Weekly Eruption summary
So it’s finally arrived, the end (or at least intermission) of Fissure 8’s endless outpouring of lava from May 27 to August 4. The shutdown happened at the end of last week over a period of just 2-3 days.
Fissure 8 isn’t quite dead. There’s lava pooled deep down the cone, bubbling weakly. Residual lava is still draining out of the lava delta into the ocean, some of it quite near the now-famous Pohoiki Boat Ramp. But most of the surface channels have drained and solidified.
The volcano’s summit has settled, too. The caldera floor isn’t inflating or deflating, and the swarms of earthquakes and summit collapses have stopped.
So now the question becomes: how long do geologists, national park staff and residents wait before deciding it’s safe to start repairing the damage? Past Lower East Rift Zone eruptions have paused for days, even weeks. So scientists and officials continue to warn that this eruption could resume at any time.
This week’s Volcano Watch column from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, written August 9, addresses exactly that question:
“Is Kīlauea Volcano’s summit and rift zone activity pau or paused?”
Also, it looks like I missed an August 6 USGS news media briefing discussing the eruption’s apparent shutdown (full audio).
Now let’s look back at recent images and videos posted on HVO’s Photo & Video Chronology page, which only shows the 10 most recent posts— so these are visible there now, but won’t be in the future.
First of all, remembering past collapse events— with sound! Full-sized video posted here, or a faster-loading small version on Twitter:
Watch the ground shake and hear the roar of rockfall, in this video taken July 5, 2018: USGS cameras at Kīlauea Volcano's summit record a collapse event. https://t.co/VFDeSUjsFS pic.twitter.com/31JfblmDdC
— USGS Volcanoes🌋 (@USGSVolcanoes) August 11, 2018