Posted on December 1, 2016.
Lava continues to enter the ocean at Kamokuna, where a lava delta about 19 acres in size has been built. The gravel emergency access road is visible on both sides of the surface flow that cut it. The view is to the southwest. Photo taken Tuesday, November 29, 2016 courtesy of USGS/HVO
Large cracks parallel to the shoreline are still visible on the Kamokuna delta, indicating instability. The view is to the northeast. Photo taken Tuesday, November 29, 2016 courtesy of USGS/HVO
Lava is transported to the Kamokuna ocean entry, its plume is visible in the distance, via a lava tube. The trace of an active lava tube is often identifiable by a line of fume, as seen here for the episode 61g lava tube above the Pūlama pali. Photo taken Tuesday, November 29, 2016 courtesy of USGS/HVO
A breakout from the episode 61g vent at the head of the lava tube on November 21 sent lava streaming downslope. That breakout was still active when observed on November 29 and had traveled about 1.3 km (0.8 miles), partly surrounding Puʻu Halulu, a tephra cone formed in 1983 at the start of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō eruption. The PEcam webcam looks upslope from Puʻu Halulu toward Puʻu ʻŌʻō, which is shrouded by clouds (top background). Photo taken Tuesday, November 29, 2016 courtesy of USGS/HVO
Kīlauea’s summit lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu is about 255 m (~840 ft) long (left to right in the image) and 195 m (~640 ft) wide. From this perspective, magma rises into the lake near its north edge (upper left) and circulates to the south, where it sinks all along the south margin of the lake. The rim of Halemaʻumaʻu is at the right edge of the photo, and the closed visitor overlook is hidden beneath the fume at upper right. Photo taken Tuesday, November 29, 2016 courtesy of USGS/HVO
Another view of Halemaʻumaʻu with its lava lake. The view is to the southeast. Photo taken Tuesday, November 29, 2016 courtesy of USGS/HVO
The U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and the National Park Service Jaggar Museum are perched together near the summit of Kīlauea, about 1.7 km (~1.1 mi) from the lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu, producing a plume in the background. Photo taken Tuesday, November 29, 2016 courtesy of USGS/HVO
A close-up of one of several streams of lava entering the ocean at the front of the Kamokuna lava delta on Kīlauea’s south flank. The billowy white plume formed by the interaction of hot lava and seawater may look harmless, but it is a mixture of superheated steam, hydrochloric acid, and tiny shards of volcanic glass—all of which should be avoided. Photo taken Wednesday, November 30, 2016 courtesy of USGS/HVO
A wide view of the ocean entry, showing the broad lava delta on the right. Lava deltas (new land formed at the ocean entry) are built on a foundation of rubble, so they can (and do) collapse without warning. Because of this, lava deltas are one of the most hazardous areas on Kīlauea, and people are urged to enjoy the beauty of the ocean entry from a safe distance. Photo taken Wednesday, November 30, 2016 courtesy of USGS/HVO
Time-lapse movie of Halemaumau Overlook Vent. November 24-December 1, 2016. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO
Time-lapse thermal image movie of Halemaumau Overlook Vent. November 24-December 1, 2016. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO
Time-lapse movie of Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook Vent from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. November 24-December 1, 2016. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO
Time-lapse movie of Kīlauea Caldera from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. November 24-December 1, 2016. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO
Time-lapse movie of Halemaumau Crater looking Southwest. November 24-December 1, 2016. Images courtesy of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
(Activity updates are written by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.)
Kīlauea continues to erupt at its summit and East Rift Zone. This past week, the summit lava lake level varied between about 6.5 and 20 m (21–66 ft) below the vent rim. The 61g lava flow continued to enter the ocean near Kamokuna. On Dec. 1, a new breakout from the 61g vent area on the flank of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō sent a small surface flow to the east, on top of existing 61g flows. The 61g lava flows do not pose an immediate threat to nearby communities.
Mauna Loa is not erupting. During the past week, about a dozen small earthquakes occurred primarily northwest of the summit caldera at depths between 5 and 13 km (3–8 miles). Deformation related to inflation of a magma reservoir beneath the summit and upper Southwest Rift Zone continues, with inflation occurring mainly in the southwestern part of the magma storage complex.
No earthquakes were reported felt on the Island of Hawaiʻi this past week.
Please visit the HVO website (hvo.wr.usgs.gov) for past Volcano Watch articles, Kīlauea daily eruption updates, Mauna Loa weekly updates, volcano photos, recent earthquakes info, and more; call for summary updates at 808-967-8862 (Kīlauea) or 808-967-8866 (Mauna Loa); email questions to askHVO@usgs.gov
Time-lapse movie of Pu’u ‘O’o Crater East Flank. November 21-December 1, 2016. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO
Time-lapse image movie from a research camera positioned on Holei Pali, looking east towards Lava Flow 61G and Kalapana. November 24-December 1, 2016. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO
This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow field. The area of the active flow field as of November 3 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as of November 29 is shown in red. The new flow branch east of Puʻu ʻŌʻō started from a breakout at the episode 61g vent on November 21. Older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray. The yellow lines (dashed where uncertain) show the mapped trace of lava tubes as determined from aerial thermal imaging and ground mapping.
The blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 2013 digital elevation model (DEM), while the blue lines on the rest of the map are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 DEM (for calculation details, see pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over the 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM).