(BIVN) – The eruption of Kīlauea volcano on Hawaiʻi island continued on Tuesday, with all lava confined to the summit caldera within Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports no unusual activity along the Rift Zones, and the Volcano Alert Level remains at WATCH.
Scientists say lava effusion rates appear down from initial eruptive rates, but are still high. Lava fountain heights were about 10 to 15 meters, or 32 to 50 feet high Tuesday morning. Geologists today noted uplift at Halemaʻumaʻu crater of nearly 5 meters, or 16 feet, since the eruption started, which shows “a significant amount of lava has intruded beneath the pre-existing crust”.
A sulfur dioxide emission rate of 49,000 tonnes per day was measured Monday afternoon. This is down significantly from the 190,000 tonnes per day measured just after the eruption began on Sunday.
Here is the full HVO update posted on Tuesday, September 12:
Several lava fountains remain active on the western side of the downdropped block within Kīlauea’s summit caldera. The easternmost vents on the downdropped block and the westernmost vents in Halema‘uma‘u became inactive yesterday, and the remaining active vents on the downdropped block span approximately 0.5 miles (750 m). These vents are roughly east-west trending and are feeding channelized lava flows traveling in north and west directions onto Halema‘uma‘u crater floor. The eastern rim of Halema‘uma‘u crater has been buried by new lava flows, and pāhoehoe lava flows cover most of the crater floor except high ground formed during previous eruptive activity in the southwest portions of the crater. Effusion rates appear down from initial eruptive rates, but remain high. Lava fountain heights have decreased since the eruption onset, but remain up to about 10-15 meters (32-50 feet) high this morning. The laser rangefinder is aimed at a western portion of Halemaʻumaʻu crater, not near the new eruptive activity, and recorded nearly 5 m (16 feet) of uplift to this locality since the eruption started. This demonstrates that a significant amount of lava has intruded beneath the pre-existing crust within Halemaʻumaʻu.
Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park reported the closure of the Keanakākoʻi viewing area on Monday due to high concentrations of SO2 and volcanic particulates. Park officials say the location will remain closed until it is safe to reopen. Other viewing area – like those at Uēkahuna, Kīlauea Overlook and areas along Crater Rim Trail – remain open to the public.