Categorized | Environment, Featured, Videos, Volcano

Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for July 21, 2011

After pausing during last weekend's deflation, uplift of the crater floor at Pu‘u ‘O‘o has resumed.
Over the past few days, lava has filled the floor of the Puka Nui pit (lower left) and the MLK pit (lower right) on the west end of Pu‘u ‘O‘o. Photo courtesy of USGS/HVO

Over the past few days, lava has filled the floor of the Puka Nui pit (lower left) and the MLK pit (lower right) on the west end of Pu‘u ‘O‘o. Photo courtesy of USGS/HVO


This movie shows the recent uplift of the lava lake and crater floor in Pu‘u ‘O‘o crater, captured by a thermal camera on the crater rim. The time-lapse movie spans July 9-18, 2011 and is looped several times. The uplift was continuous between July 9 and 16, but had stalled by the 17th. Throughout this movie, the lava lake activity in the crater was steady, with lava upwelling in the east portion of the lake (right margin of image) and flowing towards the west end (left), where it would sink. Frequent small spattering events are commonly observed on the lake margins, throwing spatter over the rim. A small collapse of the steep levee wall resulted in a short lived breach of lava out of the lake on July 15. The uplift that this movie shows is probably due to the shallow injection of magma beneath the crater floor. For scale, the lava lake is about 200 meters (660 feet) long and 100 meters (330 feet) wide. The temperature scale is in degrees Celsius.

(Activity updates are written by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.)

Looking south toward the MLK pit (straight) and Puka Nui pit (right). Lava is only a few meters (yards) away from overtopping the pits and flowing onto the southwest flank of Pu‘u ‘Ō ‘ō. Photo courtesy of USGS/HVO

Looking south toward the MLK pit (straight) and Puka Nui pit (right). Lava is only a few meters (yards) away from overtopping the pits and flowing onto the southwest flank of Pu‘u ‘Ō ‘ō. Photo courtesy of USGS/HVO

The lava lake within the Halema‘uma‘u Overlook vent dropped for a few days last weekend, in tandem with a brief deflation of Kilauea’s summit. Since then, it has returned to its previous level and has been relatively steady. Heating of the vent walls above the lava lake continues to cause loud popping and cracking noises, sometimes audible from the Jaggar Museum Overlook.

After pausing during last weekend’s deflation, uplift of the crater floor at Pu‘u ‘O‘o has resumed. This slow rise is likely caused by shallow injection of magma from the lava lake in the crater into the layered flows that make up the crater floor. Small flows continue to seep from areas outside the lava lake, but all activity is confined within the Pu‘u ‘O‘o crater.

No earthquakes beneath Hawai‘i Island were reported felt this past week.

Visit the HVO Web site (hvo.wr.usgs.gov) for detailed Kilauea and Mauna Loa activity updates, recent volcano photos, recent earthquakes, and more; call (808) 967-8862 for a Kilauea summary; email questions to askHVO@usgs.gov.

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Oct 21, 2014 / 11:10 am

 

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