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Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for October 11, 2018


Time-lapse movie of a research camera positioned northeast of the Fissure 8 cone, looking into the crater. October 7-11, 2018. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO

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

Kīlauea activity is greatly reduced, with low rates of seismicity, deformation, and gas emissions recorded this past week, and no active lava at the surface of the volcano since September 5.

Accordingly, on October 5, HVO lowered the Volcano Alert Level for Kīlauea from “WATCH” to “ADVISORY,” and lowered the volcano’s Aviation Color Code from “ORANGE” to “YELLOW.” For definitions of these USGS alert levels and color codes, see: volcanoes.usgs.gov/vhp/about_a….

Small earthquakes (generally less than magnitude-2.4) continue at Kīlauea’s summit, as do small aftershocks of the May 4th magnitude-6.9 earthquake on the volcano’s south flank. Seismicity remains low along the lower East Rift Zone.

A slight inflationary trend near and east of Puʻu ʻŌʻō over the past few weeks, in addition to a slight deflationary trend at the summit, suggest that some magma may still be moving from the summit magma system into the East Rift Zone.

Sulfur dioxide gas emissions at the summit, Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and lower East Rift Zone remain drastically reduced, with a combined rate of less than 300 tonnes/day.

Hazardous conditions still exist at both the LERZ and summit. Residents in the lower Puna District and Kīlauea summit areas on the Island of Hawaiʻi should stay informed and heed Hawai‘i County Civil Defense closures, warnings, and messages (www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-al…).

The USGS Volcano Alert level for Mauna Loa remains at NORMAL.

HVO closely monitors both Kīlauea and Mauna Loa and will report any significant changes on either volcano. HVO now issues Kīlauea updates weekly (on Tuesday) rather than daily, posted at volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/k…. Monthly Mauna Loa updates are posted at volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/m…. Update frequency will increase if warranted by changing conditions on either volcano.

Four earthquakes with three or more felt reports occurred in Hawaii this past week: a magnitude-3.6 quake 24 km (15 mi) northeast of Hōnaunau-Nāpōʻopoʻo at 6 km (4 mi) depth on Oct. 8 at 10:54 p.m. HST; a magnitude-2.8 quake 27 km (17 mi) west of Pepeʻekeo at 23 km (14 mi) depth on Oct. 8 at 10:09 a.m.; a magnitude-3.3 quake 15 km (9 mi) southeast of Volcano at 6 km (4 mi) depth on Oct. 7 at 08:59 a.m.; and a magnitude-2.5 quake 10 km (6 mi) east of Waimea at 14 km (9 mi) depth on Oct. 5 at 03:15 p.m.

Please visit HVO’s website (volcanoes.usgs.gov/hvo) for past Volcano Watch articles, Kīlauea and Mauna Loa updates, volcano photos, maps, recent earthquake info, and more. Call 808-967-8862 for weekly Kīlauea updates. Email questions to askHVO@usgs.gov

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