September 9: Leilani Estates Residents Return; MacKenzie Beaches Reopen

Septeber 6, 2018. USGS: “Incandescence from fissure 8 was noted a couple of times overnight, but no spattering or glow was visible during the Unmanned Aircraft Systems overflight around 8:00 a.m. this morning, as shown here. Lava within the fissure 8 crater looked much the same as yesterday, except that the new cone appeared less prominent. Steam in background is due to recent rainfall.” (Full-sized)
This Week’s Eruption Summary

There’s been spots of incandescence, fuming, and small lava flows within the Fissure 8 cone for the past week, a few of which have oozed into the spillway, but eruptive activity remains confined to the cone. These have partly filled in the crater’s deep pit.

Earlier this week there was a sputtery little mini-cone building on the floor of the Fissure 8 cone.

It looks like the USGS is now using drone overflights instead of morning helicopter rides, which is probably a relief to residents living just outside the evacuation zone.

September 3, 2018. USGS: “Another UAS image captured early this morning looks directly down into the fissure 8 cone. The new lava is lighter in color compared to the older, darker lava farther down the spillway [above].” (Full-sized)
On Saturday, Pu’u O’o underwent some minor collapses throughout the day, sending up intermittent plumes of brown dust. Local tilt/seismicity sensors registered small changes, but these were not reflected further downrift.

However, starting Thursday September 6, tiltmeters in the mid East Rift Zone have registered minor amounts of inflation. “The current rates [of inflation] are much smaller than those measured during the period of major eruptive activity and are not changing rapidly.” —HVO Thursday status report

Sulfur dioxide emissions remain lower than at any time since 2007, including those at LERZ vents which are now so low as to be barely detectable.

And yeah, there’s another small hurricane headed for Hawai’i. It’s very unusual for one to make landfall on any of the islands instead of just brushing past offshore, but Olivia looks set to cross the island chain.

September 6 Video from Mick Kalber

At 6AM The LERZ was cloudy and steamy, but there’s some great views down into Pu’u O’o Crater. Be sure to check out timestamp 2:00; clear view of Halema’uma’u and summit in the distance. Notes/observations on lava update blog.

Bruce Omori also posted observations and 6 photos from this flight on his Facebook, including these lovely views of dawn-golden Kilauea Caldera from afar:

Thursday, Sep 6, 2018, 6:00 am – Kilauea's lower east rift zone overflight: Kīlauea, overshadowed by Mauna Loa.

Posted by Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery on Thursday, September 6, 2018

Thursday, Sep 6, 2018, 6:00 am – Kilauea's lower east rift zone overflight: A spectacular view of Halema‘uma‘u, with Kīlauea Iki in the foreground.

Posted by Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery on Thursday, September 6, 2018

Continue reading September 9: Leilani Estates Residents Return; MacKenzie Beaches Reopen

September 2: A Few Signs of Life Deep in Fissure 8


Saturday, Sep 1, 2018, 6:00 pm – Kilauea's lower east rift zone overflight: Another angle of fissure 8, with a small lava pond within.

Posted by Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery on Sunday, September 2, 2018

This Week’s Eruption Summary

While no glow or incandescence was reported within Fissure 8’s cone for most of the week, Saturday 9/1 showed a few life signs remain in the LERZ: weak spattering from one spot, and in the evening new lava came out to cover most of the crater floor. But its sides have been slumping and falling in, as have the levees of the now solidified lava channel. While Fissure 8 and some of the surrounding vents continue to steam and fume, SO2 emissions remain low there and at the summit.

August 30, 2018. USGS: “The fissure 8 lava channel (center) and levee (foreground), looking toward the northwest. Loose rubble and Pele’s hair (lower right) are strewn across the levee surface.” (Full-sized)

No active ocean entries have been seen for the past few days, suggesting that all the residual lava from Fissure 8 has stagnated or drained out.

August 30, 2018. USGS: “Lower East Rift Zone lava flows entering the ocean have built a lava delta over 875 acres in size, but no active ocean entries were observed by HVO geologists on this morning’s overflight. View to the southwest.” (Full-sized)

This week has been a time of repair and taking stock. USGS geologists have been replacing lost or damaged monitoring stations (including the UWE tiltmeter, back on HVO’s deformation page). The drone crews have been out after Hurricane Lane came through to take new detailed aerial surveys of Kilauea’s summit (August 30 video) and Fissure 8 (August 21 video).

Screencap from August 30, 2018 UAV video survey of Kilauea summit.

They also posted an updated timelapse video of HVO’s panorama cam of Halema’uma’u from April 14 through August 20:

This week’s Volcano Watch newsletter from HVO describes how “Scientific community lends a hand to measure Kīlauea’s changing shape.” This eruption required all hands on deck and every last scrap of equipment they had, and then some.

Another screencap from the August 30 drone survey of Halema’uma’u Crater and its surroundings. Piece of Crater Rim Drive a long way down in the crater.More photos after the cut, plus some notes on the park’s status.

Continue reading September 2: A Few Signs of Life Deep in Fissure 8