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USGS Volcano Notice - DOI-USGS-HVO-2023-01-05T22:02:08-08:00


U.S. Geological Survey
Thursday, January 5, 2023, 8:09 PM HST (Friday, January 6, 2023, 06:09 UTC)

KILAUEA (VNUM #332010)
19°25'16" N 155°17'13" W, Summit Elevation 4091 ft (1247 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: WARNING
Current Aviation Color Code: RED

The summit eruption of Kīlauea that began within Halemaʻumaʻu crater just after 4:30 p.m. HST today, January 5, 2023, continues at this time.  All activity is confined to Kīlauea summit region, within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. There are no indications of activity migrating out of the summit region.

Multiple minor fountains are active in the central eastern portion of Halema‘uma‘u crater floor; the largest lava fountain is consistently about 10 meters (32 feet) high. Fountain bursts up to 30 meters (98 feet) high occurred around 7:45 p.m. and there were several bursts up to 50 meters (164 feet) high during the initial part of the eruption. Lava flows have inundated much of the crater floor (which is nearly 300 acres or 120 hectares).  As of approximately 7:30 p.m. about 10 meters (32 feet) depth of new lava had been added to the crater floor.

Summit tilt switched from inflation to deflation around 5 p.m. HST. Following the eruption onset, summit earthquake activity greatly diminished and eruptive tremor (a signal associated with fluid movement) resumed. Volcanic gas emissions in the eruption area are elevated.

Kīlauea’s volcano alert level and aviation color code will remain at WARNING/RED as this eruption and associated hazards are evaluated overnight.  

The summit eruption of Kīlauea has not had an impact on Mauna Loa. Mauna Loa remains quiet.

HVO will continue to monitor this activity closely and report any significant changes in future notices.

HVO is in constant communication with Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

Hazard Analysis: 

The eruption at Kīlauea’s summit is occurring within a closed area of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. Therefore, high levels of volcanic gas are the primary hazard of concern, as this hazard can have far-reaching effects down-wind. Large amounts of volcanic gas—primarily water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), and sulfur dioxide (SO2)—are continuously released during eruptions of Kīlauea volcano. As SO2 is released from the summit, it will react in the atmosphere to create the visible haze known as vog (volcanic smog) that has been observed downwind of Kīlauea. Vog creates the potential for airborne health hazards to residents and visitors, damages agricultural crops and other plants, and affects livestock. For more information on gas hazards at the summit of Kīlauea, please see: https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/fs20173017. Vog information can be found at https://vog.ivhhn.org/. 

Additional hazards include Pele's hair and other lightweight volcanic glass fragments from the lava fountains that will fall downwind of the fissure vents and dust the ground within a few hundred meters (yards) of the vent (s). Strong winds may waft lighter particles to greater distances. Residents should minimize exposure to these volcanic particles, which can cause skin and eye irritation. 

Other significant hazards also remain around Kīlauea caldera from Halemaʻumaʻu crater wall instability, ground cracking, and rockfalls that can be enhanced by earthquakes within the area closed to the public. This underscores the extremely hazardous nature of Kīlauea caldera rim surrounding Halemaʻumaʻu crater, an area that has been closed to the public since late 2007. 

For discussion of Kīlauea hazards, please see: https://www.usgs.gov/observatories/hawaiian-volcano-observatory/hazards.

Please see the Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park website for visitor information: https://www.nps.gov/havo/index.htm. Visitors to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park should note that under southerly (non-trade) wind conditions, there is potential for a dusting of powdery to gritty ash composed of volcanic glass and rock fragments. These ashfalls represent a minor hazard, but visitors should be aware that such dustings at areas around the Kīlauea summit are possible. 



Next Notice:

Kīlauea updates will be issued daily. Should volcanic activity change significantly a new VAN will be issued. Regularly scheduled updates are posted on the HVO website at https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/volcano-updates  

More Information:

Kīlauea activity summary also available by phone: (808) 967-8862

Kīlauea webcam images: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/webcams

Kīlauea photos/video: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/photo-and-video-chronology

Kīlauea lava-flow maps: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/maps

Kīlauea FAQs: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/faqs

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory is one of five volcano observatories within the U.S. Geological Survey and is responsible for monitoring volcanoes and earthquakes in Hawaiʻi and American Samoa.



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Summary of volcanic hazards from eruptions: https://www.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/hazards
Recent earthquakes in Hawaiʻi (map and list): https://www.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo
Explanation of Volcano Alert Levels and Aviation Color Codes: https://www.usgs.gov/programs/VHP/volcanic-alert-levels-characterize-conditions-us-volcanoes