Today’s Eruption Summary
As we approach the 3-month mark— or pass it, since Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s floor collapsed 3 months ago this past Monday— Kīlauea’s 2018 eruption continues with no significant changes. During the USGS morning overflight, the lava’s southwestern margin was holding at less than a tenth of a mile from Pohoiki boat ramp. The vigorous ocean entry continues a few hundred yards to the east. No surges in lava output have been reported at Fissure 8 since Tuesday’s 6:41 am summit collapse.
A deceptive moment of tranquility at the new, extensively remodeled summit:
Here’s HVO’s Steve Brantley giving the weekly eruption update at last night’s Pahoa community meeting (I’ll be transcribing it tomorrow or Friday).
He explains that complicated “lavashed” map released earlier this week, which predicts where lava is most likely to go if there’s a breakout along particular stretches of Fissure 8’s lava channel. This is an aid to residents living in neighboring areas not affected by lava now, but who are worried about what might happen if the flow diverts.
Today’s Lava Flow Maps
I haven’t checked the totals for a while. Current figures are:
- Total lava flow area: 12.8 square miles, 33.1 kilometers
- Size of delta (new land): about 725 acres
From Other Agencies
— Hawaii Volcanoes NPS (@Volcanoes_NPS) July 26, 2018
From Local News Outlets
- BIN: “PHOTOS, VIDEOS: Tour of Leilani Estates [July 24]“
- BIVN: “6 pm Eruption Update — Lava Remains 475 feet from Pohoiki Boat Ramp” — misc eruption news for day
- BIN: “Coastline Inspected for Turtles Threatened By Lava” — barn door, horse?
- HTH: “City Council to consider resolution to rename Fissure 8” – not renaming, really; the fissures were numbered so HVO scientists could record their data, but USGS does not choose official place names; that’s up to locals
- HNN: “Big Island couple who sued insurer for not covering lava damage could be the first of many”
- KITV: “First lava lawsuit filed against insurer“
- HNN: “What’s causing the near-daily collapses and ‘earthquakes’ at Halemaumau?” — if you’re just tuning in, here’s a good brief explainer
- And Dispatches From Volcano advocates civil discourse, which is more on-topic for this eruption than one might think
6AM Overflight Photos from Bruce Omori
Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 6:00 am – Kilauea's lower east rift zone overflight: The perched channel adjacent to PGV…
Laze plume finally cleared enough to get a good view of where the lava actually is:
Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 6:00 am – Kilauea's lower east rift zone overflight: Lava advancing in the direction of Dead…
Car-sized chunk of lava floating and hissing away in the open ocean:
Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 6:00 am – Kilauea's lower east rift zone overflight: A floating car-sized chunk of lava, steams wildly, bobbing and hissing until they cool and sink.
- Link: rest of photos for today plus overflight observation notes.
USGS Q&A on Social Media
[I’m learning so much about human psychology, seeing how internet users accuse the scientists trying to monitor this eruption and share what they’ve learned with civil defense and the general public. Personally I’m just interested to learn what was giving the seismologists trouble, so that they had to revise the magnitude estimates for the daily summit collapses of July 22-24. It’s a trivial detail, but I’m fascinated to see the scientific process in action, as geologists grapple with the puzzles and unique characteristics of this eruption.]
USGS: We are accountable for every action taken by our USGS and volcano observatory team. In this case, it was an error of errors in arrival time calculations (they were calculated as fractions of second too long), which artificially inflated magnitudes. Nothing to gain from mistakes.
USGS: Corrections like this are made as we collect more data about the events and our seismologists have more time to analyze it. Here’s a general explanation of why it can be difficult to pin down magnitudes (we don’t usually publish individual rationales): https://www.usgs.gov/faqs/why-do-usgs-earthquake-magnitudes-differ …
[And on the positive side of social media, I wonder if this comment on FB may led to the following photo being posted a little later on the HVO website…]
Jennifer Geraghty: Today’s M3.9 at 3:57 pm was a pretty spectacular collapse of the white scarp (?) at the southeast rim. Can you put together some video of it? It was really amazing on both live cams – especially for an M3!
USGS: We don’t know how long it would take to drain the volume of magma in H, K and ERZ because we don’t have precise constraints on the size of all three parts of the system. H may be anywhere from 0.15 to 2.7 cubic km in size.
[What a find!]
FB member Ralph Majorie posted rare film footage of pre-1924 Halemaʻumaʻu and its lava lake on the USGS Volcanoes FB page:
Other Photographers and Social Media
There is a lot of negative focus on government agencies these days. It seems that DLNR and CD would rather give citations to residents wanting to get to their homes in evacuation zones, than save trapped turtles or catch looters. And god help you if you try to see the lava, and whatever you do, don’t even think of taking a photo of it. The drama continues, so I wanted to focus on the positive, and give a shout out to Harry Kim, the best Civil Defence administrator ever! Harry was the hero in the Kalapana days, like Ikaika Marzo is the hero of the 2018 Leilani eruption. Harry Kim is a man of compassion, communication, and competence. He is sincere, always means well, and lives Aloha. My hat is off to you, Mayor Harry Kim. I took these two photos of Harry 30 years apart. Left- 1988 watching lava flowing down the road in Kalapana Gardens. Right- 2018 at a meeting in Volcano discussing the Kilauea summit collapse. I love you, Harry Kim. (So does my Mom!) @mayorharrykim @ikaikamarzo @gbradlewis
The Weatherboy reminding us, as always, not to take too much pleasure in the beauty of nature and lava, because ground zero is a destroyed community:
As we walk back to our van with a @NationalGuard @ @CivilDefenseHI escort, the ground sparkles a bit; it's completely covered in fiberglass-like strands of volcanic glass known as Pele's Hair. Harmful to touch and even moreso to breathe in. #KilaueaEruption pic.twitter.com/O7lKByUTg1
— the Weatherboy (@theWeatherboy) July 26, 2018
(more photos from this rare visit to Leilani Estates’ evacuation zone on his Twitter)
20180725 – USGS Update: . Fissure 8 continues to erupt lava into the channel leading northeastward from the vent. No new overflows were reported yesterday following the summit collapse event at 6:41 HST; no overflows were reported this morning. In the last day, the lava flow in the Ahalanui area has not extended significantly westward. The flow remains less than 0.1 miles from the Pohoiki boat ramp in Isaac Hale Park. The active ocean entry is still a few hundred yards to the east of this lava flow edge. No other fissures are active this morning. . Lava fountaining at the active vent remains relatively low, and is mostly below the height of the current cone (about 50 m, or 55 yards). Pele's hair and other lightweight volcanic glass fragments from the lava fountain at Fissure 8 continue to fall downwind of the fissure, dusting the ground within a few hundred meters (yards) of the vent. High winds may waft lighter particles to greater distances. Residents are urged to minimize exposure to these volcanic particles, which can cause skin and eye irritation similar to volcanic ash. . My respect and best wishes go out to all who have been impacted by the eruption experience. There are no words to describe the amount of loss, personal tragedy, and stress our community has been experienced. . #fissure #kilauea #volcano #bigisland #hawaii #lava #lavaflow #lavachannel #geology #pohoiki @hawaiicommunityfoundation #puuhonuaopuna
Kilauea has been erupting for over 3 months now. This photo was taking last December on my trip to the Big Island when I was crossing the lava field to see fresh lava up close in person. I noticed this tiny fern out of the corner of my eye. To me it represents the Hawaiian island chain as a whole as new life is being constantly created.