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Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for February 21, 2019


Time-lapse panorama of the Kīlauea Caldera Wide Angle from HVO Observation Tower. February 14-21, 2019. Images courtesy of USGS/HVO


Thermal camera time-lapse movie at Mile Marker 14.5 on Pahoa-Kalapana Road (Route 130) February 14-21, 2019. Images courtesy HDOT

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

Data depicted on this preliminary map of Kīlauea lower East Rift Zone lava flow thicknesses are subject to change. A final map will be released when all remote sensing data have been collected and processed. Lava flows erupted from fissures 1-24 in 2018, which buried an area of about 35.5 sq km (13.7 sq mi) and added about 875 acres of new land to the island, vary in thickness across the flow field. The greatest thickness on land, at fissure 22, is approximately 55 m (180 ft), and the greatest thickness in the lava delta (new land created where lava entered the ocean) is approximately 280 m (919 ft). These values could change when data are finalized.

Data depicted on this preliminary map of Kīlauea lower East Rift Zone lava flow thicknesses are subject to change. A final map will be released when all remote sensing data have been collected and processed. Lava flows erupted from fissures 1-24 in 2018, which buried an area of about 35.5 sq km (13.7 sq mi) and added about 875 acres of new land to the island, vary in thickness across the flow field. The greatest thickness on land, at fissure 22, is approximately 55 m (180 ft), and the greatest thickness in the lava delta (new land created where lava entered the ocean) is approximately 280 m (919 ft). These values could change when data are finalized.

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

Three earthquakes with three or more felt reports occurred in Hawaiʻi during the past week: a magnitude-1.6 quake 4 km (2 mi) southwest of Volcano at 3:02 a.m. HST on Feb. 17; a magnitude-3.0 quake 10 km (6 mi) south of Kapaʻau at 12 km (7 mi) depth on Feb. 17 at 12:04 a.m. HST; and a magnitude-3.3 quake 13 km (8 mi) east of Honokaʻa at 6 km (4 mi) depth on Feb.13 at 4:42 p.m. HST.

Deformation signals are consistent with refilling of Kīlauea Volcano’s deep East Rift Zone (ERZ). Sulfur dioxide emission rates in the lower ERZ have been below detection limits since early September 2018. Sulfur dioxide emissions at Kīlauea’s summit and middle ERZ remain low, with rates steady over the past several weeks.

Hazardous conditions still exist at both the lower ERZ and summit of Kīlauea. Residents and visitors 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…). HVO continues to closely monitor Kīlauea for any sign of increased activity.

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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