Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for May 24, 2018


Time-lapse movie of Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook Vent from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. May 17-24, 2018. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse movie of A panorama of Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook Vent Wide Angle from HVO Observation Tower. May 17-24, 2018. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Time-lapse movie of Kīlauea Caldera from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. May 17-24, 2018. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO

(Activity updates are written by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.)

On Kīlauea Volcano’s East Rift Zone, a low-level eruption of lava continues from multiple points along the active fissure system. Residents in the lower Puna District of Hawaiʻi Island should remain informed and heed Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense closures, warnings, and messages (www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-al…). At Kῑlauea’s summit, multiple explosions continue to occur daily, with some sending plumes of ash up to 8,000 feet above sea level or higher. With prevailing trade winds this past week, the ash clouds were largely blown to the southwest, resulting in trace amounts of ash falling on downwind areas. Summit activity could again become more explosive, increasing the intensity of ash production and producing ballistic projectiles close to the vent. Communities downwind should be prepared for ashfall as long as this activity continues.

Mauna Loa is not erupting. Rates of deformation and seismicity have not changed significantly over the past week. The number of monthly and weekly earthquakes recorded beneath the volcano has decreased to near background levels.

Eleven earthquakes were reported felt in Hawaii during the past week. Many were related to continued deflation at Kīlauea’s summit and with the ongoing intrusion of magma into the volcano’s East Rift Zone. The largest was a magnitude-5 earthquake on May 16, at 6:15 p.m. HST, located 5 km (3 mi) southwest of Volcano and at a shallow depth.

Please visit HVO’s website (volcanoes.usgs.gov/hvo) for past Volcano Watch articles, Kīlauea daily eruption updates, Mauna Loa weekly updates, volcano photos, maps, 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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