Today’s Eruption Summary
No major changes in the past 24 hours, except that the lava channel was full and spilling over its levees in a number of places this morning (as seen in this photo by Bruce Omori). For the most part, they weren’t venturing past the boundaries of earlier flows:
Monday, July 2, 2018, 5:45 am – Kilauea's east rift zone overflight: A number of breaches of the channels can be seen here, as the fresher lava appears more silvery than the older.
Fissure 8 continues roaring along. With slack tradewinds today, it managed to whip up enough pyrocumulus to set off some localized thunderstorms. Fissure 22 is still spattering and feeding a small flow that’s going nowhere fast. At the ocean end of Fissure 8’s channel, lava is oozing out along a broad part of the lava delta and chewing further into what’s left of Kapoho Beach Lots:
Monday, July 2, 2018, 5:45 am – Kilauea's east rift zone overflight: Homes and property in Kapoho are being consumed by the flow's expanding northern boundary.
The latest summit explosion occurred at 1:24am HST July 2, the usual M5.3, with an ash plume ~1200 feet high. Immediately before, there were about 20-25 earthquakes an hour (a little less than in recent days) and dropped to 5/hour immediately afterwards (again, a little less).
[Below is a USGS video of the June 30 collapse/explosion as seen from Volcano House, I think, which gives a good view of the rockfalls all along the bluffs of the caldera walls]:
I haven’t mentioned LERZ seismicity in some time, because it’s been low for weeks. But I notice that section of HVO’s daily Kilauea update was amended starting yesterday. Since May, it’s reported “relatively low seismicity” and “low amplitude background tremor” with “numerous small earthquakes” in the LERZ plus occasional “higher amplitude tremor” near the ocean entry. Now it’s added, “Low amplitude tremor increased slightly on June 29 associated with renewed activity at Fissure 22.”
More Photos from USGS
Released three days late: good USGS footage of Fissure 8 with closeups, including sound, starting at 7:30:
(I should also note the USGS caption for that whirlwind video I stuck at the top of this post: “In the Leilani Estates subdivision, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory field crews monitoring fissure 8 captured this video of a whirlwind above the lava channel. The vortex of rapidly swirling air entrained hot lava, flinging it meters away. The scientists maintained a safe distance, using a telephoto lens to take this video. The whirlwind lasted about 10 minutes, starting and stopping without warning.”)
As of 23:45 HST, it looks like spillovers are continuing to occur, and F8 looks a bit more active tonight, although at least part of that will be steam from adjacent vents lit up by F8’s fountains.
July 2 Maps of LERZ
From Other Scientists
- Robin Andrews, IFLScience, “What The Hell Are The Giant ‘Lava Boats’ Seen In This Surreal Footage Of Kilauea?”
From Other Official Channels
— NWSHonolulu (@NWSHonolulu) July 2, 2018
— NWSHonolulu (@NWSHonolulu) July 2, 2018
From Local News Outlets
- HTH: “Highway 130, portion of 137 to reopen”
- HNN: “Eruptions on the Big Island are so vigorous they’re creating their own weather”
- BIVN: “Dangerous SO2 Leves Detected Near Puna Eruption”
- HSA: “Kilauea eruption shakes Volcano village residents”
- HNN: “Big Island mayor declares state of emergency in ongoing eruptions” [Read: extends state of emergency]
- HSA: “Ban on new construction in lava zones proposed”
- HSA: “Puna charter school displaced by lava seeks alternate site”
- BIN: “Sen. Hirono visits East Hawai’i”
- HTH: “Seeking relief from the vog, residents turn to essential oils, supplements”
- Dispatches from the Volcano muses on two months since this event began (with the collapse of Pu’u O’o), and includes a chant and translation of “He Kau no Hiʻiaka,” which I think Don Swanson alluded to in the meeting last Thursday: an oral history of eruptions somewhat like the current one, around ~1500 CE.
Volcano Village Meeting with USGS, Thursday June 28
Speaking of that meeting, I’ve now transcribed all the interesting geology info. A lot of answers, as well as a few startling questions:
- Part 1: Kyle Anderson discusses collapse/explosion events at summit and shows the new maps of drastically-changed Kilauea Caldera
- Part 2: Don Swanson shares own photos and observations of summit subsidence/changes, because he’s staying there (in Volcano House)
- Part 3: Q&A with senior members of HVO, during which Tina Neal (Scientist-in-Charge) attempts to be calm voice of reason, while Don Swanson unintentionally scares the bejeebus out of some Volcano Village residents?
