(BIVN) – The eruption of Kīlauea that began on Sunday, September 10, continues this morning. All lava is currently confined to the summit area, at Halemaʻumaʻu crater and the downdropped block to the east of the crater, within Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park.
No unusual activity has been noted along Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone or Southwest Rift Zone, reports the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. The current volcano alert level and aviation color code for Kīlauea remains at WARNING/RED.
Volcanic gas emissions in the eruption area were elevated once the new activity began. Between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday, scientists measured preliminary sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission rates of up to 100,000 tonnes per day or more.
“As of 7 p.m. HST, multiple minor fountains remain active in the eastern portion of Halema‘uma‘u crater floor and on the downdropped block within Kīlauea’s summit caldera,” the USGS HVO wrote on Sunday evening. “The line of fissures stretches approximately 0.8 miles (1.4 km), from the eastern part of Halema‘uma‘u crater floor extending into the east wall of the downdropped block. Lava fountain heights have decreased since the eruption onset, but remain up to about 20-25 meters (65-82 feet) high. Lava erupted from fissures on the downdropped block is flowing in a westward direction towards Halema‘uma‘u crater, the eastern portion of which is covered with actively flowing lava.”
The USGS says summit tilt switched from inflation to deflation shortly after the eruption onset. Earthquakes at and around the summit have greatly diminished, and have been replaced by continuous eruptive tremor, which scientists say is the signal associated with fluid movement, and is usually observed during an active eruption.
An overflight planned for Monday morning will help scientists better estimate the lava effusion rate of the eruption.
In an alert message issued shortly after the eruption began, the Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense said there are no communities threatened at this time.