(BIVN) – The latest on the ongoing eruption along the Lower East Rift Zone of Kilauea volcano, as of Monday night, was detailed in a short presentation by USGS scientist Steven Brantley during a public meeting last night in Pahoa.
Brantley talked about the two short-lived fissure segments (11 and 12) that broke ground earlier that day, the 0.6 mile lava flow that erupted from Fissure 8 the day before, and recent observations made at Puʻu ʻŌʻō.
This morning at 8:15 a.m., the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory issued this update:
Summary: As of 7:00 am, the eruption along Kīlauea Volcano’s lower East Rift Zone within the Leilani Estates subdivision has paused. Strong emission of gas continues from the fissure system that is now about 2.5 miles long. This pause is likely temporary and resumption of lava emission or additional fissure outbreaks are possible at any time.
Deflationary tilt at the summit of the volcano continues and the lava lake level continues to drop. There is no active lava in the Puʻu ʻŌʻō area. Aftershocks from Friday’s magnitude-6.9 earthquake continue and more are expected. Rockfalls into the Overlook vent within Halemaʻumaʻu crater are producing intermittent ash emissions. Seismicity at Kīlauea’s summit remains elevated.
USGS/HVO continues to monitor the situation 24/7 in coordination with Hawaii County Civil Defense and other authorities. Field crews are onsite this morning examining the fissure vents, lava flow of yesterday, and searching for any signs of new or resumed activity.
Lower East Rift Zone Observations
Lava emission from fissures was minimal overnight. Strong degassing continues from several fissures. There was no active lava flowing as of 7:00 am this morning.
Deformation of the ground in the area continues. Ground cracks are reported crossing Highway 130 about 1 mile west of the westernmost fissure.
Overall seismicity in the area has not changed significantly overnight and remains elevated. Seismic stations nearest the fissures record seismicity likely related to ongoing vigorous degassing.
Summit Observations: Tiltmeters at the summit continue to record a deflationary trend of the past week and the summit lava lake level continues to drop. Elevated summit sulfur dioxide emission rates persist. Current webcam views are here.
Rockfalls into the Overlook crater are intermittently producing small ash emissions that loft several thousand feet above the ground and travel downwind.
Elevated earthquake activity in the summit area continues following Friday’s magnitude-6.9 earthquake and as a consequence of ongoing summit deflation.
Puʻu ʻŌʻō Observations: A tiltmeter on the Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone continues to record the deflationary pattern that followed collapse of the crater floor on April 30. Rockfalls from the steep crater walls will likely continue to collapse intermittently, producing small ashy plumes. The 61g lava flow is no longer active.
Hazard Analysis: Continued eruptive activity (fluctuating and intermittent) in the lower East Rift Zone is likely. New outbreaks or resumption of lava production at existing vents can occur at any time.
Areas downslope of erupting fissures are at risk of lava inundation. The general area of Leilani Estates remains at the greatest risk. However, as the eruption progresses, other areas of the lower East Rift Zone may also be at risk.
High levels of volcanic gas including sulphur dioxide are being emitted from the fissure vents. In addition, smoke from burning houses and burning asphalt is a health concern and should be avoided.
As the lava lake level inside Halemaʻumaʻu drops, rockfalls from the enclosing walls may increase in frequency prompting explosions of spatter from the lake onto the nearby crater rim and lofting plumes of ash. Dustings of ash from these events can occur downwind.