Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for December 28, 2017


This video clip shows the ‘a‘ā flow in the kipuka, as well as the small channels on the pali. Video taken Thursday, December 21, 2017 courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey


Time-lapse thermal image movie of Halemaumau Overlook Vent. December 21-28, 2017. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse movie of Halemaumau Overlook Vent. December 21-28, 2017. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse movie of Halemaumau Crater looking Southwest. December 21-28, 2017. Images courtesy of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park


Time-lapse movie of Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook Vent from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. December 21-28, 2017. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse movie of Kīlauea Caldera from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. December 21-28, 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 with summit inflation and deflation, ranging about 31–35.5 m (102–116 ft) below the vent rim. On the East Rift Zone, the 61g lava flow remained active downslope of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō, with scattered breakouts on the pali and coastal plain, but no ocean entry. The 61g flows do not pose an immediate threat to nearby communities.

Mauna Loa is not erupting. Rates of deformation and seismicity remain above long-term background levels, but rates are decreased from earlier in the year. Similar decreases have occurred in the past during the ongoing period of unrest; it is uncertain if these lower rates will persist or will pick up again in the near future. Small-magnitude earthquakes occurred beneath the summit caldera and upper Southwest Rift Zone at depths less than 5 km (3 mi). A few deeper earthquakes were scattered beneath the volcano’s southeast and west flanks at depths of 5‒20 km (3‒12 mi). GPS and InSAR 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 in the Hawaiian Islands this past week: a magnitude-3.1 earthquake 6 km (4 mi) west of Kalaoa at a depth of 9 km (6 mi) on December 26 at 02:50 a.m. HST.

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.

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