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Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for March 22, 2018


Monday, March 19, 2018 marked the 10th anniversary of the eruption within Halema‘uma‘u at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano. When the vent first opened on March 19, 2008, it formed a small pit about 115 feet (35 m) wide. Over the past decade, that pit (informally called the “Overlook crater”) has grown into a gaping hole about 919 feet by 656 feet (280 x 200 m) in size. Click on the above webcam images to watch the growth of Overlook crater over the past 10 years. This video clip is from “Kīlauea Summit Eruption—Lava Returns to Halema‘uma‘u,” a 24-minute USGS video that tells the story of this ongoing eruption.


Time-lapse thermal image movie of Halemaumau Overlook Vent. March 15-22, 2018. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse movie of Halemaumau Overlook Vent. March 15-22, 2018. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse movie of Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook Vent from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. March 15-22, 2018. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse movie of Kīlauea Caldera from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. March 15-22, 2018. 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 20–36 m (66–118 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 upper part of the flow field and on Pulama pali, 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 have not changed significantly over the past week, but persist above long-term background levels. Only a few small-magnitude earthquakes occurred beneath the volcano, primarily at depths shallower than 13 km (8 mi). The largest was a magnitude-2.0 earthquake in the Mauna Loa summit caldera on March 16. GPS and InSAR measurements continue to show slow deformation related to inflation of a magma reservoir beneath the summit and upper Southwest Rift Zone. No significant changes in volcanic gas release or fumarole temperature were measured.

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


Time-lapse movie of Pu’u ‘O’o Crater. March 15-22, 2018. 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. March 15-22, 2018. 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. March 15-22, 2018. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO

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