July 2: Fissure 8 Making Its Own Thunderstorms

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.

Posted by Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery on Monday, July 2, 2018

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.

Posted by Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery on Monday, July 2, 2018

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

Continue reading July 2: Fissure 8 Making Its Own Thunderstorms

July 1: Fissure 22 Is Back; Kilauea Caldera Is Sinking

Fissure 8 gushes on unchallenged and unchanged, while Fissure 22 — remember the chief subject of Lavacam?— has started spattering 50-80m and sending out a modest lava flow headed NE along the edge of previous flows.

USGS photo from morning overflight, July 1, 2018. Fissure 8 in the distance, Fissure 22 in the middle ground across from PGV. (Full-sized)

Down at the coast, lava continues to ooze out from under much of the northern part of the delta along a broad front, with “pasty” lava squeezing out in several places along Kapoho Beach Lots.

As of 8:30pm 11pm HST, I’m waiting for confirmation of the next summit collapse/explosion.

Besides Fissure 22 reactivating in earnest, the news today is that new digital elevation maps and satellite images give us a clear view of the subsidence of Kilauea Caldera around Halema’uma’u, which has begun to show in livestream and webcam views lately.

First of all, USGS seismologist Kyle Anderson posted this color-coded slide of caldera ground deformation in his Thursday evening talk:

The colors compare the new June 19, 2018 drone-surveillance digital elevation map with a DEM of the caldera captured in 2009. Presumably the light gray areas within Halema’uma’u don’t correspond to anything on the older map, so can’t be compared. Green patches are earthquakes over the past few days indicating stress. And “300+ ft” marks the last known position of the NPIT GPS sensor before it sank out of radio contact. (Full-sized)

Next, the Italian Space Agency’s trusty Cosmo-Skymed satellite has sent us another radar survey of Kilauea. Even though I’d observed dramatic subsidence of the caldera floor in recent livestream and webcam images, the last frame of this animation made me gasp:

USGS: “This animated GIF shows a sequence of radar amplitude images that were acquired by the Agenzia Spaziale Italiana CosmoSkyMed satellite system. The images illustrate changes to the caldera area of Kīlauea Volcano that occurred between May 5 and June 30 at about 6:00 a.m. HST[…] Over time, expansion of the summit eruptive vent within Halema‘uma‘u crater and the widening of Halema‘uma‘u itself are clear. Starting in late May, the development of several cracks outside Halema‘uma‘u is clear, and inward slumping of a large portion of the western, southwestern, and northern crater rim begins. Much of this motion appears to be coincident with the small explosions from the summit that have taken place on a near daily basis since early June. The most recent radar scene, from June 30, shows the formation of cracks over a broader area of the caldera floor, extending east of Halema‘uma‘u (these cracks are the scarps seen in recent photographs from the Keanakākoʻi overlook area). We expect this slumping to continue as long as the collapse events and overall subsidence persist. (Full-sized)
We are well on our way to a nested caldera, with Halema’uma’u taking up over half the larger caldera floor. I’m hoping those earthquakes indicate where the edge of the new inner caldera will be, but I’m not a geologist. Here’s those scarps they mentioned, posted a few days ago:

USGS: “Comparison of photographs taken on June 13 and 26 from near Keanakāko’i Crater overlook in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park shows a subsidence scarp that formed as the Kīlauea Crater floor subsided. Scientists estimate the dramatic dropping of the crater floor in this area occurred sometime between June 23 and 26. The view is to the west. Halema‘uma‘u crater is in upper right.” (Full-sized)

Last but not least, the USGS posted this map of the fracturing around Halema’uma’u. Note that the diagram is projected onto a satellite photo of the pre-May caldera, so there’s a ghostly image of the Halema’uma’u we remember in that dark gray area.

USGS: “This map shows major fractures in yellow (as of June 29) on a base image acquired by the WorldView-2 satellite before the current sequence of events began at Kīlauea. The area of major subsidence has expanded east and south, and slightly west, of the main Halema‘uma‘u crater area. The large, red-shaded area east of Halema‘uma‘u is moving down within a scarp-bounded area, as seen in recent photographs of the summit. Some fractures have also formed to the east-northeast of the red-shaded area of accelerated motion, and also on the south caldera rim where parts of the caldera wall have slumped into the rapidly moving caldera floor below. The dark gray-shaded area within the red shaded area shows the region of most significant down dropping and is currently the deepest part of Kīlauea caldera.” (Full-sized)

So there you have it.  Who would’ve thought the draining of the lava lake, which was minuscule compared to the whole summit caldera, would’ve had a domino effect this large?

