USGS/HVO Deputy Scientist-in-Charge Steve Brantley has been giving weekly 10-minute slideshows at Tuesday evening Pahoa Community Meetings. Here’s last Tuesday’s.
Good evening. Thank you for coming out tonight. I have just a short presentation to provide for you this evening, and I invite you to come back to the back of the room at the end of the meeting. I have copies of the report that we put out on Thursday of last week, so you’re welcome to take a copy. Please, one per household. And I’ll draw attention to— the centerpiece of that report is a map. And I have a copy of the map back there that we can talk about if you’d like.
So the activity this past week has not changed significantly, either at Fissure 8 or along the lava channel or at the summit. The summit keeps dropping during these episodic earthquakes, where parts of the crater floor drop 2-2 ½ meters, 7-8 feet at a time, and also overall slow subsidence.
Here’s a transcript of this week’s presentation from HVO Deputy-Scientist-in-Charge Steve Brantley at the Tuesday Pahoa Community Meeting.
I’m going to start with a broad overview of the eruption so far. We’re 80 days into the eruption [since the floor dropped on Puʻu ʻŌʻō, I think] about now, so I want to provide a little bit of context, in terms of similar activity or un-similar activity in the past 200 years. And then we’ll do a quick summary of what’s happened in the past week.
Quite a lot happened today in the LERZ. Fissure 8 started overflowing again about 8:30-9am this morning. Unfortunately, some spillouts on the north side extended past the edges of previous flows, destroying three more homes in Leilani Estates, two on Luana St, one on Nohea.
Another blockage just west of Kapoho Crater last night diverted much of the main lava channel around the west side of the crater’s cone, rejoining the main flow field on the other side. It created a channelized a’a flow which skirted the southern edge of the existing lava field, and was a quarter mile from the coast and Ahalanui Warm Pond by noon. [Update 10pm HST: I’m seeing several unconfirmed reports on social media that it and Kua O Ka La Charter School were taken by lava late Wednesday afternoon or early evening.]
However, some lava is still being supplied to earlier ocean entry areas, either by still-molten lava that’s permeated the lava delta, or by a lesser supply of new lava following the old route around Kapoho Crater. This lava is working on building a point (it’s still not the easternmost point of the island, although the angle of the left-hand photo makes it appear so):
New lava channel on south side of existing channel and wraps around west side of Kapoho cone, lava within 2,000 ft of the coast at Ahalanui Beach Park. Summit collapse event occurred at 5:46 AM HST.https://t.co/7sDZqcOJ5spic.twitter.com/kkt3wI7XAy
Interestingly, today’s tardy summit collapse at 5:46am (M5.3 as usual) seems to have had some effect upon Fissure 8. There’s been speculation that might be occurring, but it wasn’t confirmed until now. According to the HVO update: “The collapse/explosive event this morning was followed by an increase in lava from the fissure 8 vent which has produced small overflows from the upper channel that are threatening a few homes on Nohea and Luana streets.”
Fissure 22 continues to sputter quietly and intermittently, so the sluggish flow it was emitting a week or so ago has cooled.
Transcript of Steve Brantley’s Tuesday evening presentation at the weekly community meeting, July 10, 2018.
Steve Brantley (HVO/USGS): Well, good evening. Thank you for turning out. I worked really hard this afternoon to prepare my very best presentation for you tonight, and lo and behold, somehow it didn’t end up on my jump drive. So for that, I apologize. And what I’ll do is basically recount the presentation, but you’ll have to— we can refer to the map up here.
So the overall picture is that the activity at Fissure 8 has not fundamentally changed. A high rate of lava is still being erupted, and we really haven’t noticed a change in that rate. At the summit, the volcano continues to subside very slowly over time, and periodically— now about once every 30 hours, or almost every day— the ground drops as much as two and a half meters or so in each drop, and results in a ground shaking that’s equivalent to about a magnitude 5 event.
[Note: this is when the overflows around Kapoho Crater got started, but the main flow front/ocean entry was still mostly north.]
I was hoping NLTV would post a video of last Tuesday evening’s Pahoa Community meeting as they usually do, since BigIslandVideoNews records Steve Brantley’s slideshows by pointing the camera at him and skipping most of the slides, but no such luck.
Today’s entry is going to be a challenge, because my computer chose a holiday to go pau. Arthritis and dodgy vision versus voice dictation and tablet — who will win?
Today’s eruption summary
The LERZ eruption continues pretty much as usual, with a few minor embellishments to keep field crews on their toes.
