Categorized | Sci-Tech

Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for Sept. 23

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

Surface flows from Kilauea’s east rift zone eruption were active near the end of Highway 130, just west of Kalapana, through the first half of the week. These flows stalled Wednesday, Sept, 29.

Lava flows within the Puu Oo crater, however, started that same afternoon and were weakly active as of this writing (Thursday, Sept. 30). Lava continues to enter the lava tube system and is carried downslope to Puhi-o-Kalaikini, near Kalapana, where it enters the ocean and creates a large steam plume.

At Kilauea’s summit, the circulating lava lake deep in the collapse pit within the floor of Halemaumau Crater has been visible via Webcam throughout the past week. The lava level has fluctuated slowly in tandem with the deflation-inflation cycles. This slow change has also been interrupted sporadically by abrupt increases in the height of the lava surface.

These periods of high lava level have been short-lived, lasting up to several hours, and each ended with a sudden drop of the lava surface back to its previous level. Volcanic gas emissions remain elevated, resulting in high concentrations of sulfur dioxide downwind.

No earthquakes beneath Hawaii Island were reported felt during the past week.

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 askHVO@usgs.gov.

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