Volcano Update from Archive

Report prepared by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO):

New eruption: The eruption from fissures east of Pu`u `O`o continues; cracks extend from the east rim of the crater and lava emerges first about 150 m east. HVO field crews report that the narrow flow that was advancing to the southeast has stagnated and is no longer moving. Lava is only issuing from the lower fissure and is ponding at the west base of Kupaianaha, the vent during the years between 1986 and 1992. The flows are covering earlier lava from the current eruption within the Kahauale`a Natural Area Reserve.

Pu`u `O`o: The floor of Pu`u `O`o crater was rarely viewable through the fog but HVO crews got several glimpses during the day. The floor has dropped and there may be a new pit in place of the west vent. The lava lake filling Puka Nui pit started to spill over into the MLK pit last night. The level actually topped the septum separating Puka Nui pit from the main crater before the lake drained.

The tiltmeter on the north flank of the cone continues to record deflation. Seismic tremor at Pu`u `O`o cone continues to decrease. Seismic tremor at Kalalua cone, just downrift of Kupaianaha, also continues to decline.

The fissure eruption and the collapse of the floor of Pu`u `O`o crater are curious in that they were not accompanied by unusual seismic tremor or earthquakes. Both events were rather 'quiet.' This may mean that the fissure is only a superficial feature and not related to the fundamental plumbing that provide magma to Pu`u `O`o. However, the strong tilt recorded at Pu`u `O`o starting just before midnight is consistent with a dike intruded beneath the cone. Further data gathering should help us resolve this issue.

Kilauea summit: Tiltmeters around Kilauea summit have been recording deflation since midnight. Seismic tremor in the summit increased slightly during the day Friday and remains slightly elevated today.