USGS Status Update of Kīlauea Volcano - May 13, 2018

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USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory status of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii on May 13, 2018 by scientist in charge Tina Neal.


Date Taken:

Length: 00:02:07

Location Taken: Kīlauea Volcano, HI, US


OK. Good morning this is Tina Neal the scientist is charge at the US Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.  A quick update on what’s happening today at Kilauea. In the lower east rift zone, we’ve had an additional outbreak at Northeast end of the fissure system about half a mile south of highway 132.  This is producing spatter that’s flying tens of meters into the air and a sluggish lava flow that’s moving a little bit to the north, but no big lava flow has yet developed.  All of this is to say that the situation down there remains dynamic and as we’ve been saying for days now the outbreaks can continue to occur both up rift and down rift of the existing fissure system or the existing fissures could be reactivated.   All of this means that residents in the area need to stay tuned and listen to the Hawaii County civil defense messages about evacuations and closures.  Also, gas emissions remain high in the lower east rift zone and people in the vicinity and downwind are at risk of interaction with significant concentrations of gas.

Up here at the summit, we have a continued trend of deflation in the summit area consistent with further reduction of the lava column and the height deep inside the overlook crater.  There’s a voluminous cloud of water condensate or stream coming out of the crater, at times it is tinged with a little bit of ash primarily from rock falls deep within the crater.  We have yet to see any evidence of explosive interaction of groundwater and hot rocks.  This is what we were concerned about and we continue to watch for and wait.  So, the situation across the volcano remains pretty fluid and HVO working with our partners and emergency authorities and our university of Hawaii Partners in addition we’re getting some reinforcements from other U.S. volcano observatories.  We’re continuing to watch things 24/7 and advise about what’s going on.

Thank you.