Kīlauea Volcano Lower East Rift Zone
Vigorous eruption of lava continues from the lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) fissure system in the area of Leilani Estates.
Overnight, lava fountains from Fissure 8 reached heights of 130-180 feet, feeding a strong channel to the northeast and then east that experienced minor small levee overflows.
Near the Four Corners region the channel was incandescent and flowing.
Example of Incandescent Eruption
Yesterday’s measurements show that gas emissions have nearly doubled, possibly indicating an increase in eruption rate from Fissure 8. The morning overflight revealed that the fountains and channels continue to erupt and transport lava to the ocean entry which was one large plume. Offshore of this ocean entry, there is an upwelling of ocean water heated by lava flowing on the ocean floor.
Minor lava activity at Fissures 16/18 continued.
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/vol…/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. Yesterday, gas emissions were measured to be nearly twice the value measured during the past two weeks. Trade wind conditions are expected to bring vog to the south and west sides of the Island of Hawaii.
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
A small explosion occurred at Kilauea’s summit at 12:51 AM HST — about 20 hours since the previous event. Seismicity dropped immediately after the explosion and remains low at this time, but based on past trends we expect earthquake rates to increase over the course of the day. 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.