(BIVN) – Kīlauea is currently at GREEN / NORMAL and Mauna Loa is at YELLOW / ADVISORY, and while neither volcano is erupting, they both remain active.
USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geophysicist Jim Kauahikaua sat down recently with Sherry Bracken to give an update on the two volcanoes for an episode of Island Conversations on KWXX radio. Kauahikaua also spoke about the water pond in Halemaʻumaʻu.
Today, USGS HVO posted some video recorded during a flight over the Kīlauea summit, saying that “clear weather afforded good views of the water pond in Halema‘uma‘u. No major changes were observed in the pond, but the water continues to slowly rise. The water surface was steaming, and its temperature was approximately 70 degrees Celsius (158 degrees Fahrenheit). For scale, the pond is about 70 meters (230 feet) long.”
In its latest Volcano Watch article, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory provided this volcano activity update:
Kῑlauea Volcano is not erupting and its USGS Volcano Alert level remains at NORMAL. Reflecting this level, HVO is now issuing monthly updates for Kīlauea. For definitions of the alert levels, see this page.
Monitoring data for deformation have shown no significant changes in Kīlauea activity over the past week. Rates of seismicity across the volcano remain low. Sulfur dioxide emission rates are low at the summit and below detection limits at Puʻu ʻŌʻō and the Lower East Rift Zone (LERZ).
At or near the 2018 LERZ eruptive fissures, elevated ground temperatures and minor releases of gas (steam, tiny amounts of hydrogen sulfide, and carbon dioxide) persist. These are typical post-eruption conditions and are expected to be long-term, as they were after the 1955 LERZ eruption.
The water level at the bottom of Halema‘uma‘u continues to slowly rise. HVO is monitoring the pond closely, and under the current conditions, its presence in the crater has not increased the risk to public safety.
Hazards remain at the lower ERZ and summit of Kīlauea. Residents and visitors near the 2018 fissures, lava flows, and summit collapse area should heed Hawai‘i County Civil Defense and Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park closures and warnings. The 2018 lava flows are primarily on private property, and people are asked to be respectful and to not enter or park on private property.
Mauna Loa is not erupting. Its USGS Volcano Alert level remains at ADVISORY. This alert level does not mean that an eruption is imminent or that progression to an eruption is certain. A similar increase in activity occurred between 2014 and 2018 and no eruption occurred.
This past week, approximately 40 small-magnitude earthquakes (all less than M2.0) occurred beneath the summit and upper Southwest Rift Zone. Deformation measurements show continued summit inflation, suggestive of recharge of the volcano’s shallow magma storage system. No significant changes in volcanic gas release on the Southwest Rift Zone were measured, and fumarole temperatures there and at the summit remain unchanged.