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Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for March 29, 2018


Time-lapse thermal image movie of Halemaumau Overlook Vent. March 22-29, 2018. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse movie of Halemaumau Overlook Vent. March 22-29, 2018. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse movie of Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook Vent from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. March 22-29, 2018. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse movie of Kīlauea Caldera from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. March 22-29, 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 23–35 m (75–115 ft) below the vent rim. On the East Rift Zone, the 61g lava flow remained active with breakouts on the upper part of the flow field within 2.5 km (1.6 mi) of Pu’u ‘Ō’ō. There were no active lava flows on the pali, coastal plain, or entering the ocean. 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). 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.

One earthquake with three or more felt reports occurred in Hawaii this past week. On March 24, at 12:32 a.m. HST, a magnitude-2.5 earthquake occurred 3 km (2 mi) southwest of Volcano.


Time-lapse movie of Pu’u ‘O’o Crater. March 22-29, 2018. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse movie from images gathered from a temporary thermal camera looking into Pu’u ‘O’o Crater. The temperature scale is in degrees Celsius up to a maximum of 500 Celsius (932 Fahrenheit) for this camera model, and scales based on the maximum and minimum temperatures within the frame. Thick fume, image pixel size and other factors often result in image temperatures being lower than actual surface temperatures. March 22-29, 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 22-29, 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 22-29, 2018. 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 February 27 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as of March 14 is shown in red. Older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray. The yellow line is the trace of the active lava tubes. The Kamokuna ocean entry is inactive.  The blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō 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 February 27 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as of March 14 is shown in red. Older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray. The yellow line is the trace of the active lava tubes. The Kamokuna ocean entry is inactive.
The blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō 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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