Lava fountains rise and fall, but the river they feed remains the same: a vigorously-flowing channel down to a wide ocean entry, with occasional small overflows slopping over the levees (banks). Last night, Fissure 8’s fountains were reaching 200 feet; today they dropped again to 100-130 feet with bursts up to 180. Its cinder cone, built of spatter and tephra falling around the fountains, is now 170 feet tall.
When is somebody going to name this pu’u?
Frequency of earthquakes ramped up Thursday night, with more M3s than before. Today’s M5.3 summit explosion was late, finally popping at 11:56am, sending up an ash-poor (?) cloud 10,000 feet. HVO: “It didn’t produce a distinct plume, which is why we say ‘ash and gases’ instead.” This cycle of daily explosive events has been going on since May 26 or 29, depending on how rigidly one defines the pattern.
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.
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):
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.
Fissure 8 on #Kilauea's Lower East Rift Zone #LERZ – a nursery of volcanic bombs and spatter. Expanding volcanic gases rip the clots of lava apart as they rise through the air, forming ejecta of myriad shape and size. Photos taken on June 11. pic.twitter.com/E9iYbD9Zp8
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.
Somewhat abbreviated Daily Digest today because I started late, and then took forever transcribing 11AM conference call. But the stunning pictures keep coming…
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.
At a 3PM press conference, Jim Kauahikaua (USGS geophysicist) described in detail the subsidence at Halema’uma’u. He also talks about a patch of “upwelling” where lava has entered ocean at Kapoho and seems to be traveling along ocean floor, heating water above it.
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.
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).
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):
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.
The full community meeting is archived here, with Steve Brantley’s presentation starting at 44:30. BigIslandVideoNeed has excerpted it below, but they don’t usually show the slides he was showing. I’m going to be putting those back in, matching or approximating the photos he selected.
Steve Brantley, HVO/USGS: “Good evening and thank you for coming out tonight. […]