The rest of this post is a fairly sparse weekend roundup of a few news stories, videos and photos, plus of course the usual science geeking with USGS. Which leaves you time to browse the USGS Thursday evening talk I transcribed today!
Continue reading July 1: Fissure 22 Is Back; Kilauea Caldera Is Sinking

June 30: Kapoho Beach Lots Burning Again

Fissure 8 continues to behave much as it has for the last month or so, looking ever more like a Mordor backdrop:

June 30, 2018: Fissure 8 looking Mordor-like during the USGS morning overflight. (Full-sized)

Today’s official HVO Kilauea update is a copy-and-paste of yesterday’s, apart from this small addition describing the lava delta: “lava is moving beneath the crust and into [the] still-molten interior of earlier flows before it enters the sea in multiple oozeouts.” Like this:

USGS: “Lava was entering the ocean over a broad area this morning. This image shows an active entry area along the northern flow front at Kapoho. View to the south.” (Full-sized)

Unfortunately, some of those “oozeouts” are occurring at the edge of Kapoho Beach Lots as well. At least one home burned today, perhaps more.

Check the Hawaii County Fire Department photos later in this post (or the Bruce Omori photos at the end of the post) to see what the slow-moving expansion into Kapoho Beach Lots looks like right now.

USGS: “View of Kīlauea Volcano’s summit [from Volcano House, I think]. The brown visible dust coming from Halema‘uma‘u is from rockfalls.” (Full-sized)

Kilauea’s summit is changing visibly day by day. Today’s collapse explosion came at 2:51pm, 31 hours after the previous event. Mag 5.3, as usual, with a 500-foot ash-poor plume (captured on livestream). It was somewhat obscured by dust from multiple rockfalls 3 minutes earlier. Here’s a before-and-after:

More USGS Morning Overflight Photos

Continue reading June 30: Kapoho Beach Lots Burning Again

June 29: New Ways to Watch Changes at the Summit

Today’s Eruption Summary

Fissure 8 and the summit explosions continue their status quo. However, for the last few days, the lava flow at Kapoho has been encroaching on new areas on its northern and southern boundaries at the coast.

At least 3 more Kapoho Beach Lot houses have burned on the north side, and the southern edge of the flow is burning vegetation and/or farmland west of Highway 137. I gather these new lateral outbreaks are due to the lava channel crusting over, about half a mile inland from the new coastline (see Wednesday’s thermal map). So instead of pouring straight from the channel into the ocean, lava is fanning out under the crust of the 2-mile-wide lava delta laid down earlier this month, then oozing out the sides.

[USGS drone footage of Fissure 8 from before dawn. They’re using drones for the first time to map flows, look for outbreaks and measure the lava river’s speed.]

At Kilauea’s summit, today’s collapse explosion occurred at 7:51am HST, June 29, with an ash-poor steam plume that rose 500 feet. (Steam?)The energy release dropped slightly to 5.2. I didn’t do a video capture, since the summit was blanketed in morning fog.

The “new news” today is that HVO has added two new views to its Kilauea Webcams page. One I’ve mentioned before, the old “Kilauea East” webcam from HVO’s 1990s website which has annoying reflections but a great view of the subsidence/collapse on the east side of Halema’uma’u Crater:

June 25, 2018 screengrab from “Kilauea East” webcam.

The other is a new heat-sensitive webcam which should make it possible to see “collapse explosions” at night:

Screengrab of Halema’uma’u Thermal webcam at sunset, June 29.

Also, in this week’s “Volcano Watch” newsletter, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists explain the “piston” model they’ve developed to account for the daily collapse explosions at the summit:

(See also the “Kilauea Earthquakes FAQ” they posted earlier this week.)

This is big news. They’ve solved the mystery of the summit explosions! Subject to revision, of course; they’re still untangling the complexities of Kilauea’s current eruption. But the “piston” model accounts for the cyclical pattern they’re seeing better than the “steam explosion” model.

