Kīlauea Volcano Erupts

Release Date:

This is a developing story, so please keep checking the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Kīlauea status website for daily activity updates. In addition, public-domain​ current photos, videos, and maps are available. You can also visit the USGS home page, the USGS Facebook page, and the USGS Twitter feed as updates become available. For press inquiries, please email volcanomedia@usgs.gov.

UPDATE, 5/24/18, 11:04pm HST

Kīlauea Volcano Lower East Rift Zone
Eruption of lava continues in the area of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens. 

Fissure 22 continues to erupt lava that is flowing southeast to the coast and the lava ocean entry. Fountains at Fissures 6 and 13 feed lava into a channel that reached the coast yesterday forming a second ocean entry.

Fissures 7 and 21 are feeding a perched lava pond and pāhoehoe flow that has advanced eastward covering most of the area bounded by Leilani Blvd, Mohala St., and the fissure line. Fissure 17 continues weak spattering, while Fissures 19 and 23 are no longer active.

HVO field crews are on site tracking the fountains, lava flows, and spattering from multiple fissures as conditions allow and reporting information to Hawaii County Civil Defense.

Volcanic gas emissions remain very high from the fissure eruptions.

Magma continues to be supplied to the lower East Rift Zone. Earthquake activity continues, but earthquake locations have not moved farther downrift in the past few days and the number of located earthquakes remains low.

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.

USGS/HVO continues to monitor the lower East Rift Zone activity 24/7 in coordination with Hawaii County Civil Defense.

Kīlauea Volcano Summit
An explosion was detected from the summit Overlook Crater just after 6:00 pm that produced an ash cloud that rose to 10,000 feet above sea level and carried slightly more ash than most recent explosions. The National Weather Service Nexrad radar tracked the cloud for 15-20 minutes. Moderate trade winds were blowing to the southwest and light ash fall likely occurred in downwind locations. 

Earthquakes in the summit area continue at a moderate rate, as does deflation of the summit region. The earthquakes and ash explosions are occurring as the summit area subsides and adjusts to the withdrawal of magma from the summit.

Additional explosive events that could produce minor amounts of ashfall downwind are possible at any time. Volcanic gas emissions at the summit remain high.

For forecasts of where ash would fall if such an explosion occur, please consult the Ash3D model output here: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/activity_2018.html

Information on ash hazards and how to prepare for ashfall maybe found here: http://www.ivhhn.org/information#ash 
 

 

UPDATE, 5/24/18, 8:12am HST

Kīlauea Volcano Lower East Rift Zone
Eruption of lava continues in the area of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens subdivision. 

The middle portion of the fissure system (centered on Pohoiki Rd.) continues to produce the most robust eruptive activity in the Lower East Rift Zone. Overnight, field crews observed that fissure areas 2, 7, 8 and 3, 14, 21 (between Luana and Kaupili St. in Leilani Estates) reactivated and are spattering. Intermittent signals recorded on sensors closest to the two ocean entries suggest they remain active.

View of lava fountain

Fissure 6 fountain, as of around 9:30 a.m. HST today. 

(Credit: M. Patrick, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO). Public domain.)

Volcanic gas emissions remain very high from the fissure eruptions.

For recent maps of activity, see: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_maps.html

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.

Magma continues to be supplied to the lower East Rift Zone. Elevated earthquake activity continues, but earthquake locations have not moved farther downrift in the past couple of days. The number of located earthquakes remains low.

USGS/HVO continues to monitor the lower East Rift Zone activity 24/7 in coordination with Hawaii County Civil Defense. Geologists are onsite to track fissure activity and the advance of lava flows.

This footage is from an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) hovering near fissure 22 during the overnight hours of May 22, 2018, and looking down on the fountaining fissure complex. The view rotates upward (to the south) to track channelized lava as it flows toward the Pacific Ocean, about 3 mi (5 km) away. The ocean entry is in the distance, recognizable by a small plume. The USGS National Unmanned Aircraft Systems Project Office is assisting with remote data collection and mapping of lava flows and hazards. UAS flights into hazardous areas allow USGS scientists to safely view, document, and better understand what's happening with Kīlauea's rapidly changing eruption and to provide information to Hawai‘i County Civil Defense and emergency officials. Video courtesy of the U.S. Department of the Interior Office of Aviation Services.

U.S. Department of the Interior Office of Aviation Services

(Public domain.)

 

Plume rising from the ocean entry

During today's overflight of the ongoing lower East Rift Zone eruption, HVO geologists noted that fissures 6, 13 and 22 were still erupting, with two channelized flows reaching the ocean. The eastern lava channel splits just before reaching the ocean, so it has two entry points, creating a total of three ocean entries on the flow field.

(Public domain.)

Kīlauea Volcano Summit
Small ash emissions from the Overlook crater continued overnight. Moderate trade winds were blowing to the southwest and light ashfall likely occurred in downwind locations. Ash emissions reached 6000' during the most energetic explosions above sea level as observed in the National Weather Service radar, but dispersed quickly.

Earthquakes in the summit area continue at a moderate rate, as does deflation of the summit region. The earthquakes and ash explosions are occurring as the summit area subsides and adjusts to the withdrawal of magma from the summit.

Additional explosive events that could produce minor amounts of ashfall downwind are possible at any time. Volcanic gas emissions at the summit remain high.

For forecasts of where ash would fall if such an explosion occur, please consult the Ash3D model output here: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/activity_2018.html

Information on ash hazards and how to prepare for ashfall maybe found here: http://www.ivhhn.org/information#ash

Summit explosion from webcam

Poor weather at the summit of Kīlauea has obscured views of Halema‘uma‘u for much of today, but a brief break in the weather around noon allowed HVO's webcam to capture this image of an ash plume rising from the crater at 12:17 p.m. HST. Even though weather has obscured visual observations of the ongoing summit explosions, HVO scientists are able to track them using signals from monitoring instruments, such as seismometers.

(Public domain.)

 

 

UPDATE, 5/23/18, 10:46pm HST

Kīlauea Volcano Lower East Rift Zone
Eruption of lava and ground cracking continues in the area of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens subdivision. 

Lava berm across roadway

Fissure 6 builds a lava berm across Pohoiki Road.

(Public domain.)

The middle portion of the fissure system continues to produce the most robust eruptive activity in the Lower East Rift Zone. The fountains from Fissure 22 feed a single lava channel that reaches the coast just north of MacKenzie State Park. The actual point of entry has continued shifting to the west. Fountains erupted from Fissures 5, 6, 13, and 19 continued to feed a lava flow advancing to the south along the west side of Fissure 22 flows that reached the ocean late this afternoon.There are now two ocean entry points that produce occasional small explosions.

Aerial view of lava flow from fissure 22

Helicopter overflight of Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone shows the lava channelemerging from Fissure 22 (not visible, but to the center, far right of the image). The lava is flowing downhill, from right to left in the photo.

(Public domain.)

Volcanic gas emissions remain very high from the fissure eruptions.

For recent maps of activity, see: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_maps.html

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.

Magma continues to be supplied to the lower East Rift Zone. Elevated earthquake activity continues, but earthquake locations have not moved farther downrift in the past couple of days. Only a few earthquakes located yesterday in the rift zone.

USGS/HVO continues to monitor the lower East Rift Zone activity 24/7 in coordination with Hawaii County Civil Defense. Geologists are onsite to track fissure activity and the advance of lava flows.

Kīlauea Volcano Summit
Small ash emissions from the Overlook crater have occurred frequently through the day. Moderate trade winds were blowing to the southwest today and ashfall may be noticed in downwind locations. A small explosion from overlook crater at 6:44 pm produced an ash cloud that reached 7000 feet above sea level as determined by the National Weather Service radar. The cloud did not contain much ash and dispersed quickly.

Ash fall from summit plume

A pulse of ash rises from Halema‘uma‘u as part of semi-continuous emissions at Kīlauea's summit today. Ash can be seen falling from the plume as it is blown downwind in this image, taken around 3:28 p.m. HST.

(Credit: I. Johanson, USGS . Public domain.)

Earthquakes in the summit area continue at a moderate rate, as does deflation of the summit region. At 5:12pm the summit area was shaken by a shallow M3.5 earthquake approximately 0.7 miles below the caldera floor that was felt by people in the area. Many smaller earthquakes followed for the next 1.5 hours. The sequence of earthquakes stopped when an ash explosion occurred at 06:44 pm. The earthquakes and ash explosions are occurring as the summit area subsides and adjusts to the withdrawal of magma from the summit.

Additional explosive events that could produce minor amounts of ashfall downwind are possible at any time. Volcanic gas emissions at the summit remain high.

For forecasts of where ash would fall if such an explosion occur, please consult the Ash3D model output here: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/activity_2018.html

Information on ash hazards and how to prepare for ashfall maybe found here: http://www.ivhhn.org/information#ash 

MORE INFORMATION
Activity Summary also available by phone: (808) 967-8862

Subscribe to these messages: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vns2/

Webcam images: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_webcams.html

Photos/Video: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_chronology.html

Lava Flow Maps: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_maps.html

Definitions of terms used in update: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/extra/definitions.pdf

Overview of Kīlauea summit (Halemaʻumaʻu) and East Rift Zone (Puʻu ʻŌʻō ) eruptions:
https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/extra/background.pdf

Summary of volcanic hazards from Kīlauea eruptions:
https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/extra/hazards.pdf

Recent Earthquakes in Hawai'i (map and list):
https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hvo/earthquakes/

Explanation of Volcano Alert Levels and Aviation Color Codes:
https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/activity/alertsystem/index.php
https://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2006/3139/ 

CONTACT INFORMATION:
askHVO@usgs.gov 

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory is one of five volcano observatories within the U.S. Geological Survey and is responsible for monitoring volcanoes and earthquakes in Hawai`i.

 

 

UPDATE, 5/23/18, 6:05am HST

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory status of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii on May 22, 2018.

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)

(Public domain.)

Kīlauea Volcano Lower East Rift Zone
Eruption of lava and ground cracking continues in the area of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens subdivision. 

The middle portion of the fissure system continues to produce the most robust eruptive activity in the Lower East Rift Zone. The most active fissures have been 22,19, 6, 5, and 23. A faint glow was seen from Fissure 9, but no flows, and methane was observed burning in road cracks overnight. The ocean entry remains active and is producing occasional small explosions. Observers noted the height of the perched lava pond / channel had reached 11 meters / 36 feet above the ground level.

A blue burning flame of methane gas was observed in the cracks on Kahukai Street during the overnight hours. When lava buries plants and shrubs, methane gas is produced as a byproduct of burning vegetation. Methane gas can seep into subsurface voids and explode when heated, or as shown in this video, emerge from cracks in the ground several feet away from the lava. When ignited, the methane produces a blue flame.

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)

(Public domain.)

 

Volcanic gas emissions remain very high from these fissure eruptions.

For recent maps of activity, see: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_maps.html

Additional ground cracking and outbreaks of lava are possible in the area. Residents downslope of the region of fissures should heed all Hawaii County Civil Defense messages and warnings.

Magma continues to be supplied to the lower East Rift Zone. Elevated earthquake activity continues, but earthquake locations have not moved farther downrift in the past couple of days, and there were only a few earthquakes located yesterday in the rift zone.

USGS/HVO continues to monitor the lower East Rift Zone activity 24/7 in coordination with Hawaii County Civil Defense, with geologists onsite to track ongoing and new fissure activity and the advance of lava flows.

Kīlauea Volcano Summit
Small ash emissions from the Overlook crater occurred frequently throughout the night. Moderate trade winds were blowing to the southwest and ashfall may be noticed in downwind locations. Earthquakes in the summit area continue at a moderate rate, as does deflation of the summit region.

Additional explosive events that could produce minor amounts of ashfall downwind are possible at any time. Volcanic gas emissions at the summit remain high.

For forecasts of where ash would fall if such an explosion occur, please consult the Ash3D model output here: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/activity_2018.html

Information on ash hazards and how to prepare for ashfall maybe found here: http://www.ivhhn.org/information#ash

Helicopter overflight of lower East Rift Zone ocean entry and fissure complex on May 23, 2018, around 8:00 AM HST.

(Public domain.)

 

UPDATE, 5/21/18, 10:22pm HST

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory status of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii on May 22, 2018.

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)

(Public domain.)

Kīlauea Volcano Lower East Rift Zone
Eruption of lava and ground cracking continues in the area of Leilani Estates subdivision. 

Over the course of the day, the most active eruptive activity in the Lower East Rift Zone shifted to the middle portion of the system of fissures. The most active fissures were 22,19, 6, 5, and 23. Fissure 17, at the northeastern end of the fissure system is only weakly active now. Fissure 6 is feeding a flow to the south, roughly parallel to the western flow from fissure 22. Fountaining of fissures 5 and 23 fed flows in the eastern part of Leilani Estates. 

