USGS HVO Press Release - Brief Surge of Activity at Kīlauea Volcano

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The summit of Kīlauea began to inflate rapidly at about 6:20 p.m. yesterday evening. By 8:30 p.m., more than 8 microradians of tilt had been recorded near the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory on the rim of Kīlauea Caldera. 

Officials of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park were alerted to the possibility of an eruption in the summit area. However, at 8:30 p.m. the summit began to deflate and by early morning had reached its pre-event level. The inflation was accompanied by numerous small earthquakes, one or two of which were felt in the summit area.

Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō responded to the summit inflation by sending several lava flows onto the surface from vents on the south side of the edifice. The crater of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō did not overflow. Some flows may have surged from openings in preexisting lava tubes between Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō and the coast. Lava was observed flowing over the pali (cliff) inland from the coast, and both previous ocean entries, at Waha‘ula and Kamokuna, remained active. Glow from these flows captured much public attention and concern. Nearly all of the lava is confined to the older flow field of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō, but wood ash falling in the Mauna Ulu area indicates that some lava moved into forested areas and burned a little vegetation.

Daylight observations this morning will provide more information on this interesting event, which in many respects resembles a larger event on February 1, 1996.

Daily updates about ongoing eruptions, recent images and videos of summit and East Rift Zone volcanic activity, maps, and data about recent earthquakes in Hawaii are posted on the HVO website at https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo

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