June 21: Mauna Loa Green, Kilauea Red

Today’s Eruption Summary

The LERZ eruption continues as it has for several weeks now, which is actually remarkable. Fissure 8 has added bulk (width) but not much height to its cone. Fissure 6 was active again last night with a sluggish little flow, while 16/18 and 22 showed early-morning incandescence.

USGS: Fissure 8 continues building a tephra cone and producing a robust channelized lava flow on Kīlauea Volcano’s Lower East Rift Zone.” (Full-sized)

Fissure 8’s lava flow cruises along at 17mph in an elevated channel 50-60 feet high, slowing gradually to 2mph by the time it rounds the bend at Kapoho Crater. Its 8 mile journey concludes in the ocean and a burst of laze and fresh black sand, just a little further out each day. The lava delta has grown to 380 acres.

Halema’uma’u Crater at Kilauea’s summit continues to expand its gaping cavity by about 14 million cubic meters a day.  The summit explosion for today occurred at 1:13pm HST, as usual registering as magnitude 5.3, with a minor ash & gas plume about 1000 feet high:

summit explosion caught on livestream

Captured from the USGS/HVO Kilauea Livestream. That enormously long crack on the right especially impressed me. Below, I’ve made a before-and-after animation to show some of the changes at Halema’uma’u over the last two days, using screengrabs from HVO’s webcam.

Before-and-after photos of Halema’uma’u from HVO webcam. First screengrab morning of June 19; second is afternoon of June 21. (Larger-sized)

While Kilauea can’t sit still, Mauna Loa’s status has been downgraded to GREEN following six months of “near background level” seismic activity. See the “remarks” section of the USGS June 21 Mauna Loa update explaining the context for this announcement and Mauna Loa’s behavior over the past five years.

 June 19 Montage of Leilani Estates at Night

Good video reminding us of where it all started, Leilani Estates, as well as the unforgettable sound of Fissure 8 roaring:

Continue reading June 21: Mauna Loa Green, Kilauea Red

June 19: Steve Brantley USGS Talk on Eruption Status

On Tuesday, June 19, there was a Puna Community Meeting at Pahoa High School at 5pm. As usual, Steve Brantley of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory/USGS gave an excellent slide presentation reviewing the current state of the Kilauea eruiption. He covered the “perched lava flow” in the Lower Rift Zone and the dramatic changes at the summit, placing each in context with previous similar events. (I didn’t realize there were records of many past Halema’uma’u collapses).

Video of the entire meeting is posted here. The USGS talk starts at 42:40. I’ve transcribed it below, adding photos when I have something close (and restoring his graphs/diagrams which don’t come through very well on video recording).

Steve Brantley, HVO/USGS:

Continue reading June 19: Steve Brantley USGS Talk on Eruption Status