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Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for December 20, 2018


Time-lapse panorama of the Kīlauea Caldera Wide Angle from HVO Observation Tower. December 13-20, 2018. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Thermal camera time-lapse movie at Mile Marker 14.5 steel plates on Pahoa-Kalapana Road (Route 130) December 13-20, 2018. Images courtesy HDOT


Thermal camera time-lapse movie at Mile Marker 14.5 on Pahoa-Kalapana Road (Route 130) December 13-20, 2018. Images courtesy HDOT

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

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

There was 1 event with 3 or more felt reports in the Hawaiian Islands during the past week. On December 18, 2018 at 01:44 a.m. HST, a magnitude-2.8 earthquake occurred 12 km (7 mi) SSE of Volcano at 3 km (2 mi) depth.

Deformation signals are consistent with refilling of the middle ERZ. Sulfur dioxide emission rates have been below detection limits in the lower ERZ since early September, though minor amounts of volcanic gas are still present. Sulfur dioxide emission rates were last measured at ~35 t/d at both the summit and ERZ, consistent with the past few months of emissions from Kīlauea.

Hazardous conditions still exist at both the lower ERZ 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.

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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