“Since May 16, 2018, the crater depth has more than tripled and the diameter has more than doubled.” ~ HVO
Current Eruption Summary
Volcanic activity has decreased over the past few days, at both the summit and down in the Lower East Rift Zone. However, as HVO warns us (and has stated many times), eruptions wax and wane, and can even stop and start up again. So we don’t yet know whether Pele’s winding down or simply taking a breather.
But for the moment, at least, Fissure 8 is putting out much less lava than before— in fact, this morning (August 5) its level is so far down that it’s barely feeding the channel. Lava levels were already lower and sluggish, and today the river is mostly crusted over and/or moving as thicker, crumbly a’a flows. However, blockages downstream are still causing overflows and breakouts.
Despite the slowdown at the source, lava continues to ooze into the ocean along a long section of the southern flow front. It’s edged a little bit closer to the boat ramp and local park that’s become a symbol for residents mourning the loss of so many other beloved places:
Lava tour boat operator Ikaika Marzo did not see any signs of slowdown at the flow front this morning, and he reported that lava has claimed claimed another popular local surf spot called “Dead Trees.”
At the summit, intervals between collapse events are lengthening. As of 5 pm August 5, it’s been over three days since the last summit collapse event. Today’s mini-update on HVO’s website states:
Rates of seismicity and deformation at summit and lava output from fissure 8 have decreased since most recent collapse event at 11:55 am HST August 2. Too soon to tell if the decrease will persist. Hazardous conditions remain.
Latest Satellite Imagery
The most recent scenes, acquired on August 1, 2, and 5, show little overall motion, which is consistent with the slowing of deformation in the summit area over the past few days. — HVO
Volcano Watch, August 3
And on August 3— before today’s significant lava decrease at Fissure 8— HVO posted out its weekly Volcano Watch column:
How long will #Kilauea #Volcano's lower East Rift Zone eruption continue?
Read this week's #VolcanoWatch article to find out what we think and how we determine our answer.https://t.co/A4aGTvXYiJ#KilaueaEruption #KilaueaErupts #LERZ #Fissure8 pic.twitter.com/hJEKHUpULj
— USGS Volcanoes🌋 (@USGSVolcanoes) August 3, 2018
Outline of the rest of this post:
- Summary of USGS presentation at Thursday Volcano Village meeting
- Review of USGS eruption images from past few days (plus video)
- News and Kilauea-related information from other official agencies
- Kilauea-related headlines from local news media
- Overflight photos/videos of LERZ from @Hotseathawaii, etc
- USGS Q&A about eruption (and recent signs of change) on social media