Subject: HVO Status Report 20180812_1205
HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY STATUS REPORT
U.S. Geological Survey
Sunday, August 12, 2018, 12:05 PM HST (Sunday, August 12, 2018, 22:05 UTC)
KILAUEA VOLCANO (VNUM #332010)
19°25’16” N 155°17’13” W, Summit Elevation 4091 ft (1247 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: WARNING
Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE
Kīlauea Volcano Lower East Rift Zone (LERZ)
The lull in eruptive activity on the LERZ continues. A gas plume billows from Fissure 8, but the only “red” lava visible on the flow field is that oozing into the ocean between the Kapoho Bay and Ahalanui area coastline. Fresh black sand, created as molten lava is chilled and shattered by the surf, is being transported to the SW by longshore currents and accumulating in the Pohoiki small boat harbor.
It is common for eruptions to go through periods of diminished output, or to pause completely, only to return with renewed vigor days or weeks later. Resumption of the activity on the LERZ could occur at any time, and residents should remain informed and heed Hawaii County Civil Defense messages and warnings.
Kīlauea Gas Emissions
SO2 emissions from the summit, Pu῾u ῾Ō῾ō , and the Lower East Rift Zone are all at low levels. LERZ emissions on August 5-6 were ~ 200 tons/day; Pu῾u ῾Ō῾ō emissions on August 6-7 were 200-300 tons/day, and Summit emissions when last measured on July 19 were around 100 tons/day. This SO2 release represents the lowest SO2 emitted from Kīlauea for over a decade.
Despite the low emission rates, SO2 plumes were blown toward populated areas in east Hawai‘i by SE winds on August 9, and many individuals reported detecting the smell of sulfur. Weather conditions contributed to this, but in addition, as the eruption vents cool down, small amounts of H2S are generated. The human nose can detect H2S at very low levels, adding to the overall perception of increased sulfur emission.
Kīlauea Volcano Summit
Summit seismicity continues to be low, with only 1-2 locatable earthquakes occurring per hour (maximum magnitude of M2.2). Summit deflation is negligible.
HVO will continue to monitor Kīlauea closely for any signs of change in activity.
The next status report will be issued tomorrow morning unless significant changes occur.
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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:
Summary of volcanic hazards from Kīlauea eruptions:
Recent Earthquakes in Hawai’i (map and list):
Explanation of Volcano Alert Levels and Aviation Color Codes:
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.