Tag Archive | "volcano watch"

During this morning's overflight, the ocean entry laze plume was being blown offshore, allowing this fairly clear view (looking northeast) of the Pohoiki boat ramp at Isaac Hale Beach Park. Incandescent (glowing red) spots of lava can be seen within the flow field beyond the boat ramp. HVO geologists also observed a few oozes of lava on or near the western flow margin, but all appeared weak as of 6:00 a.m. HST. Photo taken Thursday, August 2, 2018 courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey

Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for August 2, 2018

On Kīlauea Volcano’s lower East Rift Zone, lava continued to erupt primarily from fissure 8, feeding a channelized flow to the main ocean entry near Ahalanui Beach Park.

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When Kīlauea Volcano’s lower East Rift Zone first erupted on May 3, 2018, lava temperatures were about 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. As the eruption progressed, with fresher magma feeding the fissures, the erupted lava became progressively hotter, resulting in more fluid and far-reaching lava flows (May 21 shown here). Lava temperatures have now leveled out at 2070–2085 degrees Fahrenheit. These temperature measurements provide insight on what’s happening inside the volcano. USGS photo by C. Parcheta.

Volcano Watch: Geochemical detective work helps answer questions about Kīlauea’s ongoing eruption

“What’s happening inside the volcano?” is just one of many questions asked about Kīlauea’s ongoing lower East Rift Zone eruption. Looking at the geochemistry of erupted lava can help us answer these questions.

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This telephoto image shows dark fragments of molten and semi-solid lava being blasted upward and outward during a hydrovolcanic explosion at the Waikupanaha ocean entry west of Kalapana in April 2008. Similar explosions are occurring at Kīlauea Volcano's current lower East Rift Zone ocean entry. For more information, please see "Littoral hydrovolcanic explosions: a case study of lava–seawater interaction at Kilauea Volcano" (https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vsc/file_mngr/file-186/Mattox and Mangan_hydrovolcanic explosions.pdf). USGS photo by M. Patrick.

Volcano Watch: The mixture of lava and seawater creates an explosive hazard

Since May 3, 2018, Kīlauea Volcano’s lower East Rift Zone eruption has destroyed more than 700 structures, covered more than 32 sq km (12.4 sq mi) of land with black lava, and added about 700 acres of new land to the island. Yet, remarkably, injuries had been few.

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Continued degassing from fumaroles at fissures on Kīlauea Volcano’s lower East Rift Zone produce native sulfur crystals when sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide gases react and cool upon reaching the surface. The delicate sulfur crystals are 5-15 mm (0.2-0.6 in) long. USGS photos by A. Lerner, 2018.

Volcano Watch: Many forms of sulfur are found on Kīlauea Volcano

For many Hawaii residents, interactions with Kīlauea Volcano’s eruptions is through vog—a hazy mixture of sulfur dioxide gas and sulfate particles. However, sulfur on Kīlauea is not limited to vog components.

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The active lava lake within Halema‘uma‘u crater about 3 weeks before magma began to withdraw from beneath the crater. Visible in the middle left of the photo behind the plume, is the old Overlook parking area, closed since 2008. The parking area slumped into the crater by June 21. View is toward the southwest. USGS photo on April 13, 2018, by Lil DeSmither.

Volcano Watch: How does the current activity at Kīlauea caldera stack up against those of other volcanoes worldwide?

We are currently witnessing extraordinary events at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano.

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Fissure 8 in Leilani Estates. Photo taken Friday, July 6, 2018 courtesy of Hawaii County Fire Department.

Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for July 5, 2018

On Kilauea Volcano’s lower East Rift Zone, lava from the fissure 8 spatter cone continues to flow in an established channel to the Kapoho coastline. Minor overflows from the channel occur periodically.

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Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for June 28, 2018

On Kīlauea Volcano’s lower East Rift Zone, lava from the fissure 8 spatter cone continues to flow in an established channel to the Kapoho coastline.

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A generalized graphic of how a collapse/explosion event sequence can occur. The upper graphic represents a cross-section of the crater filled with rock rubble and the lower graphic is an example of a typical number of earthquakes observed during a particular phase of the collapse/explosion cycle. Initially, the piston is supported by the magma reservoir. It is stable and there is very low seismicity. Second, as magma drains, stress on the faults increases and there is an earthquake swarm on the caldera ring faults. Third, the piston collapses down from its own weight. A large collapse earthquake occurs and a plume can result. Graphic credit: Brian Shiro

Volcano Watch: What causes the collapse/explosion events at Kīlauea’s summit?

What is causing these earthquakes? The short answer is that the rigid rock of the caldera floor is responding to the steady withdrawal of magma from a shallow reservoir beneath the summit.

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Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for June 22, 2018

On Kīlauea Volcano’s lower East Rift Zone, lava from the fissure 8 spatter cone continues to flow in the established channel to the Kapoho coastline.

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View of cinder cones in the Northeast Rift Zone near the summit of Mauna Loa. View to the north-northeast with Mauna Kea in the background. Mauna Loa has erupted 33 times since 1843, most recently erupting in 1975 and 1984. Photo credit: Matt Patrick, USGS

Volcano Watch: Mauna Loa Back to Normal

Earthquakes at Mauna Loa have diminished and deformation has slowed, indicating that the volcano is no longer at an elevated level of unrest.

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A volcanic gas cloud over the LERZ on May 19, 2018 – In this picture, the sun is illuminating the volcanic gas plume from behind. The plume appears orange in color, as the blue component of the sunlight has been preferentially removed by scattering on tiny sulfate aerosols. This looks a bit like a sunset, but note that the meteorological clouds below the volcanic plume do not show this discoloration. Photo credit: Christoph Kern, USGS

Volcano Watch: Colorful plumes – can we see volcanic gases?

When volcanic gases are released into the atmosphere, resulting plumes sometimes appear to have a faint color. Is this color indicative of a certain gas present?

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This image is from a temporary research camera positioned near Kapoho looking southwest. From left to right, one can see the eruptive fissures, with Fissure 15 on the far left, and Fissure 8 near the center. Webcam image taken Sunday, June 17, 2018 courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey

Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for June 17, 2018

On Kīlauea Volcano’s lower East Rift Zone, lava continues to erupt from fissure 8. As of June 17, lava fountains were feeding a well-established channel flowing east toward the ocean entry in the Kapoho Bay area.

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Volcanic ash from an eruption at the summit of Kīlauea on May 17, 2018. Left: This low magnification photo shows ash particles ranging from a few microns to a couple millimeters in diameter. Right: A high-powered scanning electron microscope reveals great detail on this basalt ash shard. Photos courtesy of Pavel Izbekov, UAF-GI AVO.

Volcano Watch: How to protect yourself from volcanic ash produced by Halema‘uma‘u explosions

Ash in the quantities we expect should mostly be a nuisance, but it can be harmful to humans, animals and the environment. Health effects include irritation to the eyes, nose, throat, and skin.

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Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for June 7, 2018

On Kīlauea Volcano’s East Rift Zone, lava continues to erupt from an active fissure system. As of June 7, fissure 8 lava fountains were feeding a lava channel flowing east towards the ocean entry in the Kapoho Bay area.

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