(BIVN) – The summit eruption at Kīlauea is paused. The USGS Volcano Alert Level remains at WATCH and the Aviation Color Code at ORANGE.
It has been about 24 hours since eruptive activity at the summit suddenly declined, and eruptive tremor dropped. Current USGS webcam views show Kīlauea remains quiet as of early Tuesday evening.
From the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory update on Tuesday morning, June 20:
Halemaʻumaʻu Observations: Yesterday afternoon around 4:00 p.m. there was a rapid decline in lava fountaining and effusion at the eruptive vent on the southwest side of Halemaʻumaʻu crater. Vent activity had been vigorous up to that point in the day. Circulation of the southwestern lava lake slowed thereafter, and the lake’s surface dropped by several meters. Overnight webcam views showed some previously erupted lava still flowing on the crater floor; this may continue over the coming days while the lava proceeds to cool. A live-stream video of the crater is available at (here).
Summit Observations: Simultaneous with the decline in vent activity, eruptive tremor—a seismic signal resulting from subsurface fluid movement, and commonly associated with eruptive activity—began dropping around 4:00 p.m. yesterday afternoon. Since then, seismic activity in the summit region has been low. After tracking steady deflationary tilt that began the morning of Saturday, June 17, summit tiltmeters detected a quick transition to inflationary tilt around the same time that tremor began dropping. Gradual inflationary tilt continues at this time. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory is working to determine if there have been any changes in volcanic gas emissions associated with the pause; a sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission rate of approximately 6,300 tonnes per day was measured on Friday, June 16, when eruptive activity was much more vigorous.
Rift Zone Observations: No unusual activity has been noted along the East Rift Zone or Southwest Rift Zone; steady but low rates of ground deformation and seismicity continue along both. Measurements from continuous gas monitoring stations in the middle East Rift Zone—the site of 1983–2018 eruptive activity—remain below detection limits for SO2.