Excerpts from 11AM USGS Media Briefing /Conference Call
USGS Q&A on Social Media
Those are overflows that we have been monitoring from the air. It's been happening a bit lately, but we haven't observed any major breaches.
— USGS Volcanoes🌋 (@USGSVolcanoes) July 3, 2018
Q: Are tides having effect on summit explosions?
USGS: Yes, it has been shown that tides can have an effect if the eruption is primed. However, we are not seeing this in the case of the summit explosions. https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1029/GL007i011p00925 …
Q: What does it mean when earthquake depth is listed as a negative number?
USGS: Earthquakes are recorded in relation to sea level. So negative depths are the distance from sea level upward within the volcano.
Q: Why did the summit tilt graph change so much over the past 24 hours, yet you’re saying no change?
USGS: We switched tiltmeters today, from UWE to UWD. The tiltmeters are located in the same place, but UWD is more reliable (it’s a digital instrument, where as UWE was an older analog instrument). UWE was cutting in and out, leading to long data gaps, and it was also reaching the edge of it’s available range (it tilted to much, it was coming up against the limits of it’s operation).
Q: When lava returns to the caldera, will the lava lake be larger? Also, when was the last time the lava overflowed the crater onto the wider Caldera around it?
USGS: The lava last was overflowing from Halema`uma`u was prior to the 1924 collapse. And in the 1800s, there were actually several lava lakes around the caldera! If and when the lava does come back, it’s hard to say how big it will be. If there is no rift zone eruption (like Pu`u `O`o) to siphon off magma, it probably will be quite a bit larger than the lava lake that was present prior to the collapse.
Q: Reading old studies that inflation of summit started in 2003; is that really the start of current sequence?
USGS: The 2003 inflation was associated with a surge of magma to the volcano. It was followed by a lull in magma supply to the volcano (there was some deflation during this period). Then it inflated again. For much of the past 15 years, magma supply and eruption rates have been out of whack (they were more in sync in the 1990s). Regardless, the beginning of the current eruption was really March of this year, when Pu`u `O`o started to inflate because the lava eruption rate was decreasing (like the hose was kinked). That’s the process that started in motion what we are seeing today.
Q: What constitutes an eruption? Kilauea’s been erupting for 35 years; the vent’s just changed with almost no pause.
USGS: It’s sort of an issue of semantics. We’ve been asked if this is a “new” eruption or a continuation of the Pu`u `O`o eruption, and HVO scientists have argued for both sides. So there’s no good answer to this question. It’s the sort of problem we’ll try to sort out once the crisis has passed.
Lava tornado above a massive, fast moving river of lava. The moon shines bright, as hot lava is picked up in the twisting vortex. I witnessed a dozen such events in a two hour period. One of the twisters wandered away from the lava river, and got into a patch of shelly pahoehoe, sending toaster size chunks of lava high into the air. The sound was like nothing I have ever heard. To witness and record such unique events and to share them is my task at hand, and has been so for decades. Grateful to experience Nature in such a raw form. #leilani #puna #kilauea #volcano #hawaii #ʻAilāʻau #volcanoman #gbradlewis #aloha
Q: What do you call that phenomenon?
USGS: Sadly, the technical name isn’t exciting – it’s a “whirlwind”. Several geologists in the field preferred the term
#lavanado. And, tornados are just large whirlwinds…so….
Q: Update on F22? Does it pose a threat to PGV?
USGS: The lava flows from F22 are quite small and not travelling very far (all of the activity is on existing flows). It is spattering in impressive bursts, but not emitting much lava.
Q: What’s the weather doing over F8?! 9 inches of rain?!
USGS: There is a lot of rain in the LERZ today, and the current overarching weather pattern shows that continuing for a few days (according to U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) Honolulu Forecast Office). Heat from the eruption is creating specific phenomenon including thunder and lightning. Contact http://www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl/ for more weather info.
Q: (Another person reporting hearing a lot of thunder in direction of Leilani Estates.)
USGS: News from NOAA NWS Forecast Office Honolulu, HI is that thunderstorms are occurring as a result of strong updraft from fissure8 and the lava channel. Type of cloud is pryrocumulonimbus or pyrocumulous, which can form over a small area. As trade winds build over the week, the thunderstorms may dissipate.
Q: What impact does 13+” of rain in a day make to Fissure 8?