Continue reading June 29: New Ways to Watch Changes at the Summit

June 28: Media Visits Damaged Park, Views Crater

Early morning USGS photo of Fissure 8 on June 28, 2018. (Full-sized)
Today’s eruption summary

Exactly 8 weeks after the Lower East Rift Zone eruption began in Leilani Estates on May 3, Fissure 8 continues to gush unabated. Its fountains are contained within its 55-meter (180 ft) cone, and this morning’s overflight showed no active overflows.

For the past day or so, the lava river has crusted over on the last half mile to the ocean. This has allowed lava seeps, described by Steve Brantley in his Tuesday evening  talk, to creep into still-molten earlier flows on the northern side of the lava delta. This “lava seepage” is oozing into the ocean along a broad front, encroaching  onto what’s left of Kapoho Beach Lots on the northern edge of the flow:

USGS: “View of the ocean entry (lower left) from this morning’s overflight. Lava was entering the ocean across a broad area primarily on the north part of the lava delta. Upslope along the northern margin of the flow field, lava is still oozing from several points in the area of Kapoho Beach Lots. Fissure 8 lava fountain in the upper left. Note southward bend in the lava channel around Kapoho Crater.” (Full-sized)

At Kilauea’s summit, the most recent collapse explosion occurred at 4:49am this morning, sending up an ash-poor plume about 1000 feet, with the energy release of a 5.3 earthquake. The sides of Halema’uma’u continue to collapse inward and downwards, especially during each explosive event.

Increased seismicity in the hours leading up to each explosion, up to 25-35 small earthquakes an hour, is wearing on the nerves of nearby Volcano Village. The USGS is meeting with them tonight to talk about the ongoing earthquakes, and released an excellent FAQ today: Frequently Asked Questions About Kilauea Volcano’s Summit Earthquakes.”

Local News Outlets Given Brief Tour of Summit

The big news today is that the National Park Service and USGS arranged a brief escorted tour for local news media to the rim of Kilauea Caldera, which has been closed to visitors for 49 days. There was also a half hour press briefing.

So today there’s suddenly a lot more videos and views of what the caldera looks like:

In fact, I’m going to put the news media links before the science segment of today’s post. Boldfaced articles include quotes, videos, and/or photos from the media summit tour.

Continue reading June 28: Media Visits Damaged Park, Views Crater

June 27: Farm Animals Airlifted


Here’s an excellent 13-minute retrospective of Kilauea’s eruptions from the early 20th century right through June 25, 2018.

Now back to the present.

Today’s Eruption Summary
USGS: “At 10:41 p.m. HST on June 26, after approximately 25 hours of elevated seismicity, a collapse explosion occurred at the summit producing an ash-poor steam plume that rose less than 1,000 ft above the ground surface before drifting to the southwest. The event was captured by an HVO webcam in moonlight (plume in bottom of photo), located in the HVO observation tower.” (Full-sized)

It’s 11:30pm HST, and it looks like today’s “collapse explosion” is going to happen tomorrow. Are the explosion spacing themselves out more now?  Too early to tell. There has been always some variation in their timing, despite the fact that it feels like we’re watching a magmatic equivalent of Old Faithful.

View of Fissure 8 cone and lava channel from USGS morning overflight. (Full-sized)

Meanwhile, Fissure 8 continues exactly what it has for— what, a month now? Fountains contained within its 180-foot spatter cone continue to pour out an 8-mile river of lava. Occasional spillovers near the head of the river usually don’t go past the margin of previous flows in this eruption. Fissure 22 is once again showing “incandescence” and pushing out small, short lava flows.

The ocean entry area fans out across a 1-km stretch of coast, but the bulk of the lava is dumping into the sea from Fissure 8’s main channel. Unfortunately, the northern margin of the lava flow has reactivated, too, pushing further into what’s left of Kapoho Beach Lots community.

