Kilauea, Hawaii, USA

Based on visual observations from HVO crews, video footage, pilot reports, and web camera views, HVO reported that during 2-8 July, lava flowed SE through a lava tube system from underneath Kilauea’s Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) and rootless shield complex. The TEB vent is located a little over 2 km NE of Pu’u ‘O’o crater. During 2-6 July, lava flows reached the Waikupanaha ocean entry and created a steam plume from contact with the water. Incandescence was also seen from surface lava flows at multiple breakout points along the lava tube system. On 7 July, seismic tremor levels near the TEB vent abruptly doubled, corresponding to a substantial new breakout in the rootless shield area. The steam plume at the Waikupanaha ocean entry was also absent that day and the next. An overflight revealed that a lava fountain from one of the breakouts on rootless shield 3 (about 1 km SE of the TEB vent) was 12-15 m high and fed several lava flows. The lava fountain and a lava pond were active during 7-8 July and incandescence at shield 6 (about 2 km SE of the TEB vent) was noted.

At Pu’u ‘O’o the sulfur dioxide emission rate fluctuated between 3,100 and 4,800 tonnes per day when measured during 4-6 July; the average background rate is about 2,000 tonnes per day. Incandescence from two distinct sources in the E and W ends of Pu’u ‘O’o crater was observed on the web camera during 4-6 July. Diffuse incandescence was noted during 7-8 July.

During the reporting period, Kilauea earthquakes were located beneath the summit area, along S-flank faults, along the E and SW rift zones, beneath Halema’uma’u crater, and beneath the area where the Koa’e fault system joins the upper E rift zone. Beneath Halema’uma’u crater, another 20-100 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. The sulfur dioxide emission rate was high, between 700 and 1,400 tonnes per day, during 2-7 July. The pre-2008 background rate was 150-200 tonnes per day.

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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