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Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for September 29, 2016


This video clip shows the northern portion of the lava lake, where episodic bubbling commonly occurs. The northern margin of the lake is in the upper right portion of the photo. Note how the bubbling occurs in the same general area, regardless of the movement of the crustal plates. The video is shown at 20x speed. Video taken Wednesday, September 28, 2016 courtesy of USGS/HVO

A view of the lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater at dusk, taken from the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu (closed to the public due to volcanic hazards). The view is towards the northwest, with the broad summit of Mauna Loa near the top of the photograph. The lake was 34 meters (112 feet) below the Overlook crater rim at this time. Photo taken Wednesday, September 28, 2016 courtesy of USGS/HVO

A view of the lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater at dusk, taken from the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu (closed to the public due to volcanic hazards). The view is towards the northwest, with the broad summit of Mauna Loa near the top of the photograph. The lake was 34 meters (112 feet) below the Overlook crater rim at this time. Photo taken Wednesday, September 28, 2016 courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse thermal image movie of Halemaumau Overlook Vent. September 22-29, 2016. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse movie of Halemaumau Overlook Vent. September 22-29, 2016. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse movie of Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook Vent from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. September 22-29, 2016. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse movie of Halemaumau Crater looking Southwest. September 22-29, 2016. Images courtesy of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park


Time-lapse movie of Kīlauea Caldera from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. September 22-29, 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. This past week, the summit lava lake level varied between 20 m and 36 m (66–118 ft) below the vent rim within Halema‘uma‘u Crater. The 61g lava flow continued to enter the ocean near Kamokuna, with active breakouts about 2 km (1.2 mi) inland from the ocean entry. The lava flow does not pose an immediate threat to nearby communities.

Mauna Loa is not erupting. Seismicity remains elevated relative to the long-term background rate, with small earthquakes occurring mostly in the volcano’s south caldera and upper Southwest Rift Zone at depths less than 5 km (3 mi). 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 volcano’s magma storage complex.

One earthquake was reported felt on the Island of Hawaiʻi this past week. On September 23, 2016, at 9:29 a.m., HST, a magnitude-3.2 earthquake occurred 14.2 km (8.8 mi) west of Kīlauea’s summit at a depth of 8.2 km (5.1 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 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. September 22-29, 2016. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO

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