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

More Photos, Vids, Q&A From HVO
September 3, 2018. USGS: “Early this morning, the Unmanned Aircraft Systems team was able to conduct a brief overflight of fissure 8 between passing rain showers, which resulted in abundant steaming on the flow field. This UAS image shows a small pond of lava on the floor of the crater within the fissure 8 cone, with some minor, low-level spattering and slow-moving lava just barely entering (but not heading down) the spillway. Nothing unusual was observed anywhere else on the lower East Rift Zone.” (Full-sized)

On USGSVolcanoes’ Facebook page, someone asked for scale on a photo of Fissure 8’s cone. The reply:

I can give you some dimensions, if that helps. Measuring the cone’s rim, fissure 8 is about 320 ft wide by 450 ft long. The height of the cone wall (measuring from the lava pad inside fissure 8 to the highest point on the rim) is about 130 ft. If you zoom in at the upper left, you will see some houses, which provides some sense of scale.”

September 4, 2018. USGS: “Hovering at about 180 m (600 ft), the Unmanned Aircraft Systems captured this view into the fissure 8 cinder cone. Lava has filled the small footprint-shaped crater inside the cone. Sluggish Pāhoehoe flows have crept across the crater floor, but are not flowing down the spillway. Other lower East Rift Zone vents were steaming due to morning rainfall.” (Full-sized)

September 1, 2018. USGS: “An Unmanned Aircraft Systems overflight of fissure 8 on Saturday afternoon (Sept. 1, 2018) showed incandescence within the cinder cone, with reports that lava had covered the 65×15 m (210×45 ft) crater floor by evening. Webcam views overnight showed weak incandescence occasionally reflected on the eastern spillway wall from the crater, suggesting that the lava in the crater remained active.” (Full-sized)

September 2, 2018. USGS: An Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) overflight on early [last] Sunday afternoon (Sept. 2, 2018) showed that lava remained active within the fissure 8 cone. HVO geologists and UAS crews were on site and closely monitoring the lower East Rift Zone, including the fissure 8 activity. (Full-sized)

September 2, 2018. USGS: “This UAS oblique image of fissure 8 shows that the new lava is mostly confined to the crater floor within the cone, although a small amount extended a short distance into the spillway. By early evening, HVO geologists noted that the lava activity was at a low level, with only minimal (if any) incandescence emanating from the cone. Gas emissions from the vent were nearly nonexistent.” (Full-sized)

Here’s a few videos from drone overflights this week. All 3 videos (including one above) with descriptions posted on HVO website: [Sep 3][Sep 4] [Sep 5]

From Local News Media

There was a Wednesday Pahoa community meeting with a brief USGS presentation, showing tiltmeters recording very minor reinflation of middle East Rift Zone:

BIVN also summarized and posted videos of the rest of the hour-long Wednesday meeting.

More eruption updates in the news:

And ongoing eruption impacts/recovery:

From Other Photographers/Social Media