Posted on March 16, 2017.
A firehose of lava continues to pour into the sea at the Kamokuna ocean entry, sending a plume of steam, hydrochloric acid, and glass particles into the air and drifting downwind. Offshore, lava entering the sea also produces plumes of hot, discolored water. The circular area of dark water in front of the entry is a region of cooler water between the split plumes of hotter water. Photo taken Thursday, March 16, 2017 courtesy of USGS/HVO
A closer view of the ocean entry and plumes of hot, discolored water. Photo taken Thursday, March 16, 2017 courtesy of USGS/HVO
A thermal image shows the two plumes of hot water extending out from the ocean entry point. A circular area of cool water is directly in front of the entry point, between the two plumes. Several boats leave tracks of stirred-up cooler water cutting through the hot water on the surface. Photo taken Thursday, March 16, 2017 courtesy of USGS/HVO
A closer view of the lava firehose at the ocean entry. The lava stream here is roughly 1-2 meters wide (3-6 ft), and plunges about 20 m (66 ft) into the water. Photo taken Thursday, March 16, 2017 courtesy of USGS/HVO
Puʻu ʻŌʻō started as a cinder and spatter cone in the 1980s, but over the past 30 years flank vents on the cone have produced stacks of lava flows, creating a broad shield around the cone. This view looks north and shows the shield shape clearly. Mauna Kea Volcano can be seen in the distance. Photo taken Thursday, March 16, 2017 courtesy of USGS/HVO
A lava pond has been present in a small pit in the western portion of Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater for nearly two years. Unusually clear views today revealed several areas of spattering, and some crustal foundering. Photo taken Thursday, March 16, 2017 courtesy of USGS/HVO
Summit inflation over the past day has driven the lava lake to rise slightly. This morning, the surface of the lake was about 23.5 m (77 ft) below the Overlook crater rim. In this photo, spattering was occurring along the southern lake margin in two locations. Photo taken Thursday, March 16, 2017 courtesy of USGS/HVO
Time-lapse movie of Halemaumau Overlook Vent. March 9-16, 2017. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO
Time-lapse thermal image movie of Halemaumau Overlook Vent. March 9-16, 2017. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO
Time-lapse movie of Kīlauea Caldera from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. March 9-16, 2017. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO
Time-lapse movie of Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook Vent from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. March 9-16, 2017. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO
Time-lapse movie of Halemaumau Crater looking Southwest. March 9-16, 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 5 and 23 m (16-75 ft) below the vent rim. The 61g flow was still active, with lava entering the ocean near Kamokuna and small surface breakouts downslope of Puʻu ʻŌʻō on the pali and the coastal plain. The 61g flows do not pose an immediate threat to nearby communities.
Mauna Loa is not erupting. During the past week, small-magnitude earthquakes continued to occur beneath the volcano. 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 or gas output was noted this past week.
One earthquake was reported felt on the Island of Hawai’i during the past week. On Tuesday, March 14 at 10:01 p.m. HST, a magnitude 3.1 earthquake occurred 12 km (7.5 mi) south of Hawi at a depth of 24 km (15 mi).
Visit the HVO website (hvo.wr.usgs.gov) for past Volcano Watch articles, Kīlauea daily eruption updates and other volcano status reports, current volcano photos, recent earthquakes, and more; call (808) 967-8862 for a Kīlauea summary update; email questions to askHVO@usgs.gov
Time-lapse movie of Pu’u ‘O’o Crater. March 9-16, 2017. 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. March 9-16, 2017. 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 February 24 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as of March 16 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).