For recent maps of activity, see: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_maps.html

Additional ground cracking and outbreaks of lava are possible in the area. Residents downslope of the region of fissures should heed all Count of Hawaii Civil Defense messages and warnings.

Magma continues to be supplied to the lower East Rift Zone. Elevated earthquake activity continues, but earthquake locations have not moved farther downrift in the past couple of days, and there were only a few earthquakes located today in the rift zone.

USGS/HVO continues to monitor the lower East Rift Zone activity 24/7 in coordination with Hawaii County Civil Defense, with geologists onsite to track ongoing and new fissure activity and the advance of lava flows.

solidified lava

Solidified lava from Fissure 17 (located to the east of the currently active fissure complex) has a consistency similar to toothpaste.

(Public domain.)

Kīlauea Volcano Summit
Small ash emissions from the Overlook crater have been occurring frequently today. Moderate trade winds were blowing to the southwest and noticeable ashfall may happen in downwind locations.

Additional explosive events that could produce minor amounts of ashfall downwind are possible at any time. Volcanic gas emissions at the summit remain high.

For forecasts of where ash would fall if such an explosion occur, please consult the Ash3D model output here: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/activity_2018.html

Information on ash hazards and how to prepare for ashfall maybe found here: http://www.ivhhn.org/information#ash 

View of lava flows from helicopter

Aerial view of an active lava break-out.

(Public domain.)

 

 

UPDATE, 5/21/18, 4:11pm HST

LOWER EAST RIFT ZONE
Moderate-level eruption of lava continues from multiple points along the northeast end of the active fissure system. Residents in lower Puna should remain informed and heed Hawaii County Civil Defense closures, warnings, and messages (http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts)

Aerial of lava fountain

Aerial view of erupting fissure 22 and lava channels flowing southward from the fissure during an early morning overflight. View is toward the southwest.

(Courtesy of Volcano Helicopters)

Fissure 22 is erupting a short line of low lava fountains that feed a channelized flow that reaches the coast just north of MacKenzie State Park. Spattering continues from a reactivated Fissures 6 that intermittently feeds a short lava flow. Fissures 17 and 19 continue weak spattering.

HVO field crews are on site tracking the lava flows and spattering from multiple fissures as conditions allow and reporting information to Hawaii County Civil Defense.

For the most recent map showing the locations of activity, please see https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_maps.html These maps are updated as often as possible but may not reflect the most recent changes.

Volcanic gas emissions have tripled as a result of the voluminous eruptions from Fissure 20 so SO2 concentrations are likely elevated to higher levels throughout the area downwind of the vents. Moderate trade winds means that areas downwind of Kilauea gas emission sources may experience varying levels of vog. For forecast information, please see: http://mkwc.ifa.hawaii.edu/vmap/hysplit/

Laze plume from ocean entry

Lava continues to enter the sea at two locations this morning. During this morning's overflight, the wind was blowing the "laze" plumes along the shoreline toward the southwest.

(Public domain.)

For other information about vog, please see:https://vog.ivhhn.org/

This eruption is still evolving and additional outbreaks of lava are possible. Ground deformation has slowed and seismicity levels have decrease in the area. 

Future outbreaks could occur both uprift (southwest) and downrift (northeast) of the existing fissures, or, existing fissures can be reactivated. Communities downslope of these fissures could be at risk from lava inundation. Activity can change rapidly.

Conditions around the erupting fissures can change very quickly. Residents in lower Puna should remain informed and heed Hawaii County Civil Defense closures, warnings, and messages (http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts).

KILAUEA SUMMIT 
One explosive eruption of ash occurred at about 1 am, 5/21/18. Several smaller ash emissions have also taken place and produced abundant ash. Additional explosions possible at any time.

Seismic levels, which abruptly decreased after the recent explosive eruptions, are again slowly increasing.

At this time, based on HVO web cameras, a robust plume of gas and steam is billowing out of the Overlook vent and drifting generally southwest. 

At any time, activity may again become more explosive, increasing the intensity of ash production and producing ballistic projectiles very near the vent. Communities downwind should be prepared for ashfall as long as this activity continues. 

Resources on volcanic ash hazards and preparedness information: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanic_ash/ OR http://www.ivhhn.org/ash-protection

Resources on vog: https://vog.ivhhn.org/

National Weather Service ashfall information and advisories: https://forecast.weather.gov/

Seismicity and deformation continue at the Kilauea summit. Deflation is ongoing. Additional earthquakes in the Kilauea summit area are expected as long as the summit continues to deflate.

Current webcam views are here: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_webcams.html

Aerial view of lava entering ocean

View of ocean entry point from helicopter overflight on May 20, 2018, at 6:45 AM HST. 

(Public domain.)

USGS/HVO continues to monitor the situation at the Kilauea summit and the lower East Rift Zone 24/7 in coordination with Hawaii County Civil Defense and other emergency authorities. HVO geologists are onsite in the area this morning conducting overflights, examining the fissure vent activity for significant changes, and searching for any signs of new or resumed activity.

Please see this link for newly organized information about ash hazards, gas hazards, and the Lower East Rift Zone eruption. https://vog.ivhhn.org/

 

 

UPDATE, 5/20/18, 2:15pm HST

LOWER EAST RIFT ZONE
Moderate-level eruption of lava continues from multiple points along the northeast end of the active fissure system. Residents in lower Puna should remain informed and heed Hawaii County Civil Defense closures, warnings, and messages (http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts)

Fountaining from Fissure 20 on May 19, 2018, around 3:47 PM, HST.

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)

(Public domain.)

Spattering continues from Fissures 6 and 17 with significant lava flows being erupted from Fissures 20. Two of these lava flows from Fissure 20 reached the ocean along the southeast Puna coast overnight; however, a crack opened under the east lava channel early this morning diverting the lava from the channel into underground voids. This may cause changes downslope in the channel system and the ocean entry.

plume rising from ocean entry

Ocean entry photograph from Civil Air Patrol (CAP) overflight taken at about 12:50PM. CAP operates to support the mission of both the USGS HVO and the Hawaii County Civil Defense. Hard to discern here, but there are two entries. The coastal area spanning the entry is about 1 km (0.6 mi) wide with an about 250 m (0.15 mi) Kīpuka separating the two.

(Courtesy: Civil Air Patrol)

Spattering and lava flow at fissure 20 on May 19, 2018, around 3:45 AM, HST. The audio is the sound of lava fountaining.

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)

(Public domain.)

HVO field crews are on site tracking the lava flow and spattering from multiple fissures as conditions allow and reporting information to Hawaii County Civil Defense.

For the most recent map showing the locations of activity, please see https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_maps.html These maps are updated as often as possible but may not reflect the most recent changes.

Volcanic gas emissions have tripled as a result of the voluminous eruptions from Fissure 20 so SO2 concentrations are likely elevated to higher levels throughout the area downwind of the vents. Moderate trade winds today means that areas downwind of Kilauea gas emission sources may experience varying levels of vog. For forecast information, please see: http://mkwc.ifa.hawaii.edu/vmap/hysplit/ 

For other information about vog, please see:https://vog.ivhhn.org/

This eruption is still evolving and additional outbreaks of lava are possible. Ground deformation continues and seismicity remains elevated in the area. 

Future outbreaks could occur both uprift (southwest) and downrift (northeast) of the existing fissures, or, existing fissures can be reactivated. Communities downslope of these fissures could be at risk from lava inundation. Activity can change rapidly.

Conditions around the erupting fissures can change very quickly. Residents in lower Puna should remain informed and heed Hawaii County Civil Defense closures, warnings, and messages (http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts).

KILAUEA SUMMIT 
Over the past day, two explosive eruption of ash have occurred. Several smaller ash emissions have also taken place. Additional explosions possible at any time.

Laze plume rising in the distance

A plume rises from the site of the lava ocean entry, viewed on approach by HVO scientists during an overflight of Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone on May 20, 2018, around 6:45 AM HST.

(Public domain.)

Seismic levels, which abruptly decreased after explosive eruptions on Saturday afternoon and Sunday noon, are again slowly increasing.

At this time, based on HVO web cameras, a robust plume of gas and steam is billowing out of the Overlook vent and drifting generally southwest. 

At any time, activity may again become more explosive, increasing the intensity of ash production and producing ballistic projectiles very near the vent. Communities downwind should be prepared for ashfall as long as this activity continues. 

Resources on volcanic ash hazards and preparedness information: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanic_ash/ OR http://www.ivhhn.org/ash-protection

Resources on vog: https://vog.ivhhn.org/

National Weather Service ashfall information and advisories: https://forecast.weather.gov/

Seismicity and deformation continue at the Kilauea summit. Deflation is ongoing. Additional earthquakes in the Kilauea summit area are expected as long as the summit continues to deflate.

Current webcam views are here: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_webcams.html

USGS/HVO continues to monitor the situation at the Kilauea summit and the lower East Rift Zone 24/7 in coordination with Hawaii County Civil Defense and other emergency authorities. HVO geologists are onsite in the area this morning conducting overflights, examining the fissure vent activity for significant changes, and searching for any signs of new or resumed activity.

Please see this link for newly organized information about ash hazards, gas hazards, and the Lower East Rift Zone eruption. https://vog.ivhhn.org/

Hawaii County Civil Defense messages regarding conditions, warning, and evacuations may be found at http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts/. 

Aerial of lava flow

Helicopter overflight of Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift zone on May 19, 2018, around 8:18 AM, HST. ‘A‘ā lava flows emerging from the elongated fissure 16-20 form channels. The flow direction in this picture is from upper center to the lower left.

(Public domain.)

MORE INFORMATION
Activity Summary also available by phone: (808) 967-8862

Subscribe to these messages: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vns2/

Webcam images: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_webcams.html

Photos/Video: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_chronology.html

Lava Flow Maps: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_maps.html

Definitions of terms used in update: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/extra/definitions.pdf

Overview of Kīlauea summit (Halemaʻumaʻu) and East Rift Zone (Puʻu ʻŌʻō ) eruptions:
https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/extra/background.pdf

Summary of volcanic hazards from Kīlauea eruptions:
https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/extra/hazards.pdf

Recent Earthquakes in Hawai'i (map and list):
https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hvo/earthquakes/

Explanation of Volcano Alert Levels and Aviation Color Codes:
https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/activity/alertsystem/index.php
https://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2006/3139/

Aerial view of lava

Lava fountains from Fissure 20 in Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone. Photo taken May 19, 2018, at 7:37 AM, HST.

(Public domain.)

CONTACT INFORMATION:
askHVO@usgs.gov 

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory is one of five volcano observatories within the U.S. Geological Survey and is responsible for monitoring volcanoes and earthquakes in Hawai`i.

 

 

UPDATE, 5/19/18, 9:16am HST

Kīlauea Volcano Lower East Rift Zone

Eruption of lava and ground cracking in the area of Leilani Estates subdivision continues. 

Beginning yesterday and continuing overnight, the rate of lava eruption has increased. Fountaining is occurring at Fissure 17, and Fissures 16-20 have merged into a continuous line of spatter and fountaining. Flows from the consolidated Fissure 20 crossed upper Pohoiki road late yesterday afternoon and continued flowing southward. This morning, the wide flow is very active and is advancing at rates up to 300 yds per hour. A second flow from the same fissure complex is also flowing southward between Pohoiki and Opihikao Rds. The lava flow from Fissure 18 continues to advance more slowly. Fissure 17 and its flow are still active but the flow is advancing even more slowly. It is unknown whether the flows will continue to advance, or stop, and new lava flows are likely given the rate of activity seen at the rift zone. 

For recent maps of activity, see: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_maps.html.

Additional ground cracking and outbreaks of lava are possible in the area. Residents downslope of the region of fissures should heed all Count of Hawaii Civil Defense messages and warnings.

Magma continues to be supplied to the lower East Rift Zone; however, the GPS instrument near Pu`u Honua`ula is no longer moving suggesting that the rift zone is no longer inflating in this area. Elevated earthquake activity continues, but earthquake locations have not moved farther downrift in the past couple of days.

USGS/HVO continues to monitor the lower East Rift Zone activity 24/7 in coordination with Hawaii County Civil Defense, with geologists onsite to track ongoing and new fissure activity and the advance of lava flows.

Kīlauea Volcano Summit

An explosion occurred around midnight last night at Halema'uma'u with the plume extending 10,000 ft a.s.l. Moderate trade winds were blowing to the southwest and noticeable ashfall was reported from downwind locations.

