Tag Archive | "volcano watch"

Ash rises above Halemaʻumaʻu within Kīlauea’s summit caldera in this May 27, 2018, telephoto image from near Volcano House Hotel in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. By the time Kīlauea’s summit collapse events ended on August 2, Halema‘uma‘u was 2.5 km (1.5 mi) wide and 500 m (1600 ft) deep; prior to the 2018 collapses, it was about 1 km (0.5 mi) wide and 85 m (about 280 ft) deep. A segment of a long-closed Park trail is visible winding across the caldera floor (lower left). USGS photo by K. Anderson.  

Volcano Watch: New insights gained from Kīlauea Volcano’s 2018 summit collapses

A year ago, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists and Island of Hawaiʻi residents were in the throes of an historically unprecedented series of events for Kīlauea.

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Scientists use a laser diffraction particle size analyzer to examine fine ash from the 2018 Kīlauea summit explosions. The research examines fine ash (grains 1 mm to 1 micrometer) and investigates the processes of eruption, fragmentation, and respiratory health hazards (PM10, PM2.5). USGS image by A. Van Eaton

Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for May 9, 2019

Scientists use a laser diffraction particle size analyzer to examine fine ash from the 2018 Kīlauea summit explosions.

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A small collapse of the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater at 6:14 a.m. HST today (May 1, 2019) was the last 'hurrah' for a GPS instrument located on the crater's edge (red circle). This station, designated PUOC, served faithfully throughout Kīlauea's 2018 eruption and was an important source of information on the shallow magma system of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō. The station's last reported position showed it moving rapidly to the southeast, consistent with motion into the crater (inset shows data transmissions from April 11 through this morning). Monitoring of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō is currently being accomplished by additional GPS and tilt stations farther from the edge of the crater. The larger equipment installation near the solar panels was not affected by this morning's collapse and continues to function. However, contingency plans are in place in case collapses of the crater edge continue. USGS photo by I. Johanson on March 18, 2019, annotated on May 1, 2019.

Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for May 2, 2019

Kῑlauea Volcano is not erupting and its USGS Volcano Alert level remains at NORMAL.

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Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for April 25, 2019

Kῑlauea Volcano is not erupting and its USGS Volcano Alert level remains at NORMAL.

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During the first two weeks of Kīlauea Volcano’s 2018 lower East Rift Zone eruption, fissures were characterized by low eruption rates and small flows. This was because the erupted lava originated from pockets of cooler, less fluid magma stored in the rift zone. Later fissures erupted hotter, more fluid magma, resulting in higher eruption rates and large, fast-moving lava flows, like that erupted from the fissure 8 cone (lower right), shown here on July 29, 2018. USGS photo by M. Patrick.

Volcano Watch: What we’ve learned from Kīlauea’s 2018 lower East Rift Zone eruption

May 3, 2019, marks the one-year anniversary of the start of Kīlauea Volcano’s 2018 lower East Rift Zone eruption.

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This image is from a temporary monitoring camera on the west rim of Kilauea Caldera. The camera is looking E towards the bottom of the newly enlarged Halemaʻumaʻu crater, although the deepest part of the crater is not visible from this vantage point. The crater from left to right (roughly NNE to SSW) is approximately 1 km (0.6 mi) across. The depth of the crater in the visible image from the rim is several hundred meters.

Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for April 18, 2019

Kῑlauea Volcano is not erupting and its USGS Volcano Alert level remains at NORMAL.

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A high-precision GPS unit (on white “T” in foreground) records its position at a ground control point along Pohoiki Road. This marker was painted in July 2018 and is visible in numerous aerial photographs taken by Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologists throughout Kīlauea’s lower East Rift Zone eruption last summer. GPS data are recorded over a period of four minutes at each location, enabling vertical precision of approximately 18 cm (7 in). USGS photo by M. Zoeller, 03/22/2019.

