Kīlauea Volcano’s summit lava lake continued to drop today (May 15, 2015).
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Measurements of the lake surface late this afternoon showed that it was 62 m (203 ft) below the top of the newly-created vent rim, a ridge (or levee) of solidified lava about 8 m (26 ft) thick that accumulated on top of the Halemaʻumaʻu Crater floor from multiple overflows of the vent during the past two weeks.
This sequence of HVO webcam images of Kīlauea Volcano’s summit vent, recorded between 1:28 and 1:32 p.m., HST, on May 12, 2015, captures the moment a section of the dark-colored “bathtub ring” (a veneer of fresh lava that coats the vent wall as the lava lake level drops) fell into the lava lake (center).
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The lava veneer collapse, which produced a visible cloud of rock and lava fragments, agitated the lava lake surface and exposed lighter-colored layers of older rock in the vent wall (right).
The summit lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater has dropped significantly over the past two days, as Kīlauea’s summit has deflated.
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The dropping lava level has allowed lava veneer on the walls of the Overlook crater to fall away, clearly exposing the contact between the original rim of the Overlook crater (which is the original, pre-overflow floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater) and the stack of recent lava overflows. These overflows are roughly 8 meters (26 feet) thick in total.
This satellite image was captured on Wednesday, May 6, 2015 by the Landsat 8 satellite. Although this is a false-color image, the color map has been chosen to mimic what the human eye would expect to see.
The lava flow field is partly obscured by clouds, but the image shows much of the activity on the June 27th flow.
Bright red pixels depict areas of very high temperatures and show active lava. White areas are clouds. (Click to enlarge)
There have been three areas of breakouts active on the June 27th flow recently. The Feb 21 breakout has slowly migrated north over the past couple months. The breakout north of Kahaualeʻa has been active recently at the forest boundary, triggering small brush fires. The farthest breakout is 6-8 km (4-5 miles) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and consists of scattered activity near the forest boundary.
The lava lake in the Overlook crater, within Halemaʻumaʻu Crater at Kīlauea’s summit, remains at a high level and close to the Overlook crater rim. Overflows onto the Halemaʻumaʻu Crater floor have built up the rim of the Overlook crater several meters, and recent overflows are visible in the right side of the photograph.
Spattering was vigorous today in the southern portion of the lake. From this view, the spattering was hidden behind a portion of the Halemaʻumaʻu Crater wall, but airborne spatter can be seen in the bottom left portion of the photo. The summit of Mauna Loa can be seen in the upper right. (Click to enlarge)
The lake level this afternoon was about 7 meters (yards) above the original (pre-overflow) floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater.
This Quicktime movie shows spattering at the margin of the summit lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater.
Click to view the Quick Time Movie
Spattering has been common at the lake, and when it occurs is easily visible from the public viewing area at Jaggar Museum. This video shows a closer view from the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu, which is closed to the public due to volcanic hazards.
The June 27th lava flow remains active, with breakouts focused in several areas northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.
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The farthest downslope activity observed on today’s overflight was roughly 8 km (5 miles) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.
This photograph shows one of the active breakouts closer to Puʻu ʻŌʻō. (Click to enlarge)
One of several lobes on the June 27th flow that was at the forest boundary today, burning vegetation northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.
Summit lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater remains at high level
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Over the past week, the summit lava lake in the Overlook crater rose and spilled out onto the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, creating the dark flows in the south part of Halemaʻumaʻu (left side of crater from this direction). The extent of the lake itself, set within the Overlook crater, is slightly difficult to distinguish from this view but the spattering at the lake margin is visible. The overflows onto the Halemaʻumaʻu Crater floor, not counting the area of the lake itself, total about 11 hectares (28 acres).
A closer look at the lava lake and overflows on the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater.
The outline of the Overlook crater, and the active lake, is easier to distinguish in this view.
From this angle, the extent of the lava lake within the Overlook crater is much easier to distinguish from the surrounding overflows.
The closed Halemaʻumaʻu parking lot is in the right side of the photograph.
A portion of the Halemaʻumaʻu Crater wall collapsed at 1:20 pm today, impacting the lava lake and triggering a small explosion of spatter and a robust particle-laden plume.
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Fist-size clasts were deposited around the closed Halemaʻumaʻu visitor overlook.
A sequence of still images taken from the webcam positioned at the closed Halemaʻumaʻu overlook, spanning about six seconds.
