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Floor of Pu‘u ‘O‘o Crater collapsing Saturday (March 5)

The floor of Pu‘u O‘o crater appears to have collapsed from the live webcam on the crater rim.

Video courtesy of Hawaiian Volcano Observatory/USGS

The floor of Pu‘u O‘o crater appears to have collapsed from the live webcam on the crater rim. The view may sometimes be obscured by clouds and fumes at the vent. The image is a composite of eight still images and is in the camera’s ‘night-mode’ so it is not in color.


Hawaii Volcano Observatory/USGS Volcanic Activity Notice

Volcano: Kilauea (CAVW #1302-01-)

Current Volcano Alert Level: WARNING
Current Aviation Color Code: RED

Issued: Saturday, March 5, 2011, 5:39 PM HST (20110306/0339Z)

Source: Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Volcanic Activity Summary: At 1:42 p.m. this afternoon, HVO instruments indicated the onset of rapid deflation at Pu’u ‘Ō’ō and increased tremor along Kīlauea’s middle east rift zone. At 2:00 p.m., Kīlauea’s summit began to deflate.

Between 2:16 and 2:21 p.m., the floor of the Pu’u ‘Ō’ō crater began to collapse, and within 10 minutes, incandescent ring fractures opened on the crater floor a few tens of meters away from the crater wall. As the floor continued to drop, lava appeared in the center of the crater floor, the NE spatter cone collapsed, and an obvious scarp developed on the west side of the crater floor, with lava cascading over the scarp toward the center of the crater.

At 2:41 p.m., the scarp on the west side of the crater floor appeared to disintegrate, exposing incandescent rubble, and the lava in the center of the crater enlarged.

At 2:46 p.m., the collapse of a large block along the east crater wall produced a dust plume and the lava continued to enlarge.

Webcam images showed that the Pu’u ‘Ō’ō crater floor continued to drop through 4:26 p.m., when fume obscured the camera view.

Coincident with the collapse, an earthquake swarm began along Kīlauea’s middle east rift zone in the area of Maka`opuhi and Nāpau craters. Tiltmeters in this area show continued deflation.

At 5:15 p.m., an HVO geologist flying over Kīlauea’s middle east zone reported “an eruption in Napau Crater.” When more is known about this eruption, an updated status report will be posted.

Kīlauea’s summit continues to deflate. The lava lake level within the Halema’uma’u Crater vent continues to drop, facilitating rockfalls from the vent wall.

Image of Pu‘u O‘o Crater on Saturday, March 5, 2011 at 3:48 p.m. Image courtesy of USGS

Image of Pu‘u O‘o Crater on Saturday, March 5, 2011 at 3:48 p.m. Image courtesy of USGS


There has been a swarm of temblors in the 1.7-2.6 magnitude range during this event near Pu‘u O‘o Crater.

 

 

Mag  Date (Y-M-D)  Time       Depth (km)   Location
1.9  2011/03/05    16:25:53    3.4         5 km ( 3 mi) SW  of Pu`u `O`o Crater
2.1  2011/03/05    16:00:05    7.5         5 km ( 3 mi) W   of Pu`u `O`o Crater
2.4  2011/03/05    15:46:59    3.0         6 km ( 4 mi) WSW of Pu`u `O`o Crater
2.1  2011/03/05    15:42:57    2.9         6 km ( 4 mi) WSW of Pu`u `O`o Crater
2.5  2011/03/05    15:38:59    2.6         6 km ( 4 mi) SW  of Pu`u `O`o Crater
2.3  2011/03/05    15:35:20    0.2         6 km ( 4 mi) WNW of Pu`u `O`o Crater
2.6  2011/03/05    15:31:12    2.8         6 km ( 4 mi) WSW of Pu`u `O`o Crater
1.7  2011/03/05    15:28:43    0.0         2 km ( 1 mi) SSE of Pu`u `O`o Crater
2.6  2011/03/05    15:23:42    4.2         6 km ( 4 mi) WSW of Pu`u `O`o Crater
2.1  2011/03/05    15:17:41    3.0         6 km ( 4 mi) SW  of Pu`u `O`o Crater
2.1  2011/03/05    15:13:57    3.3         6 km ( 4 mi) SW  of Pu`u `O`o Crater
2.0  2011/03/05    15:13:03    3.3         6 km ( 4 mi) SW  of Pu`u `O`o Crater
2.5  2011/03/05    15:11:24    1.7         6 km ( 4 mi) SW  of Pu`u `O`o Crater
2.5  2011/03/05    15:07:32    3.3         5 km ( 3 mi) WSW of Pu`u `O`o Crater
2.1  2011/03/05    15:06:40    2.3         5 km ( 3 mi) SW  of Pu`u `O`o Crater
2.2  2011/03/05    15:00:22    2.6         5 km ( 3 mi) SW  of Pu`u `O`o Crater
2.1  2011/03/05    14:57:27    0.4         2 km ( 2 mi) SE  of Pu`u `O`o Crater
1.8  2011/03/05    14:55:04    1.1         0 km ( 0 mi) SE  of Pu`u `O`o Crater
2.5  2011/03/05    14:52:58    3.6         5 km ( 3 mi) SW  of Pu`u `O`o Crater
2.4  2011/03/05    13:50:07    0.0         3 km ( 2 mi) SSW of Pu`u `O`o Crater

3 Responses to “Floor of Pu‘u ‘O‘o Crater collapsing Saturday (March 5)”

  1. That is so awesome, thanks for putting that together. Baron

  2. Jackie H says:

    Brilliant piece of photography, have suspected something going to happen for several days now from following HVO website and Leigh Hilbert’s Blog.

  3. Lynn Alsup says:

    I enjoyed watching this clip and it was very informative. I grew up in Kennett, MO, just 40 miles SW of New Madrid and its famous fault, so I’ve experienced a lot of shaking over the years.

    One point you might be interested in, is that you are mispronouncing the name New Madrid. Madrid, Spain, is pronounced with the accent on the second syllable, whereas New Madrid locals in MO, pronounce it with the accent on the first syllable. Thought you might want to know the correct usage.

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