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Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for August 31, 2017


Time-lapse thermal image movie of Halemaumau Overlook Vent. August 24-31, 2017. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse movie of Halemaumau Overlook Vent. August 24-31, 2017. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse movie of Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook Vent from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. August 24-31, 2017. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse movie of Halemaumau Crater looking Southwest. August 24-31, 2017. Images courtesy of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park


Time-lapse movie of Kīlauea Caldera from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. August 24-31, 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 level fluctuated in concert with summit inflation and deflation, ranging about 32–38 m (105–125 ft) below the vent rim. On the East Rift Zone, the 61g flow remained active, with lava entering the ocean near Kamokuna and surface breakouts downslope of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō. Widening cracks and slumping on the Kamokuna lava delta indicate its instability and potential for collapse. The 61g flows do not pose an immediate threat to nearby communities.

Mauna Loa is not erupting. During the past week, small-magnitude earthquakes continued to occur beneath the volcano, primarily in the south caldera and upper Southwest Rift Zone, at depths less than 5 km (3 mi). Additional deeper events (5–13 km, or 3–8 mi) occurred beneath the upper west and southeast flanks of the volcano. GPS measurements continue to show deformation related to inflation of a magma reservoir beneath the summit and upper Southwest Rift Zone. No significant changes in volcanic gas emissions were measured.

One earthquake with three or more felt reports occurred on the Island of Hawaiʻi during the past week: On August 29, 2017, at 3:52 p.m. HST, a magnitude-3.8 earthquake located 12 km (7 mi) beneath Hawaiian Ocean View Estates.

Please visit the HVO website (volcanoes.usgs.gov/hvo) for past Volcano Watch articles, volcano updates and photos, recent earthquake 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. August 24-31, 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. August 24-31, 2017. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO

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