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Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for September 14, 2017


Time-lapse thermal image movie of Halemaumau Overlook Vent. September 7-14, 2017. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse movie of Halemaumau Overlook Vent. September 7-14, 2017. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse movie of Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook Vent from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. September 7-14, 2017. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse movie of Kīlauea Caldera from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. September 7-14, 2017. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse movie of Halemaumau Crater looking Southwest. September 7-14, 2017. Images courtesy of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park


Spattering is common in Kīlauea Volcano’s summit lava lake, and consists of many large bursting gas bubbles. The fluid nature of the lake can be seen when lava hits the wall and flows downward like syrup. The thin, flexible nature of the crust is also shown here, as the bursting gas bubbles rip and fold the thin skin on the lake. This video was taken from the rim of Halema‘uma‘u, an area that remains closed to the public due to ongoing volcanic hazards. Video taken Wednesday, September 13, 2017 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 with summit inflation and deflation and ranged about 31–53.5 m (102–175 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 summit caldera and upper Southwest Rift Zone, primarily at depths less than 5 km (3 mi), with some additional deeper events (5–13 km, or 3–8 mi). 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.

No earthquakes were reported felt in the Hawaiian Islands during the past week.


Time-lapse movie of Pu’u ‘O’o Crater. September 7-14, 2017. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse movie from a camera positioned on the southeast flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, looking toward the active flow advancing to the southeast. The breakout point is at the left edge of the image, and the mid-field skyline at the right is roughly coincident with the top of the pali. September 7-14, 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. September 7-14, 2017. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO

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