Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for June 1, 2017


This video clip shows HVO geologist Tim Orr sampling lava from an active pāhoehoe breakout on the episode 61g lava flow. The chemistry of these lava samples provides information on the magma plumbing system. Sampling has been a regular part of monitoring Kīlauea Volcano’s ongoing Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō eruption. Video taken Wednesday, May 31, 2017 courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse thermal image movie of Halemaumau Overlook Vent. May 25-June 1, 2017. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse movie of Halemaumau Overlook Vent. May 25-June 1, 2017. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse movie of Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook Vent from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. May 25-June 1, 2017. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse movie of Kīlauea Caldera from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. May 25-June 1, 2017. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO

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

This past week, Kīlauea Volcano’s summit lava lake fluctuated in concert with summit inflation and deflation, with levels ranging around 17–37 m (56–121 ft) below the vent rim. On the East Rift Zone, the 61g flow remained active, with lava entering the ocean near Kamokuna and scattered surface breakouts downslope of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō, some reaching the base of the pali. These flows do not pose an immediate threat to nearby communities.

Mauna Loa is not erupting. During the past week, small-magnitude earthquakes were recorded, mostly from beneath the volcano’s summit caldera and upper Southwest Rift Zone at depths of about 2–3 km (1–2 mi). Microearthquakes also occurred on the east flank at depths of 5-13 km (3-8 mi). GPS measurements continue to show deformation consistent with inflation of a magma reservoir beneath the summit and upper Southwest Rift Zone. No significant changes in volcanic gas emissions were measured.

Two earthquakes were reported felt on the Island of Hawaiʻi during the past week. On May 27, at 10:24 a.m. HST, a magnitude-3.5 earthquake occurred 14 km (9 mi) northeast of Pāhala at a depth of 4 km (2 mi). On May 26, at 11:03 a.m., a magnitude-2.5 earthquake occurred 2 km (1 mi) northeast of Leilani Estates at a depth of 3 km (2 mi).

Please visit the HVO website (volcanoes.usgs.gov/hvo) 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 of Pu’u ‘O’o Crater. May 25-June 1, 2017. 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. May 25-June 1, 2017. 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 May 3 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as of May 31 is shown in red. Older Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray. The yellow line is the trace of the active lava tube (dashed where uncertain).  The blue lines over the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō 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 May 3 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as of May 31 is shown in red. Older Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray. The yellow line is the trace of the active lava tube (dashed where uncertain).
The blue lines over the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō 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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