The following is a transcript for the video article above.
Kīlauea Volcano continues to erupt, and all activity is confined to the summit, with no indication that additional magma is currently moving into either of Kilauea’s rift zones.
Lava is still erupting from a vent on the northwest side, and as of February 3, it has filled about 213 meters, or 699 feet, of the summit crater.
Activity has been stable in recent days with no major changes. Only the western portion of the lava lake is active.
The US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory says the vigor of the lava stream fluctuated on Tuesday, with cycles lasting 5 to 6 minutes.
Similar cycles were recorded in this video from late January, which has been sped up by 90 times. The cycles lasted 5 to 6 minutes, with peaks expressed as high flow rates in the channel and spattering at the vents. During troughs in the cycles, the channel became nearly inactive. At the time, scientists said the variations may be due to oscillations in the height of the lava column in the vent.
Recently, scientists said effusion rates have correlated positively with inflation at the summit. However, instruments recorded the onset of deflationary tilt on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m., which continued Wednesday morning.
In another recent video, scientists recorded flames around the vent. HVO said the combusting gas is not certain, but flames were observed numerous times at the summit lava lake during the early 1900s.
Geologists say the active surface lava remains largely confined to the western half of the lake, as before. The stagnant eastern area of the lake has recently been about 8 meters, or 26 feet, lower than the active portion… which is perched and elevated.
Surface cracks can also be seen… separating the active and stagnant parts of the lava-lake.
This thermal image of the summit lava lake was taken during a February 1st helicopter overflight. It shows how lava occasionally oozes out along the eastern lake perimeter. Scientists say that during the overflight, a large overflow breached the northern levee and flowed along the northern lake margin towards the east.
Sulphur dioxide emission rates remain elevated, and we’re last measured at 2,200 t/d, which is lower than the emission rates from the lava lake before 2018.
Scientists are still learning new things about this latest eruption. The chemistry of the erupted material indicate that hot, fresh magma has not been erupted during this episode. Rather this is older, “cooler” magma—possibly the left over from 2018, that is erupting now at the summit.
One question that cannot be answered at this time is how long this eruption will last. HVO geologist Matt Patrick spoke about this during a recent Volcano Awareness Month presentation.
MATT PATRICK: “Of course Halemaʻumaʻu is the home of Pele, and this is very fitting because Halemaʻumaʻu has such a long history of lava-lake activity. There were decades, almost 100 years, of lava lake activity. In the 1800’s and early 1900’s. This is an example of one of the beautiful perched lava lakes that were formed in Halemaʻumaʻu. And of course we had 10 years of continuous lava lake activity from 2008 to 2018. But what we’ve seen is that, you know, these previous eruptions at Halemaʻumaʻu… There’s a wide range in eruption durations. They can last for a day or they can last for decades. So, it’s still unclear how long this eruption will last. There’s no indication of it stopping, but it doesn’t necessarily have to last as long as these previous eruptions. In any case, we’re watching this very closely. We’re out in the field on a daily basis. We have a very robust monitoring network that’s keeping a very close eye on the eruption. So, thank you.”