Additional explosive events that could produce minor amounts of ashfall downwind are possible at any time. Volcanic gas emissions at the summit remain high.

 

UPDATE, 5/19/18, 1:33am HST

Kīlauea Volcano Summit

At 11:58 PM Local time, a short-lived explosion at from Halema'uma'u created an ash cloud that reached up to 10,000 ft asl and was carried southwest by the wind. Possible trace ash fall may have occurred along Highway 11. 

Additional explosive events that could produce minor amounts of ashfall downwind are possible at any time. Volcanic gas emissions at the summit remain high. For forecasts of where ash would fall if such an explosion occur, please consult the Ash3D model output here: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/activity_2018.html.

Information on ash hazards and how to prepare for ashfall maybe found here: http://www.ivhhn.org/information#ash.

Kīlauea Volcano Lower East Rift Zone

Eruption of lava and ground cracking in the area of Leilani Estates subdivision continues. A fast-moving pahoehoe lava flow that emerged from fissure 20 this afternoon continues to flow southeast. The flow has three main lobes. The easternmost is east of Pohoiki Road and is moving about 230 yards per hour. The westernmost of the lobes is near Malamaki Road and is moving at about 40 yards per hour. These rates may change with time and USGS crews are in the area to monitor flow advance. Other fissures remain weakly active and volcanic gas emissions remain elevated throughout the area downwind. Smoke from burning vegetation as lava flows advance is also contributing to poor air quality.

For recent maps of activity, see: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_maps.html.

Additional ground cracking and outbreaks of lava are possible in the area. Residents downslope of the region of fissures should heed all Count of Hawaii Civil Defense messages and warnings.

Magma continues to be supplied to the lower East Rift Zone as indicated by the continued northwest displacement of a GPS monitoring station. Elevated earthquake activity continues, but earthquake locations have not moved farther downrift in the past couple of days.

USGS/HVO continues to monitor the lower East Rift Zone activity 24/7 in coordination with Hawaii County Civil Defense, with geologists onsite to track ongoing and new fissure activity and the advance of lava flows. 

 

UPDATE, 5/18/18, 7:53pm HST

Kīlauea Lower East Rift Zone Fissures and Flows, May 18 at 1:00 p.m. HST

This map shows the eruption fissures and flows at Kilauea's Lower East Rift Zone at 1 p.m. HST, May 18. Shaded purple areas indicate lava flows erupted in 1840, 1955, 1960, and 2014-2015. (Public domain.)

Kīlauea Volcano Lower East Rift Zone

Eruption of lava and ground cracking in the area of Leilani Estates subdivision continues. Late this afternoon, a fast-moving pahoehoe lava flow emerged from fissure 20 and traveled southeast where it crossed Pohoiki Road. Estimates from Hawaii County Fire Department aerial video at 6:30 pm indicate advance rate of 300-400 yards per hour; this rate may change with time and USGS crews are in the area to try and monitor flow advance. Other fissures remain weakly active and volcanic gas emissions remain elevated throughout the area downwind. Smoke from burning vegetation as lava flows advance is also contributing to poor air quality.

For recent maps of activity, see: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_maps.html.

Additional ground cracking and outbreaks of lava are possible in the area. Residents downslope of the region of fissures should heed all Count of Hawaii Civil Defense messages and warnings.

Magma continues to be supplied to the lower East Rift Zone as indicated by the continued northwest displacement of a GPS monitoring station. Elevated earthquake activity continues, but earthquake locations have not moved farther downrift in the past couple of days.

USGS/HVO continues to monitor the lower East Rift Zone activity 24/7 in coordination with Hawaii County Civil Defense, with geologists onsite to track ongoing and new fissure activity and the advance of lava flows.

Kīlauea Volcano Summit

For much of the day, a steady, white steam plume rose from the Overlook vent within Halema'uma'u. Several minor emissions of ash were observed in web cameras. No significant explosions and no earthquakes greater than magnitude 3.5 have occurred in the summit area in the past 24 hours. Background seismic levels have been increasing slowly over the course of the day.

Additional explosive events that could produce minor amounts of ashfall downwind are possible at any time. Volcanic gas emissions at the summit remain high. For forecasts of where ash would fall if such an explosion occurs, please consult the Ash3D model output here: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/activity_2018.html.

Information on ash hazards and how to prepare for ashfall maybe found here: http://www.ivhhn.org/information#ash

 

UPDATE, 5/18/18, 8:52am HST

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory status of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii on May 18, 2018. (Public domain.)

Please see this new section of the HVO web site for information on the ongoing activity at Kilauea Volcano: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/activity_2018.html.

LOWER EAST RIFT ZONE

  • Moderate-level eruption of lava continues from multiple points along the central and northeast end of the active fissure system. Residents in lower Puna should remain informed and heed Hawaii County Civil Defense closures, warnings, and messages: http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts.
  • Spattering continues from Fissures 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, and 22 with pahoehoe lava flows being erupted from Fissures 17, 18, and 20.
  • HVO field crews are on site tracking the lava flow and spattering from multiple fissures as conditions allow and reporting information to Hawaii County Civil Defense.
  • For the most recent map showing the locations of activity, please see https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_maps.html. These maps are updated as often as possible but may not reflect the most recent changes.
  • Volcanic gas emissions remain elevated throughout the area downwind of the vents. Weak winds today means that other areas of Hawaii Island may experience varying levels of vog. For forecast information, please see: http://mkwc.ifa.hawaii.edu/vmap/hysplit/. For other information about vog, please see: https://vog.ivhhn.org/.
  • This eruption is still evolving and additional outbreaks of lava are possible. Ground deformation continues and seismicity remains elevated in the area. 
  • Future outbreaks could occur both uprift (southwest) and downrift (northeast) of the existing fissures, or, existing fissures can be reactivated. Communities downslope of these fissures could be at risk from lava inundation. Activity can change rapidly.
  • Conditions around the erupting fissures can change very quickly. Residents in lower Puna should remain informed and heed Hawaii County Civil Defense closures, warnings, and messages: http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts.

KILAUEA SUMMIT 

  • No explosive eruption of ash have occurred since Thursday morning. Additional explosions possible at any time.
  • Seismic levels, which abruptly decreased after explosive eruptions on Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, are slowly increasing.
  • At this time, based on HVO web cameras, a robust plume of gas and steam is billowing out of the Overlook vent and drifting generally southwest. 
  • At any time, activity may again become more explosive, increasing the intensity of ash production and producing ballistic projectiles very near the vent. Communities downwind should be prepared for ashfall as long as this activity continues. 
  • Resources on volcanic ash hazards and preparedness information: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanic_ash/ OR http://www.ivhhn.org/ash-protection.
  • National Weather Service ashfall information and advisories: https://forecast.weather.gov/.
  • Seismicity and deformation continue at the Kilauea summit. Deflation is ongoing. Additional earthquakes in the Kilauea summit area are expected as long as the summit continues to deflate.
  • Current webcam views are here: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_webcams.html.

REMARKS

  • USGS/HVO continues to monitor the situation at the Kilauea summit and the lower East Rift Zone 24/7 in coordination with Hawaii County Civil Defense and other emergency authorities. HVO geologists are onsite in the area this morning conducting overflights, examining the fissure vent activity for significant changes, and searching for any signs of new or resumed activity.
  • Please see this link for newly organized information about ash hazards, gas hazards, and the Lower East Rift Zone eruption: https://vog.ivhhn.org/.
  • Hawaii County Civil Defense messages regarding conditions, warning, and evacuations may be found at http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts/
     

UPDATE, 5/17/18, 4:54pm HST

Kīlauea Volcano Summit

  • After the explosive eruption early this morning seismic levels have been gradually increasing, but as of this report no additional explosions have occurred.
  • No earthquakes greater than magnitude 3.5 have occurred in the past day.
  • Volcanic gas emissions at the summit remain high.

Kīlauea Lower East Rift Zone

  • This afternoon, fissure 17 is still actively spattering but the flow is nearly stalled. In addition, fissures 18, 19, and 20 have reactivated and a new fissure (21) has opened between fissures 7 and 3. An area 50-100 yards wide, parallel to and north of the line of fissures between Highway 130 and Lanipuna Gardens, has dropped slightly. This long depression is currently being filled by pahoehoe lava flows from fissures 20 and 21. 
  • Volcanic gas emissions remain elevated throughout the area downwind of the fissures. 
  • Magma continues to be supplied to the lower East Rift Zone as indicated by the continued northwest displacement of a GPS monitoring station. Elevated earthquake activity continues, but earthquake locations have not moved farther downrift in the past couple of days.
  • USGS/HVO continues to monitor the lower East Rift Zone activity 24/7 in coordination with Hawaii County Civil Defense, with geologists onsite to track ongoing and new fissure activity and the advance of lava flows. 
     

UPDATE, 5/17/18, 10:40am HST

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory status of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii on May 17, 2018. (Public domain)

LOWER EAST RIFT ZONE

Low-level eruption of lava continues from multiple points along the northeast end of the active fissure system. Residents in lower Puna should remain informed and heed Hawaii County Civil Defense closures, warnings, and messages: http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts.

Spattering continues from Fissure 17 but the lava flow erupted from the fissure has not advanced significantly over the past day. 

HVO field crews are on site tracking the lava flow and spattering from multiple fissures as conditions allow and reporting information to Hawaii County Civil Defense.

For the most recent map showing the locations of activity, please see https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_maps.html. These maps are updated as often as possible but may not reflect the most recent changes.

Volcanic gas emissions remain elevated throughout the area downwind of the vents. Weak winds today means that other areas of Hawaii Island may experience varying levels of vog. For forecast information, please see: http://mkwc.ifa.hawaii.edu/vmap/hysplit/ 

For other information about vog, please see: https://vog.ivhhn.org/.

This eruption is still evolving and additional outbreaks of lava are possible. Ground deformation continues and seismicity remains elevated in the area. 

Future outbreaks could occur both uprift (southwest) and downrift (northeast) of the existing fissures, or, existing fissures can be reactivated. Communities downslope of these fissures could be at risk from lava inundation. Activity can change rapidly.

Conditions around the erupting fissures can change very quickly. Residents in lower Puna should remain informed and heed Hawaii County Civil Defense closures, warnings, and messages: http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts.

KILAUEA SUMMIT 

Explosive eruption of ash this morning. Additional explosions possible at any time.

Just after 4 am this morning, an explosion or series of explosions from the Overlook vent within Halemaumau crater at Kilauea Volcano's summit produced a volcanic cloud that reached as high as 30,000 ft asl based on NWS radar information. The cloud drifted generally northeast and traces of ash fell with rain in the Volcano Golf Course, Volcano Village, and other areas immediately around the Kilauea summit. 

At this time, based on HVO web cameras, a robust plume of gas, steam, and some ash is billowing out of the Overlook vent and drifting generally southwest. 

At any time, activity may again become more explosive, increasing the intensity of ash production and producing ballistic projectiles very near the vent. Communities downwind should be prepared for ashfall as long as this activity continues. 

Seismicity and deformation continue at the Kilauea summit. Deflation is ongoing. Additional earthquakes in the Kilauea summit area are expected as long as the summit continues to deflate.

REMARKS

USGS/HVO continues to monitor the situation at the Kilauea summit and the lower East Rift Zone 24/7 in coordination with Hawaii County Civil Defense and other emergency authorities. HVO geologists are onsite in the area this morning conducting overflights, examining the fissure vent activity for significant changes, and searching for any signs of new or resumed activity.

 

UPDATE, 5/17/18, 6:33am HST

Volcanic Activity Summary: At about 0415 local time this morning, an explosion from the Overlook vent within Halemaumau crater at Kilauea Volcano's summit produced a volcanic cloud that reaches as high as 30,000 ft asl and drifted northeast. Continued emissions from the crater are reaching as high as 12,000 ft asl. 

At any time, activity may again become more explosive, increasing the intensity of ash production and producing ballistic projectiles near the vent. 

Recent Observations: 

  • Volcanic cloud height up to 30,000 ft asl 
  • Other volcanic cloud information: Drifting generally northeast 

Hazard Analysis: 

  • The ash cloud is drifting downwind to the northeast. 
  • Ashfall has been reported in Volcanoes National Park, and may occur further downwind. 
  • Ballistic projectiles may be produced should steam-driven explosions occur. Impacts will be limited to an area around Halemaumau. 
  • Volcanic gas: Vog or volcanic air pollution produced by volcanic gas has been reported in Pahala. 

Remarks: Photos of this activity may be found here: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/kilauea_multimedia_15.html

 

UPDATE, 5/16/18, 8:52am HST

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory status of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii on May 16, 2018. (Public domain.)

