Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for February 23, 2017

Wednesday (February 22, 2017), the breakout along the eastern edge of Kīlauea Volcano's episode 61g flow remains active and had advanced approximately 570 m (620 yards) since it was last mapped on February 14. The flow front consisted of sluggish, oozing pāhoehoe that was approximately 730 m (0.5 miles) from the ocean and 540 m (0.3 miles) from the emergency route road. Channelized lava flows have been recently reported on Pūlama pali, but no active channels were seen by HVO geologists while working in the area this afternoon. They did, however, observe scattered breakouts on the pali. Photo taken Wednesday, February 22, 2017 courtesy of USGS/HVO

Wednesday (February 22, 2017), the breakout along the eastern edge of Kīlauea Volcano’s episode 61g flow remains active and had advanced approximately 570 m (620 yards) since it was last mapped on February 14. The flow front consisted of sluggish, oozing pāhoehoe that was approximately 730 m (0.5 miles) from the ocean and 540 m (0.3 miles) from the emergency route road. Channelized lava flows have been recently reported on Pūlama pali, but no active channels were seen by HVO geologists while working in the area this afternoon. They did, however, observe scattered breakouts on the pali. Photo taken Wednesday, February 22, 2017 courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse movie of Halemaumau Overlook Vent. February 16-23, 2017. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse thermal image movie of Halemaumau Overlook Vent. February 16-23, 2017. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse movie of Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook Vent from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. February 16-23, 2017. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse movie of Kīlauea Caldera from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. February 16-23, 2017. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse movie of Halemaumau Crater looking Southwest. February 16-23, 2017. 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 20 and 30 m (66–98 ft) below the vent rim. The 61g flow was still active, with lava entering the ocean near Kamokuna and surface breakouts downslope of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō and on the coastal plain about 730 m (about 0.5 mi) inland of the ocean. The 61g flows do not pose an immediate threat to nearby communities.

Mauna Loa is not erupting. During the past week, a few dozen small-magnitude earthquakes occurred beneath the volcano, primarily in the upper Southwest Rift at depths less than 5 km (3 mi), with a few on the volcano’s west flank at slightly greater depths. GPS measurements continue to show deformation related to inflation of a magma reservoir beneath the summit and upper Southwest Rift Zone. No significant change in the summit fumarole temperature was noted this past week.

Two earthquakes were reported felt on the Island of Hawaiʻi this past week. On February 17, at 5:33 a.m., HST, a magnitude-4.6 earthquake occurred 23.7 km (14.7 mi) northwest of Kawaihae at a depth of 41 km (25 mi), and, at 5:49 a.m., a magnitude-2.4 earthquake occurred 22.4 km (13.9 mi) northwest of Kawaihae at a depth of 40 km (24 mi).

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 image movie from a research camera positioned on Holei Pali, looking east towards Lava Flow 61G and Kalapana. February 16-23, 2017. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO

Video courtesy of Tropical Visions Video with air transportation by Paradise Helicopters.

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea's East Rift Zone lava flow field. The area of the active flow field as of February 16 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as of February 24 is shown in red. Older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray. The yellow line is the trace of the active lava tube (dashed where uncertain).  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 http://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).

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow field. The area of the active flow field as of February 16 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as of February 24 is shown in red. Older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray. The yellow line is the trace of the active lava tube (dashed where uncertain).
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).

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Mar 28, 2017 / 5:15 pm

 

 

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