent at the summit of Hawaii Island’s Kilauea volcano continues to spatter and spew sulfur dioxide, as a recent video by USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists shows.
From the HVO website:
This Quicktime movie shows spattering that is typical at the margins of the lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu crater. The slow migration of the lava lake surface is normally towards the area of spattering, where the lava sinks back into the magmatic system. Spatter in this clip is being thrown about 5-10 meters (yards) in height. Views like this are fleeting, however, with the thick gas plume shifting with the winds.
The lava lake has been putting on a show since late 2008, when it was first seen from above by an overflight. Since that time, the crater vent has enlarged, as rockfalls and rim collapses have steadily grown the fiery puka.
Scientists say the lava lake has been generally low at the summit, coinciding with a weak contraction at the summit that started on April 27th. “The summit lava lake levels also peaked on April 27, 2012,” wrote HVO in a recent Kilauea activity update, “and are now generally lower while fluctuating during DI and rise/fall events. Seismic tremor levels have been higher and the increase seems correlated with appearance of a new spattering sink along the southwest edge of the lava lake.”
However, Thursday night into Friday morning, another change. HVO says the summit contraction has slowed; back-to-back, days-long DI tilt events continued during which lava lake levels rose and fell with tilt.