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Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for May 24, 2012

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Time-lapse movie of Halemaumau Overlook Vent. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO

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

A circular lava pond has recently been active near the eastern rim of Pu‘u ‘O‘o crater. Monday (May 21), the lava pond had a low-level but continuous spattering from its eastern margin, and a mostly crusted lava surface. Photo courtesy of USGS/HVO

A circular lava pond has recently been active near the eastern rim of Pu‘u ‘O‘o crater. Monday (May 21), the lava pond had a low-level but continuous spattering from its eastern margin, and a mostly crusted lava surface. Photo courtesy of USGS/HVO

A lava lake within the Halema`uma`u Overlook vent during the past week resulted in night-time glow that was visible from the Jaggar Museum overlook. The lake, which is normally about 80–115 m (260–380 ft) below the floor of Halema`uma`u Crater and visible by HVO`s Webcam, maintained high levels earlier in the week, equivalent to about 60 m (200 ft) below the floor of Halema`uma`u Crater. In the later portion of this week, the lava level steadily dropped with ongoing summit deflation.

On Kilauea`s east rift zone, surface lava flows were active on the pali and coastal plain over the past week. The flows on the coastal plain have made minor progress toward the ocean over the past week. On Tuesday, May 22, the coastal plain lava flows were approximately 600 m (0.4 miles) from the water. As of Thursday, May 24, there was still no active ocean entry.

One earthquake was reported felt beneath Hawai`i Island this past week. A magnitude-2.8 earthquake occurred on Friday, May 18, at 3:48 p.m., HST, and was located 4 km (2 mi) west of Volcano at a depth of 1.6 km (1 mi).

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 [email protected]


Time-lapse of coastal plain lava flows. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO

The lava flows on the coastal plain are still slowly advancing towards the water. On the Monday (May 21) overflight, the active breakouts were about 750 m (0.5 miles) from the ocean. These flows have once again entered the National Park. Photo courtesy of USGS/HVO

The lava flows on the coastal plain are still slowly advancing towards the water. On the Monday (May 21) overflight, the active breakouts were about 750 m (0.5 miles) from the ocean. These flows have once again entered the National Park. Photo courtesy of USGS/HVO

This thermal image, looking northwest, shows the extent of the active breakouts on the coastal plain and pali. White and yellow areas depict active breakouts. A wide area of breakouts comprises the flow front on the coastal plain. On the pali, several breakout areas were active in Royal Gardens subdivision, and the easternmost of these breakouts has sent a flow onto the coastal plain in the past week. Photo courtesy of USGS/HVO

This thermal image, looking northwest, shows the extent of the active breakouts on the coastal plain and pali. White and yellow areas depict active breakouts. A wide area of breakouts comprises the flow front on the coastal plain. On the pali, several breakout areas were active in Royal Gardens subdivision, and the easternmost of these breakouts has sent a flow onto the coastal plain in the past week. Photo courtesy of USGS/HVO

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