Kilauea, Hawaii, USA

Based on visual observations from HVO crews, video footage, pilot reports, and web camera views, HVO reported that during 16-22 July, lava flowed SE through a lava tube system from underneath Kilauea’s Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) and rootless shield complex. The lava flowed into the ocean at the Waikupanaha ocean entry resulting in occasional explosions and a vigorous steam plume from contact with the water. Lightning was sometimes seen in the steam plume. Incandescence was observed from the TEB vent, rootless shields, breakouts along the W margin of the TEB lava tube, and from vents and sporadic spatter in Pu’u ‘O’o crater. The sulfur dioxide emission rate at Pu’u ‘O’o was very high at 6,300 tonnes per day on 17 July; the average background rate is about 2,000 tonnes per day.

During the reporting period, Kilauea earthquakes were located beneath the summit area and beneath Halema’uma’u crater, along S-flank faults, and along the E and SW rift zones. Beneath Halema’uma’u crater, another 20-40 small earthquakes per day also occurred but were too small to be located. The vent in the crater continued to produce a white plume with minor ash content that drifted mainly SW. Night-time incandescence was seen at the base of the plume. Rock clattering, booming noises, and “rushing sounds” were heard in the vicinity of Halema’uma’u crater. The sulfur dioxide emission rate was high and between 700 and 800 tonnes per day, during 16-18 July. The pre-2008 background rate was 150-200 tonnes per day. On 19 July, incandescent material was ejected from the vent.

Source: US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) – “Reports provided courtesy of the Smithsonian’s Global Volcanism Program and the US Geological Survey’s Volcano Hazards Program.”

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