Kilauea’s 61g lava flow ocean entry is slowing, breakouts continue on land

Wednesday, August 3, 2016 U.S. Geological Survey/Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Kilauea Volcano Status

Activity Summary: Eruptions continue at Kīlauea Volcano’s summit and East Rift Zone. The 61G lava flow extending southeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō continues its Kamokuna ocean entry, as well as scattered breakouts on the coastal plain. The flow poses no threat to nearby communities. The lava lake at Halemaʻumaʻu Crater continues to be active with a current height of 36 m (118 ft) below the Overlook crater rim. Seismicity and deformation rates remain at background levels throughout the volcano.

Summit Observations: The lava lake within the Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook crater continues to be active, with a current height of 36 m (118 ft) below the crater rim. Tiltmeters at Kīlauea’s summit transitioned from inflationary to deflationary tilt at about 11am HST yesterday. This is consistent with moving from the inflationary portion of one DI event into the deflationary portion and another. The net trend recorded by summit tiltmeters, despite occasional DI events, has been one of minor inflation. Seismicity is within normal, background rates with tremor fluctuations associated with lava lake spattering. The average daily summit sulfur dioxide emission rate ranged from 4,000 to 6,000 metric tons/day over the past week.

Puʻu ʻŌʻō Observations: Webcam images over the past 24 hours show persistent glow at long-term sources within the crater. No significant changes in seismicity or tilt were recorded over the past 24 hours. The sulfur dioxide emission rate from all East Rift Zone vents was about 410 metric tons/day when last measured on July 28.

Lava Flow Observations: The 61G lava flow extending southeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō towards the coastal plain on Kīlauea’s south flank remains active, with nearly all surface breakouts limited to the coastal plain. Lava continues to flow into the ocean at the Kamokuna ocean entry. The western portion of the ocean entry was not active during observations yesterday, such that its span was narrowed to about 150 m (492 ft) since July 29. Nonetheless, the area around the entire 240 m (787 ft) span that has been active since the ocean entry began still presents a significant hazard to visitors (see below).

As a strong caution to visitors viewing the new ocean entry (location where lava meets the sea) for Flow 61G, there are additional significant hazards besides walking on uneven surfaces and around unstable, extremely steep sea cliffs. Venturing too close to an ocean entry exposes you to flying debris created by the explosive interaction between lava and water. Also, the new land created is unstable because it is built on unconsolidated lava fragments and sand. This loose material can easily be eroded away by surf causing the new land to become unsupported and slide into the sea. Finally, the interaction of lava with the ocean creates an acidic plume laden with fine volcanic particles that can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs.

Please see these fact sheets for additional information:
pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2000/fs152-00…

This image shows a thermal map of the flow on the coastal plain, created from airborne thermal images. White pixels are hot, and show areas of active surface breakouts. The background image is a satellite image collected before the current lava flow was active. The thermal map shows scattered pāhoehoe breakouts on the coastal plain, with a narrow lobe of lava crossing the gravel road and extending to the ocean. Over the past week the amount of surface activity near the base of the pali (top of map) has diminished, with most of the activity closer to the coastline.

This image shows a thermal map of the flow on the coastal plain, created from airborne thermal images. White pixels are hot, and show areas of active surface breakouts. The background image is a satellite image collected before the current lava flow was active.
The thermal map shows scattered pāhoehoe breakouts on the coastal plain, with a narrow lobe of lava crossing the gravel road and extending to the ocean. Over the past week the amount of surface activity near the base of the pali (top of map) has diminished, with most of the activity closer to the coastline.

This image shows a thermal map of the flow on the pali and coastal plain, created from airborne thermal images. White pixels are hot, and show areas of active surface breakouts. The background image is a satellite image collected before the current lava flow was active. The thermal map shows scattered pāhoehoe breakouts on the coastal plain, with a narrow lobe of lava crossing the gravel road and extending to the ocean. The ocean entry has widened since it first formed on Tuesday, July 26, and now spans about 240 m (260 yards) of the coastline.

This image shows a thermal map of the flow on the pali and coastal plain, created from airborne thermal images. White pixels are hot, and show areas of active surface breakouts. The background image is a satellite image collected before the current lava flow was active.
The thermal map shows scattered pāhoehoe breakouts on the coastal plain, with a narrow lobe of lava crossing the gravel road and extending to the ocean. The ocean entry has widened since it first formed on Tuesday, July 26, and now spans about 240 m (260 yards) of the coastline.

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