News Alert – Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano Massive Vertical Collapse At The Summit
At the Hawaii’s Kīlauea Volcano’s lower East Rift Zone, a small amount of incandescence was visible from the fissure 8 cone for a brief period overnight. Small lava flows have been observed within the fissure 8 cone, however none extend outside the walls of the cone. There is no change in overall activity from observations over the past several days.
Seismicity and ground deformation remain low at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano. Earthquakes activity continues on faults located on Kīlauea’s South Flank; these are aftershocks of the magnitude-6.9 earthquake in early May.
Tiltmeters in Kīlauea’s middle East Rift Zone have recorded small amounts of inflationary tilt, which may be a sign of refilling of the rift zone. The current rates are much smaller than those measured during the period of major eruptive activity and are not changing rapidly.
Incandescence from fissure 8 was noted a couple of times overnight, but no spattering or glow was visible during the Unmanned Aircraft Systems overflight around 8:00 a.m. this morning, as shown here. Lava within the fissure 8 crater looked much the same as yesterday, except that the new cone appeared less prominent. Steam in background is due to recent rainfall.
Sulfur dioxide emission rates at the summit, Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and Lower East Rift Zone are drastically reduced; the combined rate is lower than at any time since late 2007. SO2 emission rate measurements from lower East Rift Zone vents measured on September 5 were below 20 tonnes/day, close to the detection threshold of the measurement technique.
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory continues to closely monitor Kīlauea’s seismicity, deformation, and gas emissions for any sign of reactivation, and maintains visual surveillance of the summit and LERZ. HVO will continue to issue daily updates and additional messages as needed.
The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) team circumnavigates the crater rim at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano, collecting data for digital elevation models that document summit changes. The volume change, from early May 2018 to present, is over 825 million cubic meters (1 billion cubic yards). The vertical collapse of the crater floor is more than 500 m (1600 ft). Limited UAS flights into this hazardous area are conducted with permission and coordination with Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Scientists examine the UAS data in detail to understand how the collapse area is evolving and to assess hazards at Kīlauea’s summit, all of which is shared with the National Park Service and emergency managers.