Friday, January 15, 2010

Inflation soars ~ Earthquake under Kilauea ~ Surface lava flows spotted ~ Halema’uma’u pit vent lava rises closer to surface

A 3.0 earthquake nine miles below the Kilauea Volcano summit is the first quake above a 2.0 in quite awhile. Likely due to the rapid inflation of magma pressures below the summit, as shown on the deformation graph below.

Such a strong return of magma pressures are manifesting as surface lava at the historical eruption sites in the Pu`u O`o Crater vicinity; visible from the county lava viewing area as a strong molten lava glow high up the mountain after dark. What we are hoping is for a fast return of molten lava into the existing lava tubes that had been delivering it to the Waikupanaha ocean entry 6 ½ miles below Pu`u O`o. I suspect, though, this new eruptive lava will continue as large surface breakouts high up the mountain near to, or just down slope of the Pu`u O`o, then maybe refill the lava tubes. If the tubes do not refill, and inflation continues in the days ahead, we may witness lava river breakouts coming down the pali

Hawaii Volcano Observatory (HVO) has reported in this mornings Kilauea Volcano update some new developments within the active Halema’uma’u Crater pit vent:
Past 24 hours at Kilauea summit: A river of lava pouring into a deeper opening with churning and spattering lava was visible via webcam through much of the past day. Several times yesterday and overnight, the lava suddenly rose to very high levels, the edges of the ponded surface well outside the frame of the Webcam's view. At its highest stand, the lava surface may have reached as shallow as 120 m below the floor of Halema`uma`u Crater. Each time, after hesitating for several minutes, the lava surface then rapidly dropped back to its previous, lower level. This morning, the lava surface is ponded somewhere in between the earlier high- and low-stands, perhaps 150-160 m below the Halema`uma`u Crater floor. Not surprisingly, strong glow was visible from the Jaggar Museum Overlook.” Here is a live cam capture I grabbed at 10:38 this morning: (Check this cam out after dark tonight)

1 comment:

  1. I've been up to the park the last two nights. Too bad the ocean entry isn't going. I was hoping to see you at your booth. Hope you are doing well.