USGS on Twitter: “Morning overflight revealed northern margin of flow field at the coast is oozing fresh #lava at several points in the area of #KapohoBeachLots. Small channel overflows feed short #pahoehoe flows.” (Full-sized)

USGS: “Lava continues to enter the sea along the southern Kapoho coastline. Lava enters the ocean primarily through an open channel, but also along a 1-km (0.6 mi) wide area. Also visible in the image (center right) is an area at the northern margin of the flow field that is oozing fresh lava at several points in the area of Kapoho Beach Lots.” (Full-sized)

And that’s about it. Except that even with status quo, there’s some unusual sights and itoday. Such as this literal “Lava boat”:

Continue reading June 27: Farm Animals Airlifted

June 23: Pele’s Latest Trick – Lava Boats (Lavabergs)

Today’s Eruption Summary

Fissure 8 just keeps on going, as if it’s settling in for a Pu’u O’o eruption rather than a 1955/1960 eruption.  Once again, there’s minor overflows upriver that don’t go anywhere. The ocean entry is mostly via the channel on the south side of the lava delta, but there’s also trickles along a kilometer-wide stretch of shore. Fissure 22 showed incandescence but no lava during the USGS morning overflight.

The USGS was skimpy on images today but gave us a treat: a timelapse of what they call “lava boats.”

Here’s their explanation: “Geologists captured this time-lapse video of the perched lava channel issuing from fissure 8 on Kīlauea’s lower East Rift Zone. Rafts of accreted lava move down stream and look like boats moving down a river. These are termed lava balls or lava boats and form when portions of the fissure 8 cone or levees break away and are rafted down stream. As they move along in the channel, additional lava can cool to their surface to form accretionary lava balls.”

After lots of minor earthquakes and rockfalls that sent up small plumes of dust, the daily summit “collapse explosion” occurred at 4:34pm. It sent up a 2000-foot plume, once again equivalent to 5.3 earthquake. Again, I couldn’t resist a video capture:

The runup to today’s explosion was impressive. There was one cascade of dust and rubble all the way around the walls that I would’ve taken for the day’s explosive event, except that there was no camera shake beforehand. Doubtless it was one of these:

There’s not much news today, so let’s hitch a ride with the Hawaii County Fire Department and follow the lava river to the ocean. But first….

USGS: “On June 23, 2018 at 4:32 p.m. HST after approximately 17 hours of elevated seismicity, a collapse explosion occurred at the summit if Kīlauea. The energy released by the event was equivalent to a magnitude 5.3 earthquake. During the intense shaking, rockfalls cascaded down the northern margin of the caldera wall just below Uwēkahuna Bluff sending rock dust into the air.” (Full-sized)
More on Lava Boats

I’d asked about the “lava boats” before that video was posted: “What’s forming those so-called “lava bergs”? Are they chunks off the sides of the levees? Do they indicate erosion/undermining of lava channel’s banks analogous to meanders of an H20 river, with risk of wearing through?”

@USGSVolcanoes offered some additional info in response:  “They are chunks of the sides of levees as well as bits of the cone. As lava moves by them in the channel, they can be coated, dislodged, etc. Different than water – lava cools against cooler surfaces (channel sides) & we’ve started to see portions roofing over (forming tubes).” And when someone else asked if the whole 8 mile channel might become a lava tube: “It’s a possibility, but not necessarily guaranteed. It’s easier in places where the channel is already narrow.”

Which doesn’t answer my question about erosion/meanders, but looking back, they answered another question about braided lava channels on June 11 with this paper, which emphasizes that viscosity is a major factor in lava flows, whereas in H2O it’s particles in water.

Someone else’s Q on “lava boats”: ” Are these what’s floating beyond the ocean entry?
USGS: That’s a different process. The chunks floating beyond the ocean entry are bits of very bubble-rich lava-rock. When lava enters the sea there is sometimes an explosive process that expels rocks – the heat of the rock combined with the amount of bubbles causes these pieces to float for a while. Eventually, they cool, fill with water, and sink. 

  • Awkward place to stick this, but so I don’t forget: this week’s HVO “Volcano Watch” newsletter focused on “Mauna Loa Back to Normal.
More USGS on Social Media

Q: What will happen if the summit collapse continues?
USGS: There are several options: It could enlarge to a point and then the explosive activity could stop, or it could enlarge the crater and the explosions could change character.

Aha! It turns out the USGS posted photos today only on Facebook. Someday when things calm down, they need to comb their social media channels and make sure they’ve archived everything on the HVO website and/or USGS media library.