Volcano Watch: Recent ground control survey helps finalize USGS lava thickness map

Some lava thicknesses on the preliminary map were slightly overestimated, while others were underestimated.

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Only small amounts of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) are currently being released from Kῑlauea, but they chemically react with each other (oxidation-reduction reaction) to form the bright yellow sulfur deposits visible on the crater walls within Halemaʻumaʻu. The current low sulfur emission rates at Kīlauea have contributed to beautifully clear skies in downwind areas. USGS photo by M. Poland, 03/22/2019.

Volcano Watch: Eruption pause provides an opportunity to probe volcanic pollution

The end of Kīlauea’s 2018 eruption was accompanied by an enormous decrease in the amount of sulfur dioxide gas (SO2) emitted from the volcano. This has led to beautifully clear skies.

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HVO geologists (one shown here for scale) examined Kīlauea Volcano's 2018 lava flow near Isaac Hale Beach Park on March 29. This part of the lower East Rift Zone fissure 8 flow is mostly "toothpaste lava"—an informal name for secondary spiny pāhoehoe lava that oozed out from the stalled primary ‘a‘ā flow that reached the coast. This lobe, classic toothpaste lava, is about 3-4 m (9–13 ft) thick and about 70 m (76–77 yds) long. USGS photo by M. Patrick.

Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for April 4, 2019

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

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This image is from a temporary monitoring camera on the west rim of Kilauea Caldera. The camera is looking East towards the bottom of the newly enlarged Halemaʻumaʻu crater, although the deepest part of the crater is not visible from this vantage point. The crater from left to right (roughly NNE to SSW) is approximately 1 km (0.6 mi) across. The depth of the crater in the visible image from the rim is several hundred meters. Image courtesy of USGS/HVO Webcam

Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for March 28, 2019

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

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This aerial view of the western part of Kīlauea Volcano’s caldera was taken on August 6, 2018. The down-dropped block is faulted about 120 m (400 feet) below the caldera floor. Many 19th-century lava flows are exposed in the fault scarps. Halema‘uma‘u (not visible) is to the left of this photo. USGS photo by D.Swanson.

Volcano Watch: New outcrops make good geology

As Halemaʻumaʻu sank and widened, its crater wall began to expose lava flows that formed during earlier eruptions and were covered by later flows.

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Explosive eruption columns of ash rising from Halema‘uma‘u at 11:15 a.m. on May 18, 1924 (left) and at 11:05 a.m. on May 15, 2018 (right) look similar. Researchers are re-evaluating early assumptions about the role groundwater played in triggering these explosive eruptions at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano and are now looking at the build-up of gases from retreating magma as a likely trigger. USGS photos.

Volcano Watch: Did groundwater trigger explosive eruptions at Kīlauea?

An explosive eruption at Halema‘uma‘u in 1924 looks similar to the column of ash rising from Halema‘uma‘u in 2018.

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After magma drained from Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō on April 30, 2018, the crater was roughly 356 m (1168 ft) deep, with the upper part of the crater flared and the deeper part a narrower cylindrical shaft. Collapses on the crater walls have since enlarged sections of the crater and filled the deepest part with rockfall debris, creating a much different crater geometry—as shown in this comparison of models from May 11, 2018, and March 18, 2019. Today, the deepest portion of the crater is 286 m (938 ft).

Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for March 22, 2019

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

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Map of selected earthquakes beneath a portion of southeast Hawai`i from May 4, 2018 to March 14, 2019, showing principally aftershocks following May 4, 2018 M6.9 earthquake. Black dots indicate epicenters of 13,083 earthquakes located during this time interval; yellow stars show locations of the M6.9 earthquake and the March 13, 2019 M5.5 earthquake. Data source: U S Geological Survey, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Volcano Watch: Magnitude 5.5 earthquake – a bump in the night toward a mo​re typical seismic background

This is the same fault that was responsible for last May’s M6.9 earthquake.

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