Hazard Notification System (HANS) for Volcanoes

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HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY DAILY UPDATE
U.S. Geological Survey
Tuesday, January 4, 2022, 8:29 AM HST (Tuesday, January 4, 2022, 18:29 UTC)


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

Activity Summary: The summit eruption of Kīlauea Volcano, within Halemaʻumaʻu crater, remains paused. Similar pauses in recent weeks have ranged in duration from 1 to 3 days. Inflationary trends began around 2 AM HST this morning and recovery of tilt suggests the eruption will restart within the next 24 hours. All recent lava activity has been confined to the crater, and there are no indications of activity migrating elsewhere on Kīlauea.

A magnitude-4.3 earthquake located east-northeast of Pāhala occurred yesterday on  Monday, January 3, 2022, at 2:13 PM, HST. It was located 8 kilometers (5 miles) east-northeast of Pāhala, at a depth of 34 kilometers (21 miles), and produced a light shaking up to intensity IV on the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale with no observable impact on the eruption of Kīlauea Volcano. A map showing its location is posted on the HVO website at https://www.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo. 

Summit Observations: Summit tiltmeters began tracking inflationary trends around 2 AM this morning. Volcanic tremor associated with the eruption—as recorded by nearby seismometers—has not restarted yet. Earthquake activity in the summit region remains below background level. A sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission rate of approximately 5,000 tonnes per day was measured on December 28, 2021 in the summit region while the lava lake was very active.

Halemaʻumaʻu Lava Lake Observations: Lava is not erupting from the western vent in Halemaʻumaʻu. Crust covers the lake and occasional small foundering events occurred north of the vent. The current inflationary trend indicates the eruption could restart within 24 hours.

East Rift Zone Observations: No unusual activity has been noted in the Kīlauea East Rift Zone. Low rates of ground deformation and seismicity continue along the East Rift Zone, and along the Southwest Rift Zone. SO2 and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) emissions from Puʻuʻōʻō, in the middle East Rift Zone, were below instrumental detection levels when last measured on January 7, 2021.

Hazard Analysis: This new eruption at Kīlauea's summit is occurring within a closed area of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Therefore, high levels of volcanic gas are the primary hazard of concern, as this hazard can have far-reaching effects downwind. 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 reacts 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 lava fountains that will fall downwind and dust the ground within a few hundred meters (yards) of the erupting fissure 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 the rim surrounding Halemaʻumaʻu crater, an area that has been closed to the public since early 2008. 

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. 

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) continues to closely monitor Kīlauea Volcano.

HVO will continue to issue daily Kīlauea Volcano updates until further notice. Additional messages will be issued as needed.


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

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Subscribe to these messages: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vns2/

Summary of volcanic hazards from eruptions: https://www.usgs.gov/observatories/hawaiian-volcano-observatory/hazards

Recent earthquakes in Hawaiʻi (map and list): https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/

Explanation of Volcano Alert Levels and Aviation Color Codes: https://www.usgs.gov/natural-hazards/volcano-hazards/about-alert-levels

CONTACT INFORMATION:

askHVO@usgs.gov

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.