LOWER EAST RIFT ZONE 

Low-level eruption of lava continues from multiple points along the northeast end of the active fissure system. Residents in lower Puna should remain informed and heed Hawaii County Civil Defense closures, warnings, and messages: http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts.

Lava flows from fissure 17 have advanced little over the past day. Field crew estimates are an advance of only 100 yards. 

HVO field crews are on site tracking the lava flow and spattering from multiple fissures as conditions allow and reporting information to Hawaii County Civil Defense.

For the most recent map showing the locations of activity, please see https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_maps.html. These maps are updated as often as possible but may not reflect the most recent changes.

Volcanic gas emissions remain elevated throughout the area downwind of the vents. An interruption in trade winds today means that other areas of Hawaii Island may experience varying levels of vog. For forecast information, please see: http://mkwc.ifa.hawaii.edu/vmap/hysplit/.

For other information about vog, please see: https://vog.ivhhn.org/.

This eruption is still evolving and additional outbreaks of lava are possible. Ground deformation continues and seismicity remains elevated in the area. 
Future outbreaks could occur both uprift (southwest) and downrift (northeast) of the existing fissures, or, existing fissures can be reactivated. Communities downslope of these fissures could be at risk from lava inundation. Activity can change rapidly. 

Conditions around the erupting fissures can change very quickly. Residents in lower Puna should remain informed and heed Hawaii County Civil Defense closures, warnings, and messages: http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts.

KILAUEA SUMMIT 

Yesterday, ash emissions from the Overlook vent inside Halemaumau varied greatly in intensity with abrupt increases likely associated with large rockfalls deep into the vent. A number of these periods of increased ash emission sent plumes as high as 10,000 feet above sea level, with the cloud drifting downwind and dusting communities from Pahala to Discovery Harbor with ash. Yesterday's ash clouds were visible from many vantage points in east Hawaii. Because of the increase in ash emission and higher altitudes of ash, HVO assigned an aviation color code RED to indicated significant ash emission that is a hazard to aircraft. We are remaining at RED this morning anticipating further ash events which may continue for the foreseeable future. Communities downwind should expect intermittent ashfall. 

This morning dense ballistic blocks up to 60 cm (2 feet) across were found in the parking lot a few hundred yards from Halemaumau. These reflect the most energetic explosions yet observed and could reflect the onset of steam-driven explosive activity. Further observations are necessary to asses this interpretation. Additional such explosions are expected and could be more powerful. 

Seismicity and deformation continue at the Kilauea summit. Deflation is ongoing. Several strongly felt earthquakes have occurred over the past day, likely caused by ongoing deflation of the summit area. These are expected to continue.

Current webcam views are here: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_webcams.html.

For information on ash hazards and how to mitigate impacts please see: http://www.ivhhn.org/ash-protection.

REMARKS

USGS/HVO continues to monitor the situation at the Kilauea summit and the lower East Rift Zone 24/7 in coordination with Hawaii County Civil Defense and other emergency authorities. HVO geologists are onsite in the area this morning conducting overflights, examining the fissure vent activity for significant changes, and searching for any signs of new or resumed activity.

Please see this link for newly organized information about ash hazards, gas hazards, and the Lower East Rift Zone eruption. https://vog.ivhhn.org/.

Hawaii County Civil Defense messages regarding conditions, warning, and evacuations may be found at http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts/
 

UPDATE, 5/15/18, 1:23pm HST

HVO/USGS Volcanic Activity Notice: Aviation Color Code changed from ORANGE to RED

Volcano: Kilauea (VNUM #332010)

Current Volcano Alert Level: WARNING

Current Aviation Color Code: RED 
Previous Aviation Color Code: ORANGE

Issued: Tuesday, May 15, 2018, 1:23 PM HST
Source: Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
Notice Number: 
Location: N 19 deg 25 min W 155 deg 17 min
Elevation: 4091 ft (1247 m) 
Area: Hawaii 

Volcanic Activity Summary: As of early this morning, eruption of ash from the Overlook vent within Halemaumau crater at Kilauea Volcano's summit has generally increased in intensity. Ash has been rising nearly continuously from the vent and drifting downwind to the southwest. Ashfall and vog (volcanic air pollution) has been reported in Pahala, about 18 miles downwind. NWS radar and pilot reports indicate the top of the ash cloud is as high as 10,000 to 12,000 feet above sea level, but this may be expected to vary depending on the vigor of activity and wind conditions. 

Ash emission from the Kilauea summit vent will likely be variable with periods of increased and decreased intensity depending on the occurrence of rockfalls into the vent and other changes within the vent. 

At any time, activity may become more explosive, increasing the intensity of ash production and producing ballistic projectiles near the vent. 

Resource on volcanic ash hazards: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanic_ash/

Resource on vog: https://vog.ivhhn.org/

Recent Observations: 
[Volcanic cloud height] 10,000 - 12,000 feet 
[Other volcanic cloud information] Drifting generally southwest with tradewinds. 

Hazard Analysis: 
[Ash cloud] The ashcloud is drifting downwind primarily to the southwest with the Trade Winds. Wind conditions are expected to change in the next 24 hours and other areas around Kilauea's summit are likely to receive ashfall. 
[Ashfall] Ashfall has been reported in the community of Pahala, at locations along Highway 11 from Pahala to Volcano, and in the Ka'u Desert section of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. 
[Other hazards] Ballistic projectiles may be produced should steam-driven explosions occur. Impacts will be limited to an area around Halemaumau. 
[Volcanic gas] Vog or volcanic air pollution produced by volcanic gas has been reported in Pahala. 

Remarks: Photos of this activity may be found at https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/kilauea_multimedia_15.html
 

UPDATE, 5/15/18, 12:28pm HST

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory status update of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii on May 15, 2018. (Public domain.)

Kīlauea Lower East Rift Zone

This morning, eruptive activity remained concentrated at fissure 17, with intermittent lava spattering at fissure 18. Earlier this morning, a new fissure (20) located near fissure 18 produced two small pads of lava. The 'a'ā flow spreading from fissure 17 advanced about 380 m (1,250 ft) since 2:30 p.m. HST yesterday. The advance of the flow has slowed significantly since yesterday afternoon. At 6:45 a.m. the flow was nearly 2.5 km (1.5 mi) in length.

Volcanic gas emissions remain elevated throughout the area downwind of the fissures. 

Magma continues to be supplied to the lower East Rift Zone as indicated by the continued northwest displacement of a GPS monitoring station. Elevated earthquake activity continues, but earthquake locations have not moved farther downrift in the past couple of days.

USGS/HVO continues to monitor the lower East Rift Zone activity 24/7 in coordination with Hawaii County Civil Defense, with geologists onsite to track ongoing and new fissure activity and the advance of lava flows. 

 

UPDATE, 5/15/18, 9:41am HST

Kīlauea Volcano Summit

Ash emission from the Overlook crater within Halemaumau has generally increased this morning compared to previous days. Although varying in intensity, at times the plume contains enough ash to be gray in color. The cloud is rising an estimated 3 to 4,000 feet above the ground, but altitudes are varying with pulses of emission. The ash cloud is drifting generally west and southwest from the Kilauea summit and ashfall is occurring in the Ka'u Desert. Communities downwind are likely to receive ashfall today and should take necessary precautions. 

The National Weather Service has issued a Special Weather Statement regarding ashfall, please see: http://www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl/.

For information on the hazards of volcanic ash and how to prepare your home or business, please see https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanic_ash/.

Earthquake activity in the summit remains elevated with several strongly felt events at HVO today. Most of these earthquakes are related to the ongoing subsidence of the summit area and earthquakes beneath the south flank of the volcano.

For information on volcanic ash, please see https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanic_ash/.

 

UPDATE, 5/14/18, 8:36am HST

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory status of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii on May 14, 2018 by scientist in charge Tina Neal.

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)

(Public domain.)

LOWER EAST RIFT ZONE 
Eruption of lava continues from multiple points along the northeast end of the active fissure system. Residents in lower Puna should remain informed and heed Hawaii County Civil Defense closures, warnings, and messages (http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts)

This morning, activity is dominated by lava fountaining, explosion of spatter more than 100 feet into the air, and an advancing lava flow from fissure 17 at the northeast end of the fissure system. As of 630am HST,  the fissure 17 flow had traveled just under a mile roughly east-southeast parallel to the rift zone. It is turning slightly south and at this time is about one half mile south of Highway 132. 

Fissure 18 that became active late yesterday (5/13/18) is weakly active.

A fissure 19 has been spotted very near fissure 15 as of about 8 am just northeast of Pohoiki Road and north of Hinalo Street at the east end of Lanipuna Gardens. It is producing a sluggish lava flow. 

Volcanic gas emissions remain elevated throughout the area downwind of the vents. Yesterday with the onset of activity at fissure 17, powerful steam jets have occurred intermittently near the west end of the fissure. These jets may be responsible for some of the loud sounds reported by residents and emergency workers. 

For the most recent map showing the locations of activity, please see https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_maps.html

HVO field crews are on site tracking the lava flow as conditions allow and reporting information to Hawaii County Civil Defense. 

This eruption is still evolving and additional outbreaks of lava are possible. Ground deformation continues and seismicity remains elevated in the area. 

The location of future outbreaks could include areas both uprift (southwest) and downrift (northeast) of the existing fissures, or, existing fissures can be reactivated. Communities downslope of these fissures could be at risk from lava inundation. Activity can change rapidly. 

Conditions around the erupting fissures can change very quickly. Residents in lower Puna should remain informed and heed Hawaii County Civil Defense closures, warnings, and messages (http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts).

KILAUEA SUMMIT
Deflationary tilt at the summit of the volcano continues and seismicity remains elevated. Last night several strong earthquakes shook HVO and the surrounding area. 

This morning, a steady, vigorous plume of steam and occasionally minor amounts of ash is rising from the Overlook vent and drifting downwind to the southwest. As has been observed over the past several days, occasional rockfalls into the deep vent are expected produce intermittent pulses of slightly more vigorous ash emissions. Depending on wind conditions, dustings of ash may occur in the Kilauea summit area and downwind. More energetic ash emissions are possible if explosive activity commences.

Current webcam views are here: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_webcams.html

USGS/HVO continues to monitor the situation at the summit and the lower East Rift Zone 24/7 in coordination with Hawaii County Civil Defense and other emergency authorities. HVO geologists are onsite in the area this morning conducting overflights, examining the fissure vent activity for significant changes, and searching for any signs of new or resumed activity.

Please see this link for newly organized information about ash hazards, gas hazards, and the Lower East Rift Zone eruption. https://vog.ivhhn.org/

Hawaii County Civil Defense messages regarding conditions, warning, and evacuations may be found at http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts/. 
 

 

UPDATE, 5/13/18, 8:28pm HST

Lower East Rift Zone Eruption
Eruption of lava continues from the northeast end of the active fissure system. Residents in lower Puna should remain informed and heed Hawaii County Civil Defense closures, warnings, and messages (http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts). 

As of late May 13th, activity was dominated by lava fountaining, explosion of spatter bombs hundreds of feet into the air, and several advancing lava flow lobes moving generally northeast from fissure 17 at the downrift (northeast) end of the new fissure system. As of about 7 pm, one lobe was 2 yards thick and advancing roughly parallel to Highway 132. The flow front was just over a half mile southeast of the intersection of Highway 132 and Noni Farms Road. 

Based on overflight images late this afternoon, additional lava from fissure 17 was also moving slowly southeast. Volcanic gas emissions remain elevated.

For the most recent map showing the locations of activity, please see https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_maps.html

HVO field crews are on site tracking the lava flow as conditions allow and reporting information to Hawaii County Civil Defense. 

This eruption is still evolving and additional outbreaks of lava are possible. The location of future outbreaks could include areas both uprift (southwest) and downrift (northeast) of the existing fissures, or, existing fissures can be reactivated. Communities downslope of these fissures could be at risk from lava inundation. Activity can change rapidly.

For information on volcanic air pollution, please see: http://www.ivhhn.org/vog/

Kīlauea Volcano Summit
Deflationary tilt continues. A robust plume of steam and volcanic gas, occasionally mixed with ash, has risen from the Overlook crater within Halemaumau. Over the course of the day, rockfalls from the steep walls enclosing the Overlook crater generated ash clouds mixed with steam and gas intermittently throughout the day. These ash clouds have been relatively low concentration and have risen at most only a few thousand feet above the ground, a few generating very localized ashfall downwind. More explosive activity generating larger ash clouds remains possible and can occur with no warning. 

Earthquake activity in the summit remains elevated with several strongly felt events at HVO today. Most of these earthquakes are related to the ongoing subsidence of the summit area and earthquakes beneath the south flank of the volcano.