The collapse originated from a portion of the wall directly below the webcam, but just out of view. Large pieces of molten spatter can be seen flying through the air and being deposited on the crater walls below the camera.
This Quicktime movie shows a small explosive event that occurred at 1:20pm today at the summit lava lake. A collapse of a portion of the Halemaʻumaʻu Crater wall impacted the lake and triggered an explosion of spatter. Fist-size clasts were found scattered along the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater near the closed visitor overlook. (Click to view Video)
Hawaii Volcano Observatory Statement on current activities:
After a week of elevated activity, HVO would like to review recent observations and thoughts on what we may expect next at Kīlauea Volcano. LAVA FLOWS ON THE FLOOR OF HALEMAʻUMAʻU
Beginning at about 9:40 p.m., HST, last night and continuing into this morning, the Overlook crater lava lake overflowed its rim on several occasions, sending short, lobate sheets of pāhoehoe as far as 130 m (142 yds) across the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater. These overflows were captured on USGS-HVO’s web cameras. Thus far, the flows have been brief and their forward motion ceased as the lava lake level fell and lava subsided into the Overlook crater. As yet, no change in lava spattering or surface circulation patterns on the lake in response to these overflows has been noted.
Given the sustained high, and slowly rising, levels of lava within the vent during the past week, these overflows were expected and they are likely to continue intermittently. During similar lava lake activity at Halemaʻumaʻu in the 1800s and early 1900s, lava lakes frequently produced overflows. Over time, overflows and intermittent spattering can build a collar of solidified lava that then contains the rising and circulating lava lake. This phenomenon is known as a ‘perched lava lake.’
ROCKFALLS, EXPLOSIONS, AND SPATTER ON THE HALEMA‘UMA‘U CRATER RIM; ASHFALL AT JAGGAR OVERLOOK AND BEYOND
Yesterday morning at about 10:20 a.m., HST, a rockfall from the southeast wall of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater above the lava lake initiated an explosion from the lake surface. Large clots of molten spatter up to 2 meters (2 yards) across showered the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu in the vicinity of the closed visitor overlook fence. The hot spatter formed a nearly continuous blanket for about 100 m (110 yards) along the crater rim and extended back from the rim about 50 m (55 yards). Small bits of crater-wall rock were embedded in the spatter clots. Additional explosions and showers of rock and spatter can be expected. They can occur suddenly and without warning and underscore the exceedingly hazardous nature of the Halema‘uma‘u Crater rim, an area that has been closed to the public since late 2007.
Visitors to the Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Jaggar Museum Overlook and other Park areas should also note that under southerly wind conditions, similar rockfalls and explosions can result in a dusting of powdery to gritty ash composed of volcanic glass and rock fragments. Several such ashfalls occurred last weekend and, although they represent a very minor hazard at this time, people should be aware that additional dustings of ash are likely at Jaggar Museum and other areas around the Kīlauea summit. For more information about volcanic ash hazards and precautions at Kīlauea, please see: http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/hazards/FAQ_SO2-Vog-Ash/main.html
CONTINUED INFLATION AND EARTHQUAKE ACTIVITY IN THE KĪLAUEA SUMMIT AND UPPER EAST RIFT ZONE
For the past week or so, HVO monitoring networks have recorded steady inflation of the Kīlauea Volcano summit area. Shallow earthquake activity has also been elevated beneath the summit caldera, upper East Rift Zone, and upper Southwest Rift Zone. Of the hundreds of earthquakes that have occurred in the past week, most have been small, less than magnitude-2 (M2).However, this morning (April 29) a M3.0 earthquake occurred at the easternmost caldera boundary. It is the second M3+ earthquake in this region during this sequence.
During this period of elevated summit activity, there has been no obvious change in the eruption rate of lava from Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Rates of gas emission from both the summit and Puʻu ʻŌʻō remain largely unchanged. Short-lived increases in sulfur dioxide from the summit lava lake have been noted during rockfall-triggered explosive events, such as the one that occurred yesterday morning.
Video by Mick Kalber:
WHAT WE CAN EXPECT
The current activity is best explained by an increase in magma supply to the Kīlauea Volcano magma reservoir or storage system, something that has occurred many times during the ongoing East Rift Zone eruption. Increased supply and shallow storage can explain the higher magma column in the Overlook crater, as well as the continuing inflation and elevated earthquake activity in the summit region. Higher volumes of magma moving throughout the summit and upper East Rift Zone pressurizes the reservoir and magma transport system and causes small earthquakes and inflationary tilt.
