Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for July 28, 2016


Time-lapse thermal image movie of Halemaumau Overlook Vent. July 21-28, 2016. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse movie of Halemaumau Overlook Vent. July 21-28, 2016. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse movie of Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook Vent from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. July 21-28, 2016. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse movie of Halemaumau Crater looking Southwest. July 21-28, 2016. Images courtesy of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park


Time-lapse movie of Kīlauea Caldera from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. July 21-28, 2016. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO

(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. During the past week, the summit lava lake level varied between about 21.5 m and 26 m (70–85 ft) below the vent rim within Halema‘uma‘u Crater. On the East Rift Zone, the “61g” flow continued to advance to the southeast, and, at 1:15 a.m., HST, on July 26, 2016, lava reached the ocean for the first time since August 2013. The lava flow does not pose an immediate threat to nearby communities.

Mauna Loa is not erupting. In the past week, earthquakes at Mauna Loa occurred beneath the west flank of the volcano mostly in the 5–11 km (3–7 miles) depth range. In addition, earthquakes are occurring in south caldera and upper Southwest Rift Zone at depths less than 5 km (3 mi). Seismicity rates on Mauna Loa overall were lower this week compared with the previous update. Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements show deformation related to inflation of a magma reservoir beneath the summit and upper Southwest Rift Zone, with inflation occurring mainly in the southwestern part of the magma storage complex.

Two earthquakes were reported felt on the Island of Hawaiʻi this past week. On Friday, July 22, at 9:16 p.m., HST, a magnitude-4.3 earthquake occurred 5.4 km (3.3 mi) northwest of Captain Cook at a depth of 11.5 km (7.1 mi). On Tuesday, July 26, at 2:33 p.m., HST, a magnitude-2.7 earthquake occurred 2.1 km (1.3 mi) southeast of Kīlauea Summit at a depth of 0.9 km (0.6 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 multi-image movie of Pu’u ‘O’o Crater. July 21-28, 2016. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse movie from images gathered from a temporary thermal camera looking into Pu’u ‘O’o Crater. The temperature scale is in degrees Celsius up to a maximum of 500 Celsius (932 Fahrenheit) for this camera model, and scales based on the maximum and minimum temperatures within the frame. Thick fume, image pixel size and other factors often result in image temperatures being lower than actual surface temperatures. July 21-28, 2016. 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. July 21-28, 2016. 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 July 19 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as mapped on July 26 is shown in red. Lava reached the ocean on the morning of July 26. Older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray. 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 July 19 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as mapped on July 26 is shown in red. Lava reached the ocean on the morning of July 26. Older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray.
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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