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Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for November 1, 2018


Time-lapse movie of a research camera positioned northeast of the Fissure 8 cone, looking into the crater. October 25-November 1, 2018. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO

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

Kīlauea is not erupting. Low rates of seismicity, deformation, and gas release have not changed significantly over the past week.

Small earthquakes at Kīlauea’s summit continue, as do aftershocks of the May 4, 2018, magnitude-6.9 earthquake on the volcano’s south flank.

A slight inflationary trend near and east of Puʻu ʻŌʻō suggests that magma may be refilling the middle East Rift Zone. Low seismicity and reduced gas emissions do not indicate that the magma is shallow, but HVO continues to closely monitor this area and will report any significant changes.

Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions across Kīlauea remain drastically reduced, with a combined rate of less than 300 tonnes/day. Small amounts of hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S) are being released in cooler, wetter volcanic environments, and from decaying vegetation and other organic matter. The human nose is extremely sensitive to the “rotten egg” smell of H2S; some people can detect this gas at less than 0.001 parts per million. Residents have reported smelling H2S downwind of Kīlauea, but these concentrations are well below hazardous levels. More info: ivhhn.org/information#gas.

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.

No Hawaii earthquakes received three or more felt reports (minimum to be recounted here) this past week.

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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