As long as magma supply is elevated, we expect continued high lava lake levels accompanied by additional overflows. Lava from these overflows could cover more of the Halemaʻumaʻu Crater floor, form a perched lake, or result in some combination of these two processes. Spattering or lava fountaining sources can migrate across the surface of the lava lake, as recently observed. We expect continued rockfalls, intermittent explosions and ash fall, and continued high levels of gas release.
The evolution of unrest in the upper East Rift Zone is less certain. It is possible that a surge of lava will reach Puʻu ʻŌʻō and lava flow output will increase, both on the flanks and within the crater of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. It is also possible that lava will form a new vent at the surface. If this happens, it will most likely occur along a portion of the East Rift Zone between Pauahi Crater and Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Other outbreaks in the summit area or along either rift zone on Kīlauea cannot be ruled out. If a new outbreak or surge in lava to Puʻu ʻŌʻō occurs, we will expect a drop in the summit lava lake.
HVO continues to closely monitor Kīlauea Volcano. We are especially watching for any sign of unrest that may precede a new outbreak of lava or a change in output at either Puʻu ʻŌʻō or the summit Overlook crater vent. We will continue to post daily eruption updates on the HVO web site, along with photos, videos, and maps as they are available at: http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/activity/kilaueastatus.php
An annotated photograph showing summit features named in this statement, such as Overlook crater and Halemaʻumaʻu, is posted at: http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/archive/summit-labels.jpg
Photo from the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu showing the lava lake in the completely filled Overlook crater. Repeated overflows are beginning to construct levees around the lake, such that the level of the lake is now perched about 2 m (7 ft) above the original floor of Halemaʻumaʻu.
Kīlauea Volcano’s summit lava lake, which was about 12 m (40 ft) below the vent rim on April 25, overflowed the vent rim for the first time at about 9:40 p.m., HST, on April 28. As of noon on April 29, the lava lake had overflowed the vent rim several more times. (Click to enlarge)
A rockfall from the wall of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater impacted the lava lake around 10:20 am, triggering an explosion of spatter and smaller particles.
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HVO geologists working on the far side of the crater captured the initial moments of the plume rising. The explosion deposited a large amount of spatter around the closed Halemaʻumaʻu visitor overlook.
Rocks falling into the summit lava lake generated an explosion that threw large fragments of molten lava onto the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, 85 m (280 ft) above the lake.
These fragments pose a significant hazard, and are one reason this area remains closed.
Spatter from the explosion also landed on the Halemaʻumaʻu webcam, melting some of the wire insulation but not enough to interrupt its operation.
Gas in the lava lake was rapidly released during the 10:20 am explosive event, causing the lava lake surface to drop a few meters (yards).
This photo was taken moments after the explosive event, and shows the overhanging ledge of lava along the rim that was exposed as the lava level dropped.
Early this morning, prior to the explosive event at 10:20 am, the lake was close to the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, with spattering along the lake margin.
Thousands of additional visitors are flocking to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park to witness the large lava lake steadily rise at the summit of Kīlauea volcano.
Over the last several days, visitors waited up to 30 minutes or longer to park. To ease traffic once the Jaggar Museum and Kīlauea Overlook parking lots fill up, rangers are currently redirecting vehicles during peak visitation hours to park at the Kīlauea Military Camp ball field. From there, visitors can hike one mile to the Jaggar Museum observation deck, the closest and best vantage point to view the spectacular lava lake.
“Visitors should come prepared to ensure a safe and enjoyable park experience,” said Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “We encourage people to avoid peak hours, and arrive after 10 p.m. and before 4 a.m. if possible, or they will likely wait in line for parking. The park remains open 24 hours a day,” she said.
Tips for an optimal viewing experience:
Be prepared to hike one mile each way between Kīlauea Military Camp ball field and the Jaggar Museum observation deck on Crater Rim Trail. Wear sturdy closed-toe shoes, bring rain gear, water, binoculars, a flashlight, and extra batteries.
Carpool if possible to reduce the number of vehicles in the parking areas.
As a courtesy to other visitors, no “tailgating” in the Jaggar Museum or Kīlauea Overlook parking lots. Choose another picnic location so others have a chance to view the eruption.
To observe viewing and weather conditions, monitor the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory webcams. The KI camera provides a panoramic view of Halema‘uma‘u Crater from HVO.