USGS: “Fissure 8 fountain, as observed from the Leilani Estates subdivision. USGS-HVO crews noted that during the overnight hours, the lava fountain typically reached heights similar to the height of the cinder cone, with sporadic bursts sending lava higher than the cone (as pictured in this image).
USGS image taken June 23, 2018, around 12:46 AM.” (Full-sized)
USGS: “HVO field crews are on site in the lower East Rift Zone, tracking the fountains, lava flows, and spattering from Fissure 8 as conditions allow and are reporting information to Hawaii County Civil Defense. Crews also make measurements and observations of ground cracks in the area, as shown in this image taken near fissure 9.
USGS image taken during the afternoon of June 22, 2018.” (Full-sized)
USGS: “View of the lava channel from ground level, with the Kapoho Crater in the upper left. The active channel is the horizontal silver-colored line in the upper third of the photo. Lava travels about 5 miles per hour in this area.
USGS image taken during the afternoon of June 22, 2018.” (Full-sized)
From Other Scientists

From Fissure 8 to the Sea with HCFD

If the USGS is too busy to post photos, the Hawai’i County Fire Department takes up the slack. (Unlike Facebook, Flickr is Google-able). Today Civil Defense shared their latest photo album, and once again I’m impressed by the definition of the camera they’re using compared to everybody else.

A small sample:

Looking southeast towards the “Y” junction at Pokoihi Rd, Kapoho Rd and 132 (Google Map) with Puna Geothermal Ventures in the background on the left:

06/19/18 Kilauea, HI - East Rift Zone Eruption Event

Left and right, as different as night and day:

06/19/18 Kilauea, HI - East Rift Zone Eruption Event

A disagreeable neighbor:

06/19/18 Kilauea, HI - East Rift Zone Eruption Event

Looking towards the new lava delta:

06/19/18 Kilauea, HI - East Rift Zone Eruption Event

Past the Lava Rooster house (near that mast):

06/19/18 Kilauea, HI - East Rift Zone Eruption Event

Past the Cinder Pit:

06/19/18 Kilauea, HI - East Rift Zone Eruption Event

Around Kapoho Crater (and former Green Lake):

06/19/18 Kilauea, HI - East Rift Zone Eruption Event

To the sea. (Note upwelling.)

06/19/18 Kilauea, HI - East Rift Zone Eruption Event

New land.

06/19/18 Kilauea, HI - East Rift Zone Eruption Event

Effects extend offshore…

06/19/18 Kilauea, HI - East Rift Zone Eruption Event

So far, so lucky. (Note the 1960 lava flow with roads on it.)

06/19/18 Kilauea, HI - East Rift Zone Eruption Event

(warning: helicopter noise)

06/19/18 Kilauea, HI - East Rift Zone Eruption Event

Sorry, got carried away. But there’s another 98 photos/videos in that album, including video all along the route and detailed views of houses, farms, even a dock.

From News Outlets

HNN is taking the weekend off; they’ve more than earned it. (Today they just altered a headline and called it a day: “637 homes destroyed by lava amid explosions, eruptions on the Big Island“) But KHON2 took up the slack:

Moment of Aloha

While we wait for daily explosions, the people living on Kilauea endure earthquake swarms, as Dispatches from Volcano describes today. Also, he waxes eloquent on the topic of naming Fissure 8.

STill More Photography/Videos

First up, Mick Kalber getting up close and personal with whatever it’s called. Good views of a spillover, Fissure 22 incandescence, and the red lava at the ocean entry. (Blog post on this overflight)

Here’s that spillover with streets labeled:

Other pros are still hitching rides with Paradise Helicopters and/or the National Guard:

Fissure #8, new Pu'u 'O'o? (06/21/2018)

A post shared by Janice W. (@janice_weicool) on

A lava sun. A sunset behind gas plume from fissure #8.

A post shared by Janice W. (@janice_weicool) on

(East is left in the Kilauea livecam)

June 18: USGS Kilauea Conference Call

BigIslandVideoNews posted an abridged version of today’s USGS Media Conference Call:

Here’s the full unabridged audio recording.  Below, I take notes/paraphrase, for anyone who’s especially interested in the nitty gritty of what’s going on with the volcano.

