Mike Zoellner, geologist, Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes, UHI
Transcript – July 11 Eruption Update
Janet Babb, USGS: On the Lower East Rift Zone, Fissure 8 continues to erupt, and overnight the channelized flow that was diverted from the main channel that went west of Kapoho Crater advanced to the ocean, and, unfortunately, in its path, it destroyed the Kua O Ko La Charter School and the Ahalanui Beach Park area. And there’s now a new, very robust ocean entry plume near the Ahalanui Beach Park area. So in all, the flow front at the ocean now is about 3.7 miles wide.
In this morning’s overflight, there were no other fissures that appeared to be active.
At the summit, following yesterday’s early morning collapse/explosion that released energy equivalent to a magnitude 5.3 earthquake, the earthquakes have resumed— there was a period of quiet, but the earthquakes have resumed and currently the summit area is experiencing about 25-30 earthquakes per hour. This pattern is expected to continue.
As far as gas emissions at the summit, the gas emissions remain low, and on the Lower East Rift Zone, the gas emissions remain high. And with that, of course, the problems with vog continue with those high emissions.
This is my transcript of the July 2, 2018 11am USGS press briefing, which covered lava-created thunderstorms, whirlwinds, and rain; laze-induced lightning; and lava boats. Additionally, Mike Zoellner mentioned findings of a sonar expedition to measure the lava extending on the ocean floor.
Soundfile is archived here. BigIslandVideoNews has also posted most of it, overlaid with recent video footage:
Leslie Gordon, USGS Public Affairs
Jessica Ferracane, Hawaii Volcanoes Nat’l Park Public Affairs
Robert Ballard, NWS
Mike Zoeller, HVO & Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes, UHI
Brian Shiro, seismologist, USGS/HVO
Transcript note: I omit salutations/pleasantries, jumping straight to news and information. Also I usually summarize questions to provide just enough context for USGS responses.
Update: Status quo at Fissure 8, LERZ, Summit. New “tidbit”: front of lava is sitting on ocean floor that was 60 meters deep. Also, using term “collapse explosion” for daily explosions, because not 100% clear whether explosion triggers collapse or vice versa. Tradewinds and showers through weekend.
Questions & answers:
Q: Possibility of new fissures opening, or if not, why not? Has seismicity in LERZ decreased? A: Not ruling it out, but magma has found a good conduit to Fissure 8, seems stable. Seismicity in LERZ “pretty quiet.”
Leslie Gordon, USGS Public Affairs: That will not affect what we’re doing here at Kilauea. I think the department realizes that this is an urgent situation. We have people’s livelihoods endangered. People have lost their homes and businesses. And so we— it will not affect what we’re doing here regarding Kilauea Volcano.
3. Q: Do you think it’s safe local residents to view lava if they’re outside mandatory evacuation zone? A: Not our call. It’s up to Hawaii County.
4. Q: What’s process for naming fissure 8? A: Hawaiian elders, community, Board on Geographic Names decide when and what to call places in Hawaii.
5. Q: Will delta collapse? How far out? A: Can’t rule out collapse, but it’s on fairly stable slope so far; 100-200 meters from where it is now the slope steepens. [Didn’t say what would happen there, but I think implication is that it will be less stable and more collapse-prone.]