Today’s HVO update noted that Fissure 8 “has been pulsing with more vigorous output in 1-3 minute bursts.” When asked for clarification, USGSVolcanoes replied, “No true indication of change.” F8 continues to send lava downriver to Kapoho, where lava is oozing out along most of the broad front and encroaching on Kapoho Ag and Beach Lots properties.
Fissure 22 continues to spatter intermittently and produce a short, sluggish flow:
Wednesday, July 4, 2018, 5:45 am – Kilauea's east rift zone overflight: Fissure 22 continues to spatter bits of lava…
…and it still looks like a kid’s science experiment. (It’s hard to tell from overhead, but it’s a perfect steep-sided cone.)
Remember how the lava channel clogged up temporarily around the bend at Kapoho Crater yesterday? It’s still having problems:
I lucked out this morning and caught @HotSeatHawaii ‘s sunrise overflight live, which offered a good view this. Part of the lava is going wide instead of making the sharp turn, though it joins back up around the bend. (More photos below.)
Today’s summit collapse/explosion occurred at 10:19 AM HST. The view was fairly clear today, and the rockfalls were spectacular:
On June 26, 2018, Deputy Scientist-in-Chief of the Hawaii Volcano Observatory, Steve Brantley, gave a ten-minute slideshow at the Puna Community Meeting in Pahoa. Video of the meeting is posted here. Steve Brantley’s talk starts at 35:00 in that video.
BigIslandVideoNews excerpted half of his talk in this video, which they overlaid with footage from a June 24 USGS drone overflight of the summit:
Below is my transcript of the complete talk, including images that match or approximate his slides.
Steve Brantley (USGS):
Hello, everybody. Thank you for coming out.
I’ll just describe a few things occurring in the Lower East Rift Zone and then summarize the activity up at the summit at the very end.
On Tuesday, June 19, there was a Puna Community Meeting at Pahoa High School at 5pm. As usual, Steve Brantley of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory/USGS gave an excellent slide presentation reviewing the current state of the Kilauea eruiption. He covered the “perched lava flow” in the Lower Rift Zone and the dramatic changes at the summit, placing each in context with previous similar events. (I didn’t realize there were records of many past Halema’uma’u collapses).
Video of the entire meeting is posted here. The USGS talk starts at 42:40. I’ve transcribed it below, adding photos when I have something close (and restoring his graphs/diagrams which don’t come through very well on video recording).
Lower East Rift Zone: Fissure 8 continues to build its oblong cinder and spatter cone. Overnight fountain heights were 130-140 ft, up to 53m (174ft) by the afternoon. Fissures 16 and 18 continue weak activity.
Fissure 8’s lava flow had a “towering” steam plume at its ocean entry point this morning. Areas of offshore upwelling have become more dispersed.
The daily summit explosion was at 3:39am, equivalent to M5.4 earthquake, with an ash plume 7-8K feet (NWS radar has been repaired). Slumping and subsidence continue at Halema’uma’u, and SO2 emissions remain about half pre-event levels.
Before and After: Changes at Halema’uma’u
Here’s a good view of Halema’uma’u taken at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, April 19, 2018 by Christoph Strässler (Creative Commons):
Compare with this animation from HVO webcam June 1-10, or the new drone footage later in this post.
Today’s Kilauea news daily digest is full of science, science, science! the usual slew of incredible pictures. Also, some glimmers of hope for lava evacuees, although as usual bureaucracy moves at the speed of of dirt.
I didn’t realize I’d missed one of Steve Brantley’s excellent 10-minute slideshow presentations at the weekly Puna Community Meetings. This one took place on Tuesday, June 12 at Pahoa High School.
I learn something from every one of these talks, which sum up Kilauea eruption activity of the past week in a way that’s easy for the general public to understand without talking down to them.
Video of meeting is archived here. Steve’s presentation starts at timestamp 42:10. Where possible, I’ll be including images in my transcript which match his slides.
(Steve Brantley is a USGS geologist, deputy-scientist-in-charge of Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.)
Hello everybody. Thank you for coming out again and thank you for your perseverance. I’ll show a couple slides of what’s been happening down in this part of the neighborhood and end with some slides of the summit area, which continues to change very dramatically.
So this is the overview slide I’ve showed for the past few times. It gives you the overall picture. It’s an image, cartoon, from the summit area all the way out to the eastern tip of the island. The summit area here [under “Kilauea Caldera” label], eastern tip [down by “Kapoho Crater”], with a cross section showing you the general picture of the magma reservoir system from the summit of the volcano down through the East Rift Zone and into the Lower East Rift Zone.