June 18 USGS 11AM Media Conference Call

Continue reading June 18: USGS Kilauea Conference Call

June 12: Halema’uma’u’s Collapse Continues

Summit:  Today’s “Type A” explosion occurred at 1:52am. It produced almost no ash this time, although there’s still light ash and SO2 coming out of the crater from time to time. The view of the continued slumping/subsidence of Halema’uma’u crater is impressive (also see Jun 9 video on Twitter):

USGS: “Events at the summit of Kīlauea over the past few weeks have dramatically reshaped Halema‘uma‘u, shown here in this aerial view, which looks west across the crater. The obvious flat surface (photo center) is the former Halema‘uma‘u crater floor, which has subsided at least 100 m (about 300 ft) during the past couple weeks. Ground cracks circumferential to the crater rim can be seen cutting across the parking lot (left) for the former Halema‘uma‘u visitor overlook (closed since 2008). The deepest part of Halema‘uma‘u (foreground) is now about 300 m (1,000 ft) below the crater rim. The Halema‘uma‘u crater rim and walls continue to slump inward and downward with ongoing subsidence at Kīlauea’s summit.” (Full-sized)

Fissure 8’s cluster of vents is erupting up to 160ft today. With the cinder cone that’s built up around them, they’re mostly hidden. It’s entering the ocean today along a broad front. Fissure 16/18 are spattering weakly; this is the “weak activity” reported for the past few days. Apart from that, the Lower East Rift Zone is quiet, although other fissures are still releasing gasses.

The good news is, Fissure 8’s lava flow has built up such high, broad banks that unless it overflows them, it probably won’t cover many more homes or cut off new areas. The bad news is, the lava river could still break its levees, and there’s no guarantee other fissures won’t reactivate. USGS field crews reported a “non-erupting crack” in the Lower East Rift Zone with “temperatures as high as 430°C (806°F).”

Note, however, high temps may not indicate imminent changes. USGS clarified on Facebook: “This was at Fissure 10, which has long displayed high temperatures (fortunately, no SO2 was detected). It does not mean an eruption there is imminent, but rather it is a place where various superheated gases are escaping.” Similarly, there’s been high temps at the cracks across Highway 130, which have steamed but so far not erupted at all.

USGS overflight photo, morning of June 12. Fissure 8 and Leilani Estates. I think that’s Nohea Street. (Full-sized)

Somewhat abbreviated Daily Digest today because I started late, and then took forever transcribing 11AM conference call. But the stunning pictures keep coming…

Continue reading June 12: Halema’uma’u’s Collapse Continues

June 11: Summit Hiccups, Ocean Entry Upwelling

Fissure8’s “three closely space fountains” are starting to climb down, reported at 115-130 feet last night, and “fluctuating heights from below the 115 ft high spatter cone around it up to 180 feet” this afternoon. But its lava flow is still full to its banks, entering the ocean in Kapoho with minor steam explosions. “Weak lava activity” was spotted at fissure 16/18 last night.

USGS: “The three closely spaced lava fountains at fissure 8 reached maximum heights of 115-130 feet overnight. Lava fragments falling from the fountains are building a cinder-and-spatter cone around the erupting vent, with the bulk of the fragments falling on the downwind side of the cone. Fissure 8 continues to feed a channelized lava flow that reaches the ocean at Kapoho.” (Full-sized)

Last night, Kilauea’s summit hiccuped: there was a small explosion at 12:46am, after which, seismicity did not drop off until after another, larger explosion at 4:43am like the ones we’ve seen lately (registered as M5.4).

USGS: “A series of wide-angle webcam images, captured by a camera in HVO’s observation tower between June 1 and June 10, 2018, show ongoing subsidence around Halema‘uma‘u at the summit of Kīlauea in this animated GIF.” (Full-sized)

Since Saturday, Fissure 8’s gas emissions have been much higher than last week, whereas summit SO2 is half what it was before the current eruption. (I’m not sure why HVO’s Kilauea alerts report “volcanic gasses” for one and only SO2 for the other.)

(The “Lava Livestream” house is still safe, if marooned, near white mast): 

USGS: “Aerial view of the fissure 8 lava channel on Kīlauea Volcano’s lower East Rift Zone in the vicinity of the Kapoho cone, with fissure 8 fountains visible in the distance (upper left). Helicopter overflights of the eruption site are routinely scheduled to check for any new outbreaks of lava and to collect GPS data on the active flow—information that’s needed to make the flow field maps that are posted on HVO’s website” (Full-sized)

Here’s a double feature from Mick Kalber’s daily overflights— below is his June 11 lava video, but I missed his June 10 flyover vid and lava update notes.

Below the cut: more great images, overflight vids, and some interesting USGS answers to questions on social media.

Continue reading June 11: Summit Hiccups, Ocean Entry Upwelling