High levels of dangerous sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas and volcanic ash can be blown over Jaggar Museum by southerly winds. These gases are a danger to everyone, particularly to people with heart or respiratory problems, young children and pregnant women. Kīlauea Visitor Center offers updates on air quality 24 hours a day, and visitors can monitor the Hawaii SO2 network website.
In addition, the public is reminded that park entrance fees apply and that the use of unmanned aircraft (drones) is prohibited in all national parks.
This photo shows the lava lake in the Overlook crater this morning, when it reached to within 3 m (10 ft) of the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu. This is the highest the lava lake has reached during the current summit eruption.
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This is a view of spattering at the east corner of the lava lake this morning.
The level of the lava lake within the Overlook crater, set within Halemaʻumaʻu Crater at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano, continues to rise.
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Yesterday, the level was as high as 14 meters (46 feet) below the Overlook crater rim. This photograph was taken from the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, in an area closed to the public due to volcanic hazards, but the lava level was high enough today that the lava lake surface could be seen from Jaggar Overlook, which is open to the public.
A venomous spider was captured by agents from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in Honolulu on Mon., April 13th.
The spider was found in a container of granite and flagstone from Brazil that was being off-loaded in Honolulu. The CBP agents sealed the container and immediately turned the spider over to entomologists at the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA), who identified it as a venomous Brazilian wandering spider (genus: Phoneutria). The brown-colored spider had a leg span that measured about 3.5 inches.
Yesterday, a second container from the same shipment was opened and another spider was found and killed immediately by a worker unloading the container. The spider was destroyed to the extent it could not be positively identified, but the worker said it looked like the photo of the Brazilian wandering spider. The second container was sealed and quarantined. The Plant Quarantine Branch is working with the importer to have the containers shipped back to Brazil.
“This incident emphasizes the importance of coordinated efforts between federal and state inspection agencies in preventing invasive species from entering Hawaii,” said Scott Enright, chairperson of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture. “We each have our own inspection areas and duties, but communication is key in protecting the state.”
The CBP is responsible, not only for keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the U.S., but also screening international visitors and foreign cargo. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is charged with inspection of agricultural material and animals transported from foreign countries into the U.S. and the HDOA is responsible for agricultural inspections from ports within the U.S. entering the State of Hawaii.
The Brazilian wandering spider is found in most areas of South America; however, it is not established in North America. They are considered one of the most venomous spiders in the world and may grow to have a leg span of five inches. Their venom is a strong neurotoxin that can cause increased blood pressure and heart rate, vomiting, blurred vision and intense pain where the bite occurs.
This species of spider does not spin webs, but wanders around for their food – thus the name. Their diet consists of insects, other spiders, lizards and small rodents.
Suspected invasive species should be reported immediately to the state’s toll-free PEST HOTLINE –
Unfortunately the ship had to turn around once it got to the Big Island because the water in Hilo Harbor was not deep enough for the ship to port.
The NAVY has released the following statement:
In an abundance of caution and as advised by the embarked State Dept. of Transportation Harbor Pilot, the Commanding Officer of USS Chung-Hoon (DDG 93) felt it was prudent to not proceed with entering Hilo Harbor this morning due to the shallow depth of the harbor.
Sharing the Navy with the people of Hilo is important. We certainly value the opportunity to showcase our Navy to the American people. Our partnership with the Hilo Council is an outstanding example where a community and the military join together to create an environment of mutual support and broad benefit and the Navy looks forward to continuing this partnership for many years to come, and we deeply regret the inconvenience this has caused to our friends and neighbors in Hilo.
Capt. Mark Manfredi, Chief of Staff, Navy Region Hawaii will still attend tonight’s Merrie Monarch Festivities and the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band will be flown over here to march and perform in the Merrie Monarch Parade tomorrow morning.
Report Title: Medical Marijuana; Patients and Caregivers; Protections; Certifying Physician
Description: Establishes a system of medical marijuana dispensaries and production centers. Requires that the number of licensed dispensaries and production centers increase gradually over an initial phase-in period. Prohibits counties from enacting zoning regulations that discriminate against licensed dispensaries and production centers. Allows a qualifying patient, primary caregiver, or an owner or employee of a medical marijuana production center or dispensary to transport medical marijuana in any public place, under certain conditions. Replaces the requirement that a certifying physician be the qualifying patient’s primary care physician with a requirement that the physician have a bona fide physician-patient relationship with the qualifying patient. Prohibits primary caregivers from cultivating medical marijuana after 6/30/2018, subject to certain exceptions. Appropriates funds. (HD1)
Breakouts remain active in three general areas near Puʻu ʻŌʻō: 1) at the northern base of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, 2) just north of Kahaualeʻa, and 3) the most distal breakout, about 6 km (4 miles) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.