For information on volcanic ash, please see: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanic_ash/ 

MORE INFORMATION
Activity Summary also available by phone: (808) 967-8862

Subscribe to these messages: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vns2/

Webcam images: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_webcams.html

Photos/Video: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_chronology.html

Lava Flow Maps: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_maps.html

Definitions of terms used in update: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/extra/definitions.pdf

Overview of Kīlauea summit (Halemaʻumaʻu) and East Rift Zone (Puʻu ʻŌʻō ) eruptions:
https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/extra/background.pdf

Summary of volcanic hazards from Kīlauea eruptions:
https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/extra/hazards.pdf

Recent Earthquakes in Hawai'i (map and list):
https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hvo/earthquakes/

Explanation of Volcano Alert Levels and Aviation Color Codes:
https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/activity/alertsystem/index.php
https://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2006/3139/ 

CONTACT INFORMATION:
askHVO@usgs.gov 

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory is one of five volcano observatories within the U.S. Geological Survey and is responsible for monitoring volcanoes and earthquakes in Hawai`i.

 

 

UPDATE, 5/13/18, 8:25am HST

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

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)

(Public domain.)

LOWER EAST RIFT ZONE 
Eruption of lava continues along Kilauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone. A new outbreak early this morning just over a half mile northeast of the end of Hinalo St. and about one half mile south of highway 132 has been confirmed. Hawaii County Civil Defense reports the outbreak is on Halekamahina Loop Road. Aerial observations of this new fissure indicate it is at least several hundreds yards long and producing spatter rising many tens of feet into the air. A slow-moving lava flow is moving away from the vent. 

Elevated earthquake activity and ground deformation continue and additional outbreaks in the area remain likely. 

Conditions around the erupting fissures can change very quickly. Residents in lower Puna should remain informed and heed Hawaii County Civil Defense closures, warnings, and messages (http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts).

KILAUEA SUMMIT
Deflationary tilt at the summit of the volcano continues and seismicity remains elevated. This morning, a steady, vigorous plume of steam and occasionally minor amounts of ash is rising from the Overlook vent and drifting downwind to the southwest. As has been observed over the past several days, occasional rockfalls into the deep vent are expected produce intermittent pulses of slightly more vigorous ash emissions. Depending on wind conditions, dustings of ash may occur in the Kilauea summit area and downwind. More energetic ash emissions are possible if explosive activity commences.

Current webcam views are here: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_webcams.html

USGS/HVO continues to monitor the situation at the summit and the lower East Rift Zone 24/7 in coordination with Hawaii County Civil Defense and other emergency authorities. HVO geologists are onsite conducting overflights, examining the fissure vent activity for significant changes, and searching for any signs of new or resumed activity.

Please see this link for newly organized information about ash hazards, gas hazards, and the Lower East Rift Zone eruption. https://vog.ivhhn.org/

 

 

UPDATE, 5/12/18, 7:07pm HST

An aerial view of fissure 16, located about 1.3 km (0.8 miles) northeast of fissure 15 (top left).

5/12/18, 08:27 a.m. HST - An aerial view of fissure 16, located about 1.3 km (0.8 miles) northeast of fissure 15 (top left). The fissure is located 500 m northeast of the Puna Geothermal Venture site (top right). Photograph courtesy of Hawai`i County Fire Department.

(Public domain.)

Lower East Rift Zone Eruption
A new outbreak has been reported at 6:00 pm (5/12/18) just east of fissure 16. Lava from this latest outbreak is actively spattering and degassing but no flow has yet formed. This area was actively steaming earlier in the day. The new fissure (17) is about a half mile northeast from the end of Hinalo Road, very close to fissure 16 that opened about 6:45 am. Activity at fissure 16 produced a lava flow that traveled about 250 yards before stalling about 2:30 pm.

HVO field crews are on site and evaluating the new outbreak. 

Earthquake activity, ground deformation, and continuing high emission rates of sulphur dioxide in the area indicate additional outbreaks of lava are likely as this eruption continues. The location of future outbreaks could include areas both uprift (southwest) and downrift (northeast) of the existing fissures, or, existing fissures can be reactivated. Communities downslope of these fissures could be at risk from lava inundation. 

Residents in lower Puna should remain informed and heed Hawaii County Civil Defense closures, warnings, and messages (http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts). 

For maps showing the locations of activity, please see https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_maps.html

For information on volcanic air pollution, please see: http://www.ivhhn.org/vog/
 

5/12/18, 12:57 p.m. HST - Lava was slowly advancing from fissure 16.

5/12/18, 12:57 p.m. HST - Lava was slowly advancing from fissure 16.

(Public domain.)

Kīlauea Volcano Summit
Deflationary tilt continues. Based on this and field observations of the past two days, the lava lake level continues to drop. Over the course of the day, rockfalls from the steep enclosing crater walls have generated small ash clouds mixed with white condensed water vapor intermittently throughout the day. These ash clouds have been relatively low concentration and have risen only a few thousand feet above the ground, a few generating very localized ashfall downwind. More explosive activity generating larger ash clouds remains possible and can occur with no warning. 

Earthquake activity in the summit remains elevated with several felt events at HVO today. Many of these earthquakes are related to the ongoing subsidence of the summit area and earthquakes beneath the south flank of the volcano.

For information on volcanic ash, please see: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanic_ash/ 

MORE INFORMATION
Activity Summary also available by phone: (808) 967-8862

Subscribe to these messages: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vns2/

Webcam images: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_webcams.html

Photos/Video: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_chronology.html

Lava Flow Maps: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_maps.html

Definitions of terms used in update: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/extra/definitions.pdf

Overview of Kīlauea summit (Halemaʻumaʻu) and East Rift Zone (Puʻu ʻŌʻō ) eruptions:
https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/extra/background.pdf

Summary of volcanic hazards from Kīlauea eruptions:
https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/extra/hazards.pdf

Recent Earthquakes in Hawai'i (map and list):
https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hvo/earthquakes/

Explanation of Volcano Alert Levels and Aviation Color Codes:
https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/activity/alertsystem/index.php
https://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2006/3139/ 

CONTACT INFORMATION:
askHVO@usgs.gov 

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory is one of five volcano observatories within the U.S. Geological Survey and is responsible for monitoring volcanoes and earthquakes in Hawai`i.

 

 

UPDATE, 5/12/18, 9:10am HST

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory status of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii on May 12, 2018 by scientist in charge Tina Neal.

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)

(Public domain.)

LOWER EAST RIFT ZONE 
Minor spattering activity has been reported from a new fissure (16) that has opened about 0645 this morning about 1 mile northeast of fissure 15 at the northeast end of the existing vent system. No significant lava flow from this new fissure has been reported or observed at this time, but conditions could change quickly. Elevated earthquake activity and ground deformation continue and additional outbreaks in the area remain likely. 

Residents in lower Puna should remain informed and heed Hawaii County Civil Defense closures, warnings, and messages (http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts).

KILAUEA SUMMIT
Deflationary tilt at the summit of the volcano continues and seismicity remains elevated. This morning, a steady, vigorous plume of steam and variable amounts of ash is rising from the Overlook vent. Occasional rockfalls into the deep vent will produce intermittent pulses of slightly more vigorous ash emissions. Depending on wind conditions, dustings of ash may occur in the Kilauea summit area and downwind. More energetic ash emissions are possible if explosive activity commences.

This morning's trade winds are carrying the plume and ash to the southwest of the Kilauea summit. Trade wind conditions are expected to continue according to current forecasts.

Current webcam views are here: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_webcams.html

USGS/HVO continues to monitor the situation at the summit and the lower East Rift Zone 24/7 in coordination with Hawaii County Civil Defense and other authorities. Field crews are onsite in the Leilani Estates area this morning examining the fissure vents and searching for any signs of new or resumed activity.

Please see this link for newly organized information about ash hazards, gas hazards, and the Lower East Rift Zone eruption. https://vog.ivhhn.org/

Hawaii County Civil Defense messages regarding conditions, warning, and evacuations may be found at http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts/.

 

 

UPDATE, 5/11/18, 4:39pm HST

Lower East Rift Zone Eruption
Volcanic unrest in the lower East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano continues. While no lava has been emitted from any of the 15 fissure vents since May 9, earthquake activity, ground deformation, and continuing high emission rates of sulphur dioxide indicate additional outbreaks of lava are likely. The location of future outbreaks is not known with certainty, but could include areas both uprift (southwest) and downrift (northeast) of the existing fissures, or resumption of activity at existing fissures. Communities downslope of these fissures could be at risk from lava inundation. 

Residents in lower Puna should remain informed and heed Hawaii County Civil Defense closures, warnings, and messages (http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts). 

For maps showing the locations of eruption features, please see https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_maps.html

For information on volcanic air pollution, please see: http://www.ivhhn.org/vog/

Kīlauea Volcano Summit
Tiltmeters at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano continue to record deflationary tilt. Based on this and field observations of the past two days, the lava lake level continues to drop. Rockfalls from the steep crater walls have generated small ash clouds mixed with white condensed water vapor intermittently throughout the day. These ash clouds have been relatively low concentration and have risen only a few thousand feet above the ground generating very localized ashfall. More explosive activity generating larger ash clouds remains possible.

Earthquake activity in the summit remains elevated. Many of these earthquakes are related to the ongoing subsidence of the summit area and earthquakes beneath the south flank of the volcano.

For information on volcanic ash, please see: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanic_ash/

 

 

UPDATE, 5/11/18, 6:49am HST

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory status of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii on May 11, 2018 by scientist in charge Tina Neal.

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)

(Public domain.)

 

A pause in active eruption of spatter and lava along Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone continued overnight in to 5/11/18. However, earthquake activity and ground deformation continue and additional outbreaks in the general area of Leilani Estates are likely. Overnight, earthquake activity was concentrated on the downrift (east) side of the existing Leilani fissures. High levels of sulfur dioxide continue to be released from the fissure system. 

Deflationary tilt at the summit of the volcano continues and seismicity remains elevated. This morning, a steady plume of steam is rising from the Overlook vent. It is expected that occasional rockfalls into the deep vent will produce intermittent, low-level ash emissions. Depending on wind conditions, dustings of ash may occur in the Kilauea summit area and downwind. More energetic ash emissions are possible. 

Current webcam views are here: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_webcams.html

An ash plume rose from the Overlook crater at Kīlauea's summit.

At 9:06 a.m. HST, 5/11/18, an ash plume rose from the Overlook crater at Kīlauea's summit. Similar to recent plumes, this event was likely caused by a rockfall from the crater's steep walls. The plume's reddish color is most likely from altered rock and ash fragments that fell into the deepening conduit.

(Public domain.)

USGS/HVO continues to monitor the situation at the summit and the lower East Rift Zone 24/7 in coordination with Hawaii County Civil Defense and other authorities. Field crews are onsite in the Leilani Estates area this morning examining the fissure vents and searching for any signs of new or resumed activity.

Please see this link for newly organized information about ash hazards, gas hazards, and the Lower East Rift Zone eruption. https://vog.ivhhn.org/

Hawaii County Civil Defense messages regarding conditions, warning, and evacuations may be found at http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts/. 

 

 

UPDATE, 5/10/18, 6:51pm HST

Lower East Rift Zone Eruption
High levels of unrest related to the intermittent eruption of lava in Leilani Estates in the lower East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano continue. While no lava was noted erupting from any of the 15 fissure vents formed thus far, earthquake activity, ground deformation, and continuing high emission rates of sulphur dioxide indicate additional outbreaks of lava are likely. The location of future outbreaks is not known with certainty, but could include areas both uprift (southwest) and downrift (northeast) of the existing fissures, or resumption of activity at existing fissures. 

Earthquake activity was high in the area today. Continuing ground deformation and located earthquakes were mostly in the area around and northeast of Fissure 15 at Pohoiki Road indicating that the intrusion is migrating further to the northeast. Steaming ground cracks in the vicinity of Highway 130 continue. 

Residents should remain informed and heed Hawaii County Civil Defense closures, warnings, and messages (http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts). 

For maps showing the locations of eruption features, please see https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_maps.html

For information on volcanic air pollution, please see: http://www.ivhhn.org/vog/

Kīlauea Volcano Summit
Tiltmeters at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano continue to record the deflationary trend of the past week and based on this and field observations, the lava lake level continues to drop. Intermittent rockfalls from the steep crater walls have generated small ash clouds throughout the day. More explosive activity generating larger ash clouds remains possible.

Earthquake activity in the summit remains elevated. Many of these earthquakes are related to the ongoing subsidence of the summit area and earthquakes beneath the south flank of the volcano.

For information on volcanic ash, please see: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanic_ash/

 

 

UPDATE, 5/10/18, 8:55am HST

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory status of Kilauea volcano in Hawaii on May 10, 2018 by scientist in charge Tina Neal.

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)

(Public domain.)

 

An active eruption of spatter and lava along Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone within the Leilani Estates subdivision remains paused. However, earthquake activity and ground deformation continue and additional outbreaks in the general area of Leilani Estates are expected. High levels of sulfur dioxide continue to be released from the fissure system. 

Deflationary tilt at the summit of the volcano continues and the lava lake level continues to drop. Aftershocks from Friday's magnitude 6.9 earthquake continue at a declining rare and more are expected. Rockfalls into the Overlook vent within Halemaʻumaʻu crater are producing intermittent, low-level ash emissions. Seismicity at Kīlauea's summit remains elevated. More energetic ash emissions are possible. 

USGS/HVO continues to monitor the situation 24/7 in coordination with Hawaii County Civil Defense and other authorities. Field crews are onsite in the Leilani Estates area examining the fissure vents and searching for any signs of new or resumed activity.

Lower East Rift Zone Observations

Lava emission from fissures was minimal overnight. Strong degassing continues from existing fissures and high levels of sulphur dioxide have been measured downwind.

Deformation of the ground in the area continues and seismicity remains elevated. Overnight, earthquake activity was concentrated on the downrift (east) side of the existing Leilani fissures.

Summit Observations: Tiltmeters at the summit continue to record a deflationary trend of the past week and the summit lava lake level continues to drop. Elevated summit sulfur dioxide emission rates persist. Ash emission is expected following larger rockfalls. Depending on wind conditions, dustings of ash may occur in the Kīlauea summit area and downwind. Current webcam views are here: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_webcams.html

Elevated earthquake activity in the summit area continues largely as a consequence of ongoing summit deflation.

Puʻu ʻŌʻō Observations: A tiltmeter on the Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone continues to record the deflationary pattern that followed collapse of the crater floor on April 30. Rockfalls from the steep crater walls will likely continue to collapse intermittently, producing small ashy plumes. The 61g lava flow is no longer active. 

Hazard Analysis: Continued eruptive activity (fluctuating and intermittent) in the lower East Rift Zone is likely. New outbreaks or resumption of lava production at existing vents can occur at any time. 

Areas downslope of erupting fissures are at risk of lava inundation. The general area of Leilani Estates remains at the greatest risk. However, as the eruption progresses, other areas of the lower East Rift Zone may also be at risk.

High levels of volcanic gas including sulphur dioxide are being emitted from the fissure vents. In addition, smoke from burning houses and burning asphalt is a health concern and should be avoided.

As the lava lake level inside Halemaʻumaʻu continues to drop, rockfalls from the enclosing walls may increase in frequency prompting explosions of spatter from the lake onto the nearby crater rim and lofting plumes of ash. Dustings of ash from these events can occur downwind.

Information about volcanic ash hazards and what you can do to protect yourself and your workplace can be found here: http://www.ivhhn.org/ash-pamphlets

Hawaii County Civil Defense messages regarding conditions, warning, and evacuations may be found at http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts/. 

 

 

UPDATE, 5/9/18, 4:55pm HST

Lower East Rift Zone Eruption
The intermittent eruption of lava in Leilani Estates in the lower East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano continues. Visible activity was again focused on the northeast portion of the fissure area. Fissure 15 broke ground across Poihiki Road, generating a pahoehoe flow about 20 m (66 ft) long. During an overflight of the area about 3 p.m. HST, geologists observed a new steaming area uprift (west) of Highway 130. During a second overflight at 4:30 p.m., the area was still steaming.

Yellow street lines show the offset of cracks on Leilani Street, Leilani Estates.

Yellow street lines show the offset of cracks on Leilani Street, Leilani Estates.

(Public domain.)

Rates of motion increased late this morning on a GPS station 1.5 km (1 mile) southeast of Nanawale Estates. The direction of motion is consistent with renewed movement of magma in the downrift direction (to the northeast).

Rates of seismicity changed little throughout the day; located earthquakes were mostly uprift (west) of Highway 130. Gas emissions remain elevated in the vicinity of fissures.

HVO geologist measured a temperature of 103 degrees C (218 degree F) at a crack along Nohea Street, Leilani Estates.

HVO geologist measured a temperature of 103 degrees C (218 degree F) at a crack along Nohea Street, Leilani Estates. The asphalt road was describes as "mushy" from the heat.

(Public domain.)

 

For maps showing the locations of eruption features, please see https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_maps.html

For information on volcanic air pollution, please see: http://www.ivhhn.org/vog/

 

Severe ground cracks associated with fissure 14 in Leilani Estates.

Severe ground cracks associated with fissure 14 in Leilani Estates. 

(Public domain.)

 

Kīlauea Volcano Summit
Tiltmeters at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano continue to record the deflationary trend of the past week and the lava lake level continues to drop. At about 8:32 a.m. HST, a large rockfall from the steep crater walls into the retreating lake triggered an explosion that generated an ash column above the crater; the ash was blown toward the south-southwest. Rockfalls and explosions that produce ash columns are expected to continue.
 

Ash column rises from the Overlook crater at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano.

Ash column rises from the Overlook crater at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano. HVO's interpretation is that the explosion was triggered by a rockfall from the steep walls of Overlook crater. The photograph was taken 5/9/18 at 8:29 a.m. HST from the Jaggar Museum overlook. The explosion was short-lived. Geologists examining the ash deposits on the rim of Halema‘uma‘u crater found fresh lava fragments hurled from the lava lake. This explosion was not caused by the interaction of the lava lake with the water table. When the ash cleared from the crater about an hour after the explosion, geologists were able to observe the lava lake surface, which is still above the water table.

(Public domain.)

 

A 3D model of the Overlook crater was created from thermal images collected during an early afternoon helicopter overflight on May 8. Based on the 3D model, the lake level was about 295 m (970 feet) below the floor of Halema'uma'u Crater.

The summit lava lake in Halema‘uma‘u crater has dropped substantially over the past week due to intrusive and eruptive activity on the lower East Rift zone. This 3D model of the crater was created from thermal images collected during a helicopter overflight on May 8. The lake at this time was roughly 295 m (970 feet) below the floor of Halema‘uma‘u Crater. 

https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

(Public domain.)

 

Earthquake activity in the summit remains elevated. Many of these earthquakes are related to the ongoing subsidence of the summit area and earthquakes beneath the south flank of the volcano.

 

 

UPDATE, 5/9/18, 8:02am HST

Volcanic Activity Summary: The steady lowering of the lava lake in "Overlook crater" within Halemaʻumaʻu at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano has raised the potential for explosive eruptions in the coming weeks. If the lava column drops to the level of groundwater beneath Kīlauea Caldera, influx of water into the conduit could cause steam-driven explosions. Debris expelled during such explosions could impact the area surrounding Halemaʻumaʻu and the Kīlauea summit. At this time, we cannot say with certainty that explosive activity will occur, how large the explosions could be, or how long such explosive activity could continue. 

Residents of the Kīlauea summit area should learn about the hazards of ashfall, stay informed of the status of the volcano and area closures, and review family and business emergency plans.

Resource on volcanic ash hazards: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanic_ash/

Primary hazards of concern should this activity occur are ballistic projectiles and ashfall. 
 

This video of Halema‘uma‘u lava lake from this evening shows the agitated lake surface caused by intemittent rock falls. Falling rocks are common since the lava lake level has dropped quickly, and exposed the walls. Yesterday the lake level was about 220 m (240 yards) below the crater rim and it continues to drop.

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)

(Public domain.)

 

BALLISTIC PROJECTILES
During steam-driven explosions, ballistic blocks up to 2 m (yards) across could be thrown in all directions to a distance of 1 km (0.6 miles) or more. These blocks could weigh a few kilograms (pounds) to several tons.

Smaller (pebble-size) rocks could be sent several kilometers (miles) from Halemaʻumaʻu, mostly in a downwind direction.

ASHFALL
Presently, during the drawdown of the lava column, rockfalls from the steep enclosing walls of the Overlook crater vent impact the lake and produce small ash clouds. These clouds are very dilute and result in dustings of ash (particles smaller than 2 mm) downwind.

Should steam-driven explosions begin, ash clouds will rise to greater elevations above ground. Minor ashfall could occur over much wider areas, even up to several tens of miles from Halemaʻumaʻu. In 1924, ash may have reached as high as 20,000 feet above sea level. Small amounts of fine ash from these explosions fell over a wide area as far north as North Hilo (Hakalau), in lower Puna, and as far south as Waiohinu.

GAS
Gas emitted during steam-drive explosions will be mainly steam, but will include some sulfur dioxide (SO2) as well. Currently, SO2 emissions remain elevated.

WARNING TIME
Steam-driven explosions at volcanoes typically provide very little warning. Once the lava level reaches the groundwater elevation, onset of continuous ashy plumes or a sequence of violent steam-driven explosions may be the first sign that activity of concern has commenced.

BACKGROUND ON CURRENT EXPLOSIVE POTENTIAL SCENARIO
Kīlauea's lava lake began to drop on May 2, 2018. From its peak on May 2 to the most recent measurement at 9 pm on May 6, the lava lake surface dropped a total of more than 200 m (656 ft). The subsidence was at a relatively constant rate of about 2 meters (yards) per hour.

Measurements of subsidence have not been possible since May 6 because of thick fume and the increasing depth to the lava surface. However, thermal images indicate continued lowering of the lake surface since that time, consistent with deflationary tilt recorded at Kīlauea's summit. Therefore, we infer that the lake surface continues to drop at roughly the same rate. So, while HVO cannot report exact depths of the receding lava lake, we can monitor the overall trend.

USGS and HVO scientists are monitoring changes at the summit 24/7 and watching for signs that hazardous conditions have increased, or may increase. HVO is working closely with Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park and Hawai'i County Civil Defense to respond to this situation.

 

 

UPDATE, 5/8/18, 11:18pm HST

Lower East Rift Zone Eruption
The intermittent eruption of lava in Leilani Estates in the lower East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano continues. Activity was focused on the northeast portion of the fissure area; two new fissure segments (13 and 14) broke ground between fissures 7 and 6. Fissure 13 cut across Leilani Street. By 5:00 pm, fissures 13 and 14 were inactive; later, geologists reported loud jetting and booming sounds, and some spattering, at fissure 13. At about 6:00 p.m. reports of booming sounds were reported in the vicinity of Black Sands Beach Subdivision. When HVO geologists arrived soon after, no such sounds were occurring.

Geologists reported the widening of cracks of about 1 to 4 cm (0.4 to 1.6 in) of cracks on Highway 130 and Ali'ili road. 

Rates of seismicity changed little throughout the day, but increased during the fissure activity in the afternoon. Gas emissions remain elevated in the vicinity of fissures.

HVO field crews successfully completed the installation of two new co-located seismometers and GPS receivers on the north and south sides of the East Rift Zone. Mahalo to landowners for allowing access and use of their property. HVO geologists will be in the area overnight to track and report to Hawaii County Civil Defense on the activity, and other scientists are tracking the volcano's overall activity 24/7 using various monitoring data streams.

For maps showing the locations of eruption features, please see https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_maps.html

For information on volcanic air pollution, please see: http://www.ivhhn.org/vog/
 

Kīlauea Volcano Summit
Tiltmeters at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano continue to record the deflationary trend of the past week and the lava lake level continues to drop. Rockfalls from the steep crater walls into the retreating lake continue to produce occasional ashy plumes above Halema'uma'u crater. These plumes are expected to continue.

Earthquake activity in the summit remains elevated. Many of these earthquakes are related to the ongoing subsidence of the summit area and earthquakes beneath the south flank of the volcano.

 

 

UPDATE, 5/8/18, 8:15am HST

As of 7:00 am, the eruption along Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone within the Leilani Estates subdivision has paused. Strong emission of gas continues from the fissure system that is now about 2.5 miles long. This pause is likely temporary and resumption of lava emission or additional fissure outbreaks are possible at any time. 

Deflationary tilt at the summit of the volcano continues and the lava lake level continues to drop. There is no active lava in the Puʻu ʻŌʻō area. Aftershocks from Friday's magnitude 6.9 earthquake continue and more are expected. Rockfalls into the Overlook vent within Halemaʻumaʻu crater are producing intermittent ash emissions. Seismicity at Kīlauea's summit remains elevated.

USGS/HVO continues to monitor the situation 24/7 in coordination with Hawaii County Civil Defense and other authorities. Field crews are onsite examining the fissure vents, lava flow of yesterday, and searching for any signs of new or resumed activity.

Lower East Rift Zone Observations
Lava emission from fissures was minimal overnight. Strong degassing continues from several fissures. There was no active lava flowing as of 7:00 am this morning.

Deformation of the ground in the area continues. Ground cracks are reported crossing Highway 130 about 1 mile west of the westernmost fissure.

Overall seismicity in the area has not changed significantly overnight and remains elevated. Seismic stations nearest the fissures record seismicity likely related to ongoing vigorous degassing. 
 

Summit Observations: Tiltmeters at the summit continue to record a deflationary trend of the past week and the summit lava lake level continues to drop. Elevated summit sulfur dioxide emission rates persist. Current webcam views are here: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_webcams.html

Rockfalls into the Overlook crater are intermittently producing small ash emissions that loft several thousand feet above the ground and travel downwind.

Elevated earthquake activity in the summit area continues following Friday's magnitude-6.9 earthquake and as a consequence of ongoing summit deflation.
 

Puʻu ʻŌʻō Observations: A tiltmeter on the Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone continues to record the deflationary pattern that followed collapse of the crater floor on April 30. Rockfalls from the steep crater walls will likely continue to collapse intermittently, producing small ashy plumes. The 61g lava flow is no longer active. 
 

Hazard Analysis: Continued eruptive activity (fluctuating and intermittent) in the lower East Rift Zone is likely. New outbreaks or resumption of lava production at existing vents can occur at any time. 

Areas downslope of erupting fissures are at risk of lava inundation. The general area of Leilani Estates remains at the greatest risk. However, as the eruption progresses, other areas of the lower East Rift Zone may also be at risk.

High levels of volcanic gas including sulphur dioxide are being emitted from the fissure vents. In addition, smoke from burning houses and burning asphalt is a health concern and should be avoided.

As the lava lake level inside Halemaʻumaʻu drops, rockfalls from the enclosing walls may increase in frequency prompting explosions of spatter from the lake onto the nearby crater rim and lofting plumes of ash. Dustings of ash from these events can occur downwind.

 

 

UPDATE, 5/7/2018, 5:59pm HST

 

Steam rises from fissure 9 on Moku Street.

Steam rises from fissure 9 on Moku Street in the Leilani Estates Subdivision.

(Public domain.)

 

Lower East Rift Zone Eruption
The intermittent eruption of lava in the Leilani Estates subdivision in the lower East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano continues. The location of activity today was focused on the southwest portion of the area.

This morning, two new fissure segments broke ground. The first (fissure 11) opened in a forested southwest of Leilani Estates about 9:30 am and was active for only 3 hours. The second (fissure 12) opened about 12:20 between older fissures 10 and 11. By 3:15 pm, both new fissures were in active but the west end of fissure 10 was steaming heavily.

Cracks on Highway 130 widened from 7 cm to 8 cm over the course of the day and additional cracks were found just west of the highway on trend with the eruptive fissures. 
 

Cracks in Highway; orange paint was used to outline the cracks

Cracks in Highway 130; orange paint was used to outline the cracks. The road remained closed for much of the day on 5/7/18.

(Public domain.)

 

For map of recent features discussed above, see https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_maps.html

Rates of seismicity and deformation changed little throughout the day. 

Gas emissions likely remain elevated in the vicinity of fissures.

Residents should remain informed and heed Hawaii County Civil Defense closures, warnings, and messages (http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts). 

For maps showing the locations of eruption features, please see https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_maps.html

For information on volcanic air pollution, please see: http://www.ivhhn.org/vog/

HVO geologists will be in the area overnight to track and report to Hawaii County Civil Defense on the activity, and other scientists are closely tracking the volcano's overall activity using various monitoring data streams.

Kīlauea Volcano Summit
Tiltmeters at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano continue to record the deflationary trend of the past several days and the lava lake level continues to drop. Rockfalls from the steep crater walls into the retreating lake continue to produce occasional ashy plumes above Halema'uma'u crater. These plumes are expected to continue.

Earthquake activity in the summit remains elevated but has decreased over the past few days. Many of these earthquakes are related to the ongoing subsidence of the summit area and earthquakes beneath the south flank of the volcano.

This message will be updated tomorrow morning or earlier should conditions change.

HVO Contact: askHVO@usgs.gov 

MORE INFORMATION

Activity Summary also available by phone: (808) 967-8862

Subscribe to these messages: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vns2/

Webcam images: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_webcams.html

Photos/Video: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_chronology.html

Lava Flow Maps: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_maps.html

Definitions of terms used in update: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/extra/definitions.pdf

Overview of Kīlauea summit (Halemaʻumaʻu) and East Rift Zone (Puʻu ʻŌʻō ) eruptions:
https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/extra/background.pdf

Summary of volcanic hazards from Kīlauea eruptions:
https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/extra/hazards.pdf

Recent Earthquakes in Hawai'i (map and list):
https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hvo/earthquakes/

Explanation of Volcano Alert Levels and Aviation Color Codes:
https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/activity/alertsystem/index.php
https://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2006/3139/

CONTACT INFORMATION:

askHVO@usgs.gov 

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory is one of five volcano observatories within the U.S. Geological Survey and is responsible for monitoring volcanoes and earthquakes in Hawai`i.

 

 

UPDATE, 5/7/18, 7:45am HST

Eruption of lava and gas continues at a low level along Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone within the Leilani Estates subdivision. Overnight, active emission of lava and spatter at multiple fissures was minimal. This is likely only a pause in activity; additional outbreaks or a resumption of activity are anticipated as seismicity continues in the area. Deflationary tilt at the summit of the volcano continues and the lava lake level continues to drop. There is no active lava in the Puʻu ʻŌʻō area. Aftershocks from Friday's magnitude-6.9 earthquake continue and more should be expected, with larger aftershocks potentially producing rockfalls and associated ash clouds above Puʻu ʻŌʻō and Halemaʻumaʻu crater. Seismicity at Kīlauea's summit remains elevated.

USGS/HVO continues to monitor the situation 24/7. Field crews are onsite this morning examining the fissure vents, lava flow, and searching for any signs of new activity.

Lower East Rift Zone Observations
Lava emission from fissures was minimal overnight. Strong degassing continues from several fissures. Yesterday (5/6/18), a lava flow advanced northward from fissure 8 about 0.9 km (0.6 miles) by 10 a.m., HST before stopping. Deformation of the ground in the area has slowed. Ground cracks are reported crossing Highway 130 west of the eruption site. 

Overall seismicity in the area has not changed significantly overnight. Earthquakes continue and seismic stations nearest the fissures record seismicity likely related to ongoing vigorous degassing. 

Thermal map of the Leilani Estates fissures

This thermal map clearly shows the flow spreading northward (top) from fissure 8 during an overflight of the area. The black and white area is the extent of the thermal map. Temperature in the thermal image is displayed as gray-scale values, with the brightest pixels indicating the hottest areas (whitish areas show the active lava flow). The gray linear features are the other fissures (numbered in red color) that have erupted thus far in the sequence. The thermal map was constructed by stitching many overlapping oblique thermal images collected by a handheld thermal camera during a helicopter overflight of the flow field. The base is a copyrighted color satellite image (used with permission) provided by Digital Globe. (see large map)

(Public domain.)

Summit Observations: Tiltmeters at the summit continue to record a deflationary trend of the past week and the summit lava lake level continues to drop. Elevated summit sulfur dioxide emission rates persist. Current webcam views are here: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_webcams.html

Elevated earthquake activity in the summit area is continuing following Friday's magnitude-6.9 earthquake and as the summit area continues deflating and rockfalls continue within the Overlook vent. 
 

Puʻu ʻŌʻō Observations: A tiltmeter on the Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone continues to record the deflationary pattern that followed collapse of the crater floor on April 30. Rockfalls from the steep crater walls will likely continue to collapse intermittently, producing small ashy plumes. The 61g lava flow is no longer active. 
 

Hazard Analysis: Continued eruptive activity (fluctuating and intermittent) in the lower East Rift Zone is likely. New outbreaks or resumption of lava production at existing vents can occur at any time. 

Areas downslope of erupting fissures are at risk of lava inundation. The general area of Leilani Estates remains at the greatest risk. However, as the eruption progresses, other areas of the lower East Rift Zone may also be at risk.

High levels of volcanic gas including sulphur dioxide are being emitted from the fissure vents. In addition, smoke from burning houses and burning asphalt is a health concern and should be avoided.

As the lava lake level inside Halemaʻumaʻu drops, rockfalls from the enclosing walls may increase in frequency prompting explosions of spatter from the lake onto the nearby crater rim and lofting plumes of ash. Dustings of ash from these events can occur downwind.

Additional aftershocks from the magnitude-6.9 earthquake are expected and some may be strong. Residents are advised to review earthquake preparedness by consulting available resources such as: https://www.shakeout.org/hawaii/dropcoverholdon/

Residents of the Puna District should remain alert, review individual, family, and business emergency plans, and watch for further information about the status of the volcano. 

Hawaii County Civil Defense messages regarding conditions, warning, and evacuations may be found at http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts/. 
 

 

UPDATE, 5/6/18, 8:59pm HST

Lower East Rift Zone Eruption
The intermittent eruption of lava in the Leilani Estates subdivision in the lower East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano continues. Fissure 8 erupted lava fountains until about 4 p.m. HST, and the flow advanced slowly northward through the afternoon, even after the lava fountains shut down. Geologists reported that the flow crossed Ho'okopu Road, a distance from fissure 8 of about about 1.1 km (0.6 miles). They also reported new ground cracks in the vicinity of fissures 8 and 9 that were emitting thick steam and gases, but no lava spattering was observed by the time of this status report.

Rates of seismicity and deformation decreased in the past day. The absence of additional deformation in the past day suggests a pause in magma acculumation in the distal part of the intrusion.

For maps showing the locations of eruption features, please see https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_maps.html

For information on volcanic air pollution, please see: http://www.ivhhn.org/vog/

Kīlauea Volcano Summit
Tiltmeters at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano continue to record the deflationary trend of the past several days. Corresponding to this deflationary trend, the summit lava lake level in Overlook crater dropped about 2 m (6.5 ft) per hour during the day. The lake level has dropped an estimated 220 m (722 ft) since the collapse of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater on April 30. Rockfalls from the steep crater walls into the retreating lake continue to produce ashy plumes above Halema'uma'u crater. Rockfalls and ashy plumes are expected to continue as the lake level drops.

Earthquake activity in the summit remains at elevated levels. In the past 24 hours, about 31 magnitude 2 earthquakes occurred at depths less than 5 km (3 miles) beneath the summit area (compared to the 24-hour period when 152 magnitude 2 and magnitude 3 earthquakes. These earthquakes are related to the ongoing subsidence of the summit area and earthquakes beneath the south flank of the volcano.

Kilauea summit lava lake

The summit lava lake has dropped significantly over the past few days, and, as of the evening of 5/6/18, was roughly 220m below the crater rim. This very wide angle camera view captures the entire north portion of the Overlook crater.

(Public domain.)

 

UPDATE, 5/5/18, 11:42pm HST

View of new fissure from Luana Street, Leilani Estates

A new fissure erupted in the evening of 5/5/18, beginning with small lava spattering at about 8:44 p.m. local time. By 9:00 p.m., lava fountains as high as about 70 m (230 ft) were erupting from the fissure.

(Public domain.)

Lower East Rift Zone Eruption
The intermittent eruption of lava in the Leilani Estates subdivision in the lower East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano continues. Fissure 7 stopped erupting in mid-afternoon. A new fissure erupted near fissures 2 and 7, and lava fountains reached as high as about 70 m (230 ft). New ground cracks were reported on Highway 130, but no heat or escaping steam was subsequently observed.

Seismicity and deformation are consistent with continued accumulation of magma within the rift zone.

Residents should remain informed and heed Hawaii County Civil Defense closures, warnings, and messages (http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts). 

For maps showing the locations of eruption features, please see https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_maps.html

For information on volcanic air pollution, please see: http://www.ivhhn.org/vog/

HVO geologists will be in the area overnight to track and report to Hawaii County Civil Defense on the activity, and other scientists are closely tracking the volcano's overall activity using various monitoring data streams.

Kīlauea Volcano Summit
Tiltmeters at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano continue to record the deflationary trend of the past several days. Satellite InSAR data show that between April 23 and May 5, 2018, the summit caldera floor subsided about 10 cm (4 in). Corresponding to this deflationary trend, the summit lava lake level in Overlook crater has dropped about 128 m (518 ft) below the crater rim since April 30. Rockfalls from the crater walls into the retreating lake produced ashy plumes above Halemaumau crater , resulting in light ashfall in the summit area. Rockfalls and ashy plumes are expected to continue as the lake level drops.

Earthquake activity in the summit increased in the past 2 days, coincident with the magnitude-6.9 earthquake on May 4 beneath the south flank of Kīlauea. In the past two days, about 152 magnitude-2 and magnitude-3 earthquakes occurred at depths less than 5 km (3 miles) beneath the summit area. Twenty two magnitude 3 earthquakes were recorded. These earthquakes are related to the ongoing subsidence of the summit area and beneath the south flank of the volcano.
 

A panoramic view of a fissure from the intersection of Leilani and Makamae Streets in the Leilani Estates subdivision.

A panoramic view of fissure 7 from the intersection of Leilani and Makamae Streets in the Leilani Estates subdivision. This photo was taken at 06:01 a.m. local time, on 5/5/18.

(Public domain.)

More photos and video are available at the HVO website:  https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/kilauea_multimedia_15.html

Watch a recent community meeting with USGS scientists that provided an update of the current volcano and earthquake activity.  The primary speaker is Tina Neal, Scientist-in-Charge of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cY5-nJ1tpdo&feature=youtu.be

 

 

UPDATE, 5/5/18, 11:54am HST

Active eruption of lava and gas continues along Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone within the Leilani Estates subdivision. Additional fissure vents producing spatter and small lava flows developed early this morning, and additional outbreaks in the area are likely. Deflationary tilt at the summit of the volcano continues and the lava lake level continues to drop. There is no active lava in the Puʻu ʻŌʻō area. Aftershocks from yesterday's M6.9 earthquake continue and more should be expected, with larger aftershocks potentially producing rockfalls and associated ash clouds above Puʻu ʻŌʻō and Halemaʻumaʻu Crater.

Photos and maps of activity will be posted to the HVO web site as soon as possible. https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_chronology.html

Residents of the Puna District should remain alert, review individual, family, and business emergency plans, and watch for further information about the status of the volcano. 

Hawaii County Civil Defense messages regarding conditions, warning, and evacuations may be found at http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts/.

Summit Observations: Deflationary tilt at the summit continues. In concert, the summit lava lake is dropping. Tremor amplitude is fluctuating with lava lake spattering. No large rockfalls or ash plumes related to rockfalls into the lava lake, such as occurred yesterday during the large earthquake sequence, have occurred. Elevated summit sulfur dioxide emission rates persist. Gas emissions remain elevated. Current webcam views are here: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_webcams.html

Puʻu ʻŌʻō Observations: Seismicity remains elevated at Puʻu ʻŌʻō but tiltmeters near the cone show no significant deformation overnight. No lava is active in the area and the 61g lava flow is no longer being fed. The summit crater of the cone will likely continue to collapse intermittently producing small plumes of ash. Yesterday, there were several vigorous episodes of ash emission in response to collapse, including immediately after the nearby M6.9 earthquake. 

Hazard Analysis: Additional fissure outbreaks producing spatter and lava flows are likely. Locations cannot be forecast with certainty, but new outbreaks thus far have been preceded by ground cracking, then strong steam and volcanic gas release. Areas uprift and downrift of the current fissure zone are the most likely to see further outbreaks. 

Areas downslope of an erupting fissure or vent are at risk of lava inundation. Currently, lava flows from active fissures are sluggish and not moving very quickly or far. The general area of the Leilani subdivision remains at greatest risk. However, as the eruption progresses, other areas of the lower East Rift Zone may also be at risk.
High levels of volcanic gas including sulphur dioxide are being emitted from the fissure vents. In addition, smoke from burning houses and burning asphalt is a health concern and should be avoided.

As the lava lake level inside Halemaʻumaʻu drops, rockfalls from the enclosing walls may increase in frequency prompting explosions of spatter from the lake onto the nearby crater rim and lofting plumes of ash. Dustings of ash from these events can occur downwind. Yesterday's strong earthquakes were responsible for some of these plumes and associated ashfall, both from Kīlauea Volcano's summit lava lake and the Puʻu ʻŌʻō vent.

Additional aftershocks from yesterday's M6.9 earthquake are expected and some may be strong. Residents are advised to review earthquake preparedness by consulting available resources such as: https://www.shakeout.org/hawaii/dropcoverholdon

 

 

UPDATE, 5/5/18, 11:05am HST - Recent Earthquake Activity Near Kilauea

The HVO recorded a magnitude 6.9 earthquake on Friday, May 4, 2018, at approximately 12:32 p.m. HST. It is the strongest quake in Hawaii since 1975—and the largest in a series of strong earthquakes. 

The magnitude 6.9 earthquake was located about 16 km (10 mi) southwest of Leilani Estates, on the Island of Hawai‘i, at a depth of 5.0 km (3.1 mi). A map showing the location of the earthquake is posted on HVO's website at https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/hvo_earthquakes.html.

These earthquakes were felt as far away as the Island of Kauai. The maximum intensity of shaking was recorded as VIII on the Mercalli Intensity Scale, indicating severe shaking near the earthquake's epicenter. For more information, see the USGS ShakeMap at https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us1000dyad#shakemap. 

The mainshock was preceded by a strong magnitude 5.4 earthquake approximately one hour prior. Several aftershocks under the south flank and summit areas of Kīlauea Volcano have already occurred, the largest of which was magnitude 4.8. Strong aftershocks should be expected, and could likely occur for weeks to months into the future.

Like the magnitude 5.0 earthquake yesterday, rockfalls and ash plumes in the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater were triggered by today's earthquake sequence. HVO scientists are closely monitoring the data. The active eruption in Leilani Estates continues.

For more information on recent earthquakes in Hawai‘i and eruption updates, visit the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory website at https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hvo/

 

 

UPDATE - 5/4/18, 4:04pm HST

Eruption of lava in the Leilani Estates subdivision in the lower East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano continues. Several additional eruptive fissures or vents - each several hundred yards long - have opened over the past day. No significant lava flows have yet formed. Spatter and lava are accumulating primarily within a few tens of yards of the vent. 

The sixth and most recent fissure is on the eastern edge of the subdivision. Not all fissure vents remain active and no far-traveled lava flows have formed. 

For maps showing the locations of these features, please see https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_maps.html

HVO geologists will be in the area overnight to track additional activity that may occur, and other scientists are closely tracking the volcano's overall activity using various monitoring data streams. 

Seismicity and deformation are consistent with continued accumulation of magma within the rift zone. Additional outbreaks of lava are expected.

Residents should remain informed and heed Hawaii County Civil Defense messages (http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts).

 

 

UPDATE - 5/4/18, 7:45am HST

An eruption is in progress along Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone. Since late afternoon May 3, at least three small fissure vents have opened in Leilani Estates subdivision in the lower Puna district. At this time, activity consists mostly of vigorous lava spattering. Additional outbreaks in the area are likely. Deflationary tilt at the summit of the volcano continues and the lava lake level continues to drop. 

Photos and maps of activity will be posted to the HVO web site as they become available. https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_chronology.html

Lower East Rift Zone:

The first outbreak of lava occurred late in the afternoon of May 3 following days of increased earthquake activity and ground deformation. As of this morning, three separate fissures have opened in the eastern portion of Leilani Estates. Each outbreak has been preceded by ground cracking and strong gas emission. Activity consists primarily of vigorous spattering of lava and development of very short lava flows that have yet to travel more than a few tens of yards from the vent. Earthquake activity in the area remains elevated and ground deformation is continuing. High levels of volcanic gas are reported around the fissure vents.

Residents of the Puna District need to remain alert, review individual, family, and business emergency plans, and watch for further information about the status of the volcano. Hawaii County Civil Defense messages regarding conditions, warning, and evacuations may be found at http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts/.

Summit Observations: Deflationary tilt at the summit continues. In concert, the summit lava lake is dropping. Tremor amplitude is fluctuating with lava lake spattering. Elevated summit sulfur dioxide emission rates persist. Gas emissions remain elevated. Current webcam views are here: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_webcams.html

Puʻu ʻŌʻō Observations: Seismicity remains elevated at Puʻu ʻŌʻō but tiltmeters near the cone show no significant deformation overnight. During fieldwork at Puʻu ʻŌʻō yesterday, no lava activity was observed in the area. The 61g lava flow is no longer being fed. The summit crater of the cone continues to collapse intermittently producing small plumes of ash; yesterday there were several episodes of ash emission in response to collapse, including immediately after the nearby M5.0 earthquake.

Additionally, seismic activity has increased in the last several hours, with the lastest earthquake being a M6.9 southwest of the Leilani Estates.  Click on the USGS Earthquake Hazard link for more information:  https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/us1000dyad#executive

 

 

Original Story posted 5/4/18, 6:30am HST

The Kilauea Volcano erupted in the Lower Puna district of Hawai'i, known as the "Big Island" of the Hawaiian Island chain, which is home to roughly 200,000 people and a haven for tourists and adventure seekers.

A notice from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) provides the following details:

The eruption in the Leilani Estates subdivision in the lower East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano that began in late afternoon of May 3rd ended by about 6:30 p.m. HST. Lava spatter and gas bursts erupted from the fissure for about two hours, and lava spread a short distance from the fissure, less than about 10 m (33 ft).

The HVO deployed geologists to the eruption site overnight, and other scientists are monitoring various data streams to the observatory 24/7.

An eruption has commenced in the Leilani Estates subdivision in the lower East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano.

An eruption has commenced in the Leilani Estates subdivision in the lower East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano. White, hot vapor and blue fumes emanated from an area of cracking in the eastern part of the subdivision.

(Public domain.)

At this time, the fissure is not erupting lava and no other fissures have erupted.

HVO geologists were working near the fissure overnight to track additional activity that may occur, and other scientists are closely tracking the volcano's overall activity. 

Recent Observations
Geologists reported that the presence of sulfur gas is quite noticeable around the fissure, typical of active and recently active fissures. The concentration of sulfur dioxide gas is high within tens of meters (yards) of the fissure.

Lava flows did not advance more than about 10 m (33 ft) from the fissure. The flows are no longer active.  At this time, no other fissures have erupted from along the rift zone.

Tiltmeters at Kīlauea's summit continue to record deflationary tilt, and the lava lake level has dropped about 37 m (121 ft) in the past 24 hours.

Seismic activity has not changed significantly during the day or since the brief fissure eruption.
 

Ongoing intrusion and earthquake activity map Kīlauea's East Rift Zone, https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea

Map of ongoing intrusion and earthquake activity along Kīlauea's eastern side.

(Public domain.)

Hazard Analysis
The opening phases of fissure eruptions are dynamic and uncertain. Additional erupting fissures and new lava outbreaks may occur. It is not possible at this time to say when and where new vents may occur.

Areas downslope of an erupting fissure or vent are at risk of lava inundation. At this time, the general area of the Leilani subdivision appears to be at greatest risk.
 

Pu'u 'O'o Ash Plume

While HVO geologists were working on Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō, a magnitude-5.0 earthquake shook the ground around the cone. Moments later, a collapse occurred in the crater of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō, creating a robust, reddish-brown ash plume.

(Public domain.)

Kilauea Basics

Kīlauea is the youngest and southeastern-most volcano on the Island of Hawai‘i. Topographically, Kīlauea appears as only a bulge on the southeastern flank of Mauna Loa, and so for many years, Kīlauea was thought to be a mere satellite of its giant neighbor, not a separate volcano. However, research over the past few decades shows clearly that Kīlauea has its own magma-plumbing system, extending to the surface from more than 60 km deep in the earth.

 

More Information
See the Hawaii County Civil Defense messages and alerts for additional information (http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts).

Activity Summary also available by phone: (808) 967-8862

Subscribe to these messages: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vns2/

Webcam images: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_webcams.html

Photos/Video: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_chronology.html 

(USGS-HVO photos and videos are in the public domain and can be freely downloaded from the HVO website (click on a photo to open a full resolution copy). Please credit "U.S. Geological Survey" for any imagery used.)

Lava Flow Maps: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_maps.html

Definitions of terms used in update: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/extra/definitions.pdf

Overview of Kīlauea summit (Halemaʻumaʻu) and East Rift Zone (Puʻu ʻŌʻō ) eruptions:
https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/extra/background.pdf

Summary of volcanic hazards from Kīlauea eruptions:
https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/extra/hazards.pdf

Recent Earthquakes in Hawai'i (map and list):
https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hvo/earthquakes/

Explanation of Volcano Alert Levels and Aviation Color Codes:
https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/activity/alertsystem/index.php
https://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2006/3139/

 

CONTACT INFORMATION:
askHVO@usgs.gov 

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory is one of five volcano observatories within the U.S. Geological Survey and is responsible for monitoring volcanoes and earthquakes in Hawai`i.