Lower East Rift Zone: Fissure 8 continues to build its oblong cinder and spatter cone. Overnight fountain heights were 130-140 ft, up to 53m (174ft) by the afternoon. Fissures 16 and 18 continue weak activity.
Fissure 8’s lava flow had a “towering” steam plume at its ocean entry point this morning. Areas of offshore upwelling have become more dispersed.
The daily summit explosion was at 3:39am, equivalent to M5.4 earthquake, with an ash plume 7-8K feet (NWS radar has been repaired). Slumping and subsidence continue at Halema’uma’u, and SO2 emissions remain about half pre-event levels.
Before and After: Changes at Halema’uma’u
Here’s a good view of Halema’uma’u taken at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, April 19, 2018 by Christoph Strässler (Creative Commons):
Compare with this animation from HVO webcam June 1-10, or the new drone footage later in this post.
Today’s Kilauea news daily digest is full of science, science, science! the usual slew of incredible pictures. Also, some glimmers of hope for lava evacuees, although as usual bureaucracy moves at the speed of of dirt.
Summit: Today’s “Type A” explosion occurred at 1:52am. It produced almost no ash this time, although there’s still light ash and SO2 coming out of the crater from time to time. The view of the continued slumping/subsidence of Halema’uma’u crater is impressive (also see Jun 9 video on Twitter):
Fissure 8’s cluster of vents is erupting up to 160ft today. With the cinder cone that’s built up around them, they’re mostly hidden. It’s entering the ocean today along a broad front. Fissure 16/18 are spattering weakly; this is the “weak activity” reported for the past few days. Apart from that, the Lower East Rift Zone is quiet, although other fissures are still releasing gasses.
Fissure 8 on #Kilauea's Lower East Rift Zone #LERZ – a nursery of volcanic bombs and spatter. Expanding volcanic gases rip the clots of lava apart as they rise through the air, forming ejecta of myriad shape and size. Photos taken on June 11. pic.twitter.com/E9iYbD9Zp8
The good news is, Fissure 8’s lava flow has built up such high, broad banks that unless it overflows them, it probably won’t cover many more homes or cut off new areas. The bad news is, the lava river could still break its levees, and there’s no guarantee other fissures won’t reactivate. USGS field crews reported a “non-erupting crack” in the Lower East Rift Zone with “temperatures as high as 430°C (806°F).”
Note, however, high temps may not indicate imminent changes. USGS clarified on Facebook: “This was at Fissure 10, which has long displayed high temperatures (fortunately, no SO2 was detected). It does not mean an eruption there is imminent, but rather it is a place where various superheated gases are escaping.” Similarly, there’s been high temps at the cracks across Highway 130, which have steamed but so far not erupted at all.
Somewhat abbreviated Daily Digest today because I started late, and then took forever transcribing 11AM conference call. But the stunning pictures keep coming…