Kilauea, Hawaii, USA

HVO reported that during 20-26 August, lava flowed SE through a lava tube system from underneath Kilauea’s Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) and rootless shield complex to the Waikupanaha ocean entry. On 20 August, geologists observed bursting lava bubbles from an area E of Waikupanaha that threw molten fragments 10-20 m into the air. The sulfur dioxide emission rate at Pu’u ‘O’o was 3,200 and 1,800 tonnes per day on 20 and 22 August, respectively; the average background rate is about 2,000 tonnes per day.

Kilauea earthquakes were centered in various locations along the Koa’e fault system, S and W of the caldera, beneath the summit, along the S-flank faults, and along the E and SW rift zones. Beneath Halema’uma’u crater, more than 40 small earthquakes per day (background 40) also occurred but were too small to be located more precisely. About 100 earthquakes were detected on 26 August. The vent in Halema’uma’u crater continued to produce a predominantly white plume with minor ash content that drifted mainly SW. The plume was occasionally tinged brown. Weak night-time incandescence was intermittently seen at the base of the plume, and rock impacts and muted rushing sounds were heard in the vicinity of the crater. On 21 August, an earthquake was accompanied by a 400-m-high jet of mostly gas that rose vertically, then drifted SW. The jet also contained some rock dust and bits of volcanic glass. Several small ash ejections occurred on 25 August. The sulfur dioxide emission rate was 600-1,000 tonnes per day during 20-25 August. 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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