USGS: Surprisingly little, in our experience. There have been tremendous downpours on active lava fields, lava lakes, and eruptive vents, and nothing has happened in terms of the eruptions slowing down. During high fountaining at Pu`u `O`o in 1983-1986, the fountains used to blow a hole in the rain clouds. When the fountaining ended, the rain would move back in!
Q: Did Fissure 22 reactivate because of more magma, or has Fissure 8 changed?
USGS: There has been no notable change at fissure 8. It’s always been possible for eastern fissures to reactivate as well as western ones. Fissure 22 has been active on and off for the past few weeks, but this has been the most activity since mid-May.
Q: Bruce Omori’s photos show breaches/overflows in lava channel— has flow rate increased?
USGS: This might also be caused by a backup in the channel (something that is slowing or blocking the flow of magma in the channel), as opposed to more lava entering the channel.
Q: Approximate volume of lava erupted so far?
USGS: It’s been tough to get a solid estimate, but we have calculated an approximate volume of 400 million cubic meters of lava.
Q: What’s the flow rate these days?
USGS: It’s hard to say because our ability to measure the depth of the lava channel is limited (and based mostly on inference). But the rates we’ve been getting are in the neighborhood of 6-10 million cubic meters per day. Probably on the high side of that range, and it can fluctuate beyond that over short intervals.
From Photographers, Social Media
Many have expressed concern & fright around loud noises coming from the #KilaueaEruption area this morning. The sound you hear is from a small but potent tstorm that has formed within the pyrocumulus cloud above the lava flow. Our radar on https://t.co/LD7NrZjqLW shows this #HIwx pic.twitter.com/zixkxIsTcS
— the Weatherboy (@theWeatherboy) July 2, 2018
If you were wondering how hot the surrounding lava is, ck out all the steam. The river evaporates the rain. #USGS #Jaggar #halemaumau #Hawaii #hvnp #hppa #volcano #Kilauea #lava #KilaueaVolcano #LeilaniEstates #BigIsland #eruption #Kapoho #火山 #噴火 #ハワイ #Monday pic.twitter.com/TqhaEC7bqn
— lavapix.com (@lavapixcom) July 2, 2018
It's not the sun. It's not the volcanoes. It's not land use. It's us.
Again…why are you not believing USDA, USGS, NOAA, EPA, NASA when they tell you this? https://t.co/WLIicu1R9Y pic.twitter.com/XQUQfs1xl2
— ClimateHawk2 (@ClimateHawk2) July 2, 2018
#LeilaniEstatesEruption #KilaueaVolcano LATEST: Breathtaking image by Ralph Rose who captured the full moon lighting the ocean at Makuʻu Point as clouds reflect the 8-mile lava flow from #Fissure8 in #LeilaniEstates out to #KapohoBay https://t.co/rnrP8zgWJi @HawaiiNewsNow #HINews pic.twitter.com/38JzXYrBxr
— Mileka Lincoln (@MilekaLincoln) July 2, 2018
Note: This photographer (John Tarson) previously noted he was filming the lava channel from someone’s private property, with permission (on the north side, obviously, and I don’t think it’s an evacuation zone.)
Lavaboat slowly moving through the river
Posted by EpicLava on Monday, July 2, 2018
The Lava is EPIC…
Posted by EpicLava on Monday, July 2, 2018
River flow update
Posted by EpicLava on Sunday, July 1, 2018
Bruce Omori once again giving details on Kapoho (see also his Lava Update Blog post):
Monday, July 2, 2018, 5:45 am – Kilauea's east rift zone overflight: Fissure 8 continues to produce an extraordinary…
Monday, July 2, 2018, 5:45 am – Kilauea's east rift zone overflight: Another wave of molten lava pushes over the…
Monday, July 2, 2018, 5:45 am – Kilauea's east rift zone overflight: A new wave of lava advances over the existing…
Monday, July 2, 2018, 5:45 am – Kilauea's east rift zone overflight: More homes are threatened in Kapoho, as the northern edges of the flow field expand. 🙁
Monday, July 2, 2018, 5:45 am – Kilauea's east rift zone overflight: The ocean entry at Kapoho continues to create new land with roughly two miles of active flow front.
Monday, July 2, 2018, 5:45 am – Kilauea's east rift zone overflight: A number of breaches of the channelized flow were observed, more than likely a result of increased volume from fissure 8.
Monday, July 2, 2018, 5:45 am – Kilauea's east rift zone overflight: A closer view of the breaches of the channelized flow.