(BIVN) – The eruption of Kilauea continues at the summit inside Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Since our last update, the Hawaii island volcano has cycled through another pause and resumption of activity.
Recent video by the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory documents the nature of the ongoing effusion, typified by lava upwelling in a small pond next to the west vent, then flowing into the main lava lake through a small channel. One view shows the process, as it appeared during the evening hours. A 1-meter (3-foot-high) standing wave is often present in the spillway. Scientists say small increases in the effusion rate can cause the pond to overflow, sending lava to the west.
The waxing and waning eruption occurs over timescales of days. Another USGS video, captured by a thermal camera from February 7 to the 10th, shows the eruption as it passes through a pause cycle. The fluctuating activity coincides with changes in ground deformation and sulfur dioxide emissions.
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory is conducting Unoccupied Aerial Systems missions in order to better to monitor the volcanic activity. Imagery collected by the U.A.S. will be used to generate 3 dimensional models, that will help scientists evaluate the eruption for changes. The flights are also used to collect data on volcanic gas emissions.
These USGS missions are conducted under special use permits from the National Park Service, allowing scientists to assess the volcanic hazards and issue the appropriate warnings. Currently, Kilauea is under an alert level of watch, and there continues to be no indication that activity is migrating elsewhere on the volcano.
Since lava emerged on September 29, 2021, this eruption has produced about 45 million cubic meters – or 12 billion gallons – of lava. It is the second summit eruption since the crater collapsed during the events of 2018.