This photograph shows much of the most distal breakout, a portion of which was burning forest. Puʻu ʻŌʻō can be seen near the top of the photograph. (Click to enlarge)
A closer look at the lava flow field near Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is in the upper left portion of the photograph.
The small forested cone of Kahaualeʻa is just to the left of the center of the photograph. (Click to enlarge)
Slightly above and to the right of the center of the photograph, the light colored area of lava is the active breakout (which started on February 21) on the north flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.
The breakout north of Kahaualeʻa has one lobe that has traveled along the west side of the perched lava channel that was active in late 2007. This breakout consists of blue glassy pāhoehoe, which is easily visible in the photograph on the left.
The white box shows the rough extent of the thermal image on the right. Active (flowing) portions of the breakout are shown by yellow and white colors, while the red and purple areas show hot, but solidified, portions of the surface crust.
In the time since our last overflight (March 24), a new collapse pit has formed in the western portion of Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater.
Numerous hot cracks were observed in this general area during previous visits on foot. (Click to enlarge)
This circular pit can be seen in the lower left portion of the photograph, and measures about 27 m (roughly 90 ft) in diameter.
A closer look at the new pit in the western portion of Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater.
Measurements using the thermal camera images indicated that the lava pond surface was roughly 24 m (about 80 ft) below the rim of the pit.
Views inside the crater with the naked eye were obscured by thick fume, but the thermal images (right) revealed two areas of ponded lava, separated by a pile of collapse rubble, deep within the pit.
The Hawaii Department of Transportation’s (HDOT) two ZipMobiles used for the H-1 Freeway ZipperLane are both in operational condition after breaking down on Tuesday, Mar. 31, due to electrical malfunctions.
The original ZipMobile breakdown on Tuesday morning was caused by an intermittent electrical problem with its computer battery pack unit. As a result, the on-board CPU card was corrupted. A replacement was attempted using the computer battery pack unit and CPU card from the backup ZipMobile, but it suffered the same electrical problem.
A technician from ZipMobile vendor, Lindsay Corporation, was flown from California to Hawaii and was able to diagnose the problem, replace the battery pack units and reprogram the CPU cards on Wednesday. All other mechanical components of the vehicles were unaffected.
Both ZipMobiles were restored to full operational condition on Wednesday with the first at approximately 1 p.m. This ZipMobile closed the deployed ZipperLane between 2 and 4 p.m. The second ZipMobile was fully restored at approximately 5 p.m. and opened and closed the ZipperLane overnight for normal rush-hour operation this morning.
HDOT will be examining all aspects of the vehicle maintenance plan and its public outreach plans to better inform motorists of large-scale traffic incidents. These will include such items as:
Backup units for the computer battery pack that failed will now be held in reserve in the event of future problems. Previously, this unit was not held in reserve due to its limited, one-year shelf life in storage. HDOT and Lindsay Corp. are also preparing a list of additional electronic backup parts that are practical to keep on hand.
Lindsay Corp. will allow HDOT use of its proprietary software and train local staff on reinstallation procedures.
HDOT is submitting a budget proposal to the State Legislature this week for the long-term rehabilitation or replacement for one or both ZipMobiles.
Highway operational improvements are being considered to formalize use of freeway shoulder lanes during afternoon rush-hour traffic in various locations, such as the H-1 right shoulders from Pearl Harbor to Salt Lake and from Aiea to Pearl City, that were used in the Tuesday and Wednesday traffic backups.
HDOT will be working with the City & County of Honolulu to improve public outreach for future traffic incidents. This will include regular media updates to television, radio and social media outlets.
HDOT will be working will all counties and other state departments for major event coordination.
All H-1 ZipperLane operations next week will proceed as normal. HDOT again sincerely thanks Oahu’s motorists for their patience and kokua this week.
This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field.
Click to enlarge
The area of the flow on March 10, before shutting down near Pāhoa, is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow based on satellite imagery from April 1 is shown in red. Some recent changes north of Puʻu ʻŌʻō are not shown, as that part of the flow field was hidden from satellite view by clouds.