HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY STATUS REPORT
U.S. Geological Survey
Tuesday, June 12, 2018, 8:54 AM HST (Tuesday, June 12, 2018, 18:54 UTC)
KILAUEA VOLCANO (VNUM #332010)
19°25’16” N 155°17’13” W, Summit Elevation 4091 ft (1247 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: WARNING
Current Aviation Color Code: RED
Kīlauea Volcano Lower East Rift Zone
Eruption of lava continues from the lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) fissure system in the area of Leilani Estates.
A line of closely spaced vents at Fissure 8 are continuing to erupt producing fountains reaching heights up to 160 feet, just higher than the spatter cone around them. This activity continues to feed the fast moving channelized flow that is entering the ocean at Kapoho. Weak spattering is continuing at Fissures 16/8 as has been noted for the last several days. This morning’s overflight observed a small overflow of a minor pond on the east side of Fissure 8 that did not extend beyond earlier Fissure 8 lavas. Lava was entering the ocean over a broader length this morning with several minor incandescent points and small plumes and two larger entries and corresponding plumes. The upwelling areas were also more dispersed than yesterday.
Pele’s hair and other lightweight volcanic glass from fountaining of Fissure 8 are falling downwind of the fissure and accumulating on the ground within Leilani Estates. High winds may waft lighter particles to greater distances. Residents are urged to minimize exposure to these volcanic particles, which can cause skin and eye irritation similar to volcanic ash.
The most recent map of lava flows can be found at https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_maps.html
HVO field crews are on site tracking the fountains, lava flows, and spattering from Fissure 8 as conditions allow and are reporting information to Hawaii County Civil Defense. Observations are also collected on a daily basis from cracks in the area of Highway 130; no changes in temperature, crack width, or gas emissions have been noted for several days.
Volcanic gas emissions remain very high from Fissure 8 eruptions. Gas emissions have increased over the past two weeks. Trade wind conditions are expected to bring vog to the south and west sides of the Island of Hawaii. Vog information can be found at https://vog.ivhhn.org/
The ocean entry is a hazardous area. Venturing too close to an ocean entry on land or the ocean exposes you to flying debris from sudden explosive interaction between lava and water. Also, the lava delta is unstable because it is built on unconsolidated lava fragments and sand. This loose material can easily be eroded away by surf, causing the new land to become unsupported and slide into the sea. Additionally, the interaction of lava with the ocean creates “laze”, a corrosive seawater plume laden with hydrochloric acid and fine volcanic particles that can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs.
Magma continues to be supplied to the lower East Rift Zone. Seismicity remains relatively low in the area with numerous small magnitude earthquakes and low amplitude background tremor. Higher amplitude tremor is occasionally being recorded on seismic stations close to the ocean entry.
Additional ground cracking and outbreaks of lava in the area of the active fissures are possible. Residents downslope of the region of fissures should heed all Hawaii County Civil Defense messages and warnings.
Kīlauea Volcano Summit
At 1:52 AM HST, another small ash-poor explosion occurred at Kīlauea’s summit. This event and many of its precursory earthquakes were widely felt in the Volcano area. Seismicity dropped following the event as it typically has with recent explosions. Inward slumping of the rim and walls of Halema`uma`u continues in response to ongoing subsidence at the summit.
Sulfur dioxide emissions from the volcano’s summit have dropped to levels that are about half those measured prior to the onset of the current episode of eruptive activity. This gas and minor amounts of ash are being transported downwind, with small bursts of ash and gas accompanying intermittent explosive activity.
For forecasts of where ash would fall under forecast wind conditions, please consult the Ash3D model output here: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/ash_information.html
Information on volcanic ash hazards and how to prepare for ash fall maybe found at http://www.ivhhn.org/information#ash (health impacts) OR https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanic_ash/ (other impacts).
Activity Summary also available by phone: (808) 967-8862
Subscribe to these messages: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vns2/
Webcam images: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_webcams.html
Lava Flow Maps: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_maps.html
Definitions of terms used in update: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/extra/definitions.pdf
Overview of Kīlauea summit (Halemaʻumaʻu) and East Rift Zone (Puʻu ʻŌʻō ) eruptions:
Summary of volcanic hazards from Kīlauea eruptions:
Recent Earthquakes in Hawai’i (map and list):
Explanation of Volcano Alert Levels and Aviation Color Codes:
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory is one of five volcano observatories within the U.S. Geological Survey and is responsible for monitoring volcanoes and earthquakes in Hawai`i.