Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for March 22, 2012

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Time-lapse movie of Halemaumau Overlook Vent. The temperature scale is in degrees Celsius up to a maximum of 500 Celsius (932 Fahrenheit) for the camera model used and scales based on the maximum and minimum temperatures within the frame.

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

This panorama, taken from the eastern rim of Pu‘u ‘O‘o crater, shows the broken, jumbled crater floor. In the right portion of the photograph, near the northeast rim of the crater, a collapsed cone hosted a small roiling lava pond today. Photo courtesy of USGS/HVO

This panorama, taken from the eastern rim of Pu‘u ‘O‘o crater, shows the broken, jumbled crater floor. In the right portion of the photograph, near the northeast rim of the crater, a collapsed cone hosted a small roiling lava pond today. Photo courtesy of USGS/HVO

A lava lake present within the Halema`uma`u Overlook vent during the past week resulted in night-time glow that was visible from the Jaggar Museum overlook. The lake, which is normally about 90–115 m (295–377 ft) below the floor of Halema`uma`u Crater and visible by HVO`s Webcam, rose and fell slightly during the week in response to a series of large deflation-inflation cycles.

On Kilauea`s east rift zone, surface lava flows were active on the pali and upper coastal plain, in Royal Gardens subdivision, over the past week. As of Thursday, March 22, the flows were still more than 2 km (1.2 miles) from the coast, and there was no active ocean entry.

Two earthquakes beneath Hawai`i Island were reported felt this past week. A magnitude-2.7 earthquake occurred at 3:42 p.m., HST, on Monday, March 19, 2012, and was located 4 km (2 mi) southeast of Pu`ulena Crater at a depth of 2 km (1 mi). A magnitude-3.7 earthquake occurred at 00:04 a.m. (4 minutes after midnight) on Thursday, March 22, and was located 40 km (25 mi) west and offshore of Kailua-Kona at a depth of 33 km (21 miles).

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

Higher up on the flow field, fume marks the trace of the lava tube. In the lower left portion of the photograph, a glowing skylight can be seen. Pu‘u ‘O‘o is visible near the top of the photo. Photo courtesy of USGS/HVO

Higher up on the flow field, fume marks the trace of the lava tube. In the lower left portion of the photograph, a glowing skylight can be seen. Pu‘u ‘O‘o is visible near the top of the photo. Photo courtesy of USGS/HVO

Map showing the extent of lava flows erupted during Kilauea's ongoing east rift zone eruption and labeled with the years in which they were active. Episodes 1–48b (1983–1986) are shown in dark gray; episodes 48c–€“49 (1986–€“1992) are pale yellow; episodes 50–53 and 55 (1992–€“2007) are tan; episode 54 (1997) is yellow; episode 58 (2007–2011) is pale orange; the episode 59 Kamoamoa eruption (March 2011) is at left in light reddish orange; and the episode 60 Pu‘u ‘O‘o overflows and flank breakout (Mar–August 2011) is orange. The currently active flow (episode 61) is shown as the two shades of red—pink is the extent of the flow from September 21, 2011, to February 24, 2012, and bright red marks flow expansion from February 24 to March 20. The active lava tube is delineated by the yellow line within the active flow field. The contour interval on Pu‘u ‘O‘o is 5 m.

Map showing the extent of lava flows erupted during Kilauea's ongoing east rift zone eruption and labeled with the years in which they were active. Episodes 1–48b (1983–1986) are shown in dark gray; episodes 48c–€“49 (1986–€“1992) are pale yellow; episodes 50–53 and 55 (1992–€“2007) are tan; episode 54 (1997) is yellow; episode 58 (2007–2011) is pale orange; the episode 59 Kamoamoa eruption (March 2011) is at left in light reddish orange; and the episode 60 Pu‘u ‘O‘o overflows and flank breakout (Mar–August 2011) is orange. The currently active flow (episode 61) is shown as the two shades of red—pink is the extent of the flow from September 21, 2011, to February 24, 2012, and bright red marks flow expansion from February 24 to March 20. The active lava tube is delineated by the yellow line within the active flow field. The contour interval on Pu‘u ‘O‘o is 5 m.

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