This 3D model of the lava lake at Kīlauea’s summit was constructed from a series of thermal images acquired during an overflight on Thursday, March 16. For scale, the lava lake is about 250 meters (820 ft) across. The lake is within the Overlook crater, which is within Halemaʻumaʻu Crater.
The model shows that a portion of the Overlook crater wall, along the southern wall of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, is overhanging. If this portion of the crater wall collapses it could trigger a small explosive event, similar to those which occurred in November and December of 2016.
Time-lapse thermal image movie of Halemaumau Overlook Vent. March 16-23, 2017. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO
Time-lapse movie of Halemaumau Overlook Vent. March 16-23, 2017. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO
Time-lapse movie of Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook Vent from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. March 16-23, 2017. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO
Time-lapse movie of Kīlauea Caldera from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. March 16-23, 2017. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO
Time-lapse movie of Halemaumau Crater looking Southwest. March 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 14 and 32 m (46 – 105 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, above the pali, and on 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, most commonly beneath the east flank at depths greater than 5 km (3 miles) and in the summit region, upper Southwest Rift Zone, and upper west flank at depths less than 5 km (3 miles). 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.
Three earthquakes were reported felt on the Island of Hawai’i during the past week. On Friday, March 17 at 6:09 p.m. HST, a magnitude 3.5 earthquake occurred 11 km (7 mi) west of Waikoloa at a depth of 41 km (26 mi). On Sunday, March 19 at 2:17 p.m. HST, a magnitude 2.7 earthquake occurred 8 km (5 mi) southwest of Volcano at a depth of 33 km (20 mi). On Thursday, March 23 at 10:27 a.m. HST, a magnitude 4.4 earthquake occurred 10 km (6 mi) south of Volcano at a depth of 5 km (3 mi). The latter was the largest felt event of the week with 193 responses indicating a maximum intensity of V.
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 16-23, 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 16-23, 2017. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO