Kīlauea volcano began erupting within Halema‘uma‘u crater at approximately 4:34 p.m. HST on January 5, 2023, following a couple of weeks of intermittently elevated summit earthquake activity and gradual inflationary summit ground tilt.
Kīlauea volcano began erupting 4:30 p.m. HST, January 5, 2023
Kīlauea volcano began erupting within Halema‘uma‘u crater at approximately 4:34 p.m. HST on January 5, 2023, following a couple of weeks of intermittently elevated summit earthquake activity and gradual inflationary summit ground tilt. Earthquake activity increased dramatically at approximately 3 p.m. on January 5 with increased rates of inflationary ground deformation, prompting HVO to raise Kīlauea’s alert level and aviation color code to WATCH/ORANGE and then to WARNING/RED after the eruption began.
As of 7:30 a.m. HST this morning, January 6, several very minor fountains remain active in the central-eastern portion of Halema‘uma‘u crater floor. The high initial effusion rates are declining rapidly as lava that was stored within the magma system over the past month erupts. The fountains decreased in vigor overnight and are consistently about 5 meters (16 feet) high this morning.
Lava flows have inundated much of the crater floor (which is nearly 300 acres or 120 hectares). The higher-elevation island that formed during the initial phase of the December 2020 eruption remains exposed, as well as a ring of older lava around the lava lake that was active prior to December 2022. This morning, the depth of new lava remains at about 10 meters (32 feet) at the base of Halema‘uma‘u crater.
Summit tilt switched from inflation to deflation around 5 p.m. HST yesterday, January 5, and that trend continues this morning. After the eruption onset, summit earthquake activity diminished and eruptive tremor (a signal associated with fluid movement) resumed. Volcanic gas emissions in the eruption area are elevated.
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has set the volcano alert level at WATCH and aviation color code to ORANGE. There is currently no threat of significant volcanic ash emission into the atmosphere outside of the hazardous closed area within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.
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