Hazard Notification System (HANS) for Volcanoes
HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY DAILY UPDATE
U.S. Geological Survey
Thursday, March 16, 2023, 8:27 AM HST (Thursday, March 16, 2023, 18:27 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: Kīlauea volcano is not erupting. The summit eruption of Kīlauea volcano, within Halemaʻumaʻu crater, remains paused. Lava is no longer flowing on the crater floor. Resumption of eruptive activity may occur in the near future with little or no warning. No significant changes have been observed along either of the volcano's rift zones. Low rates of ground deformation and modest rates of seismicity continue across the volcano.
Halemaʻumaʻu Lava Lake Observations: No active lava has been observed over the past 24 hours. A live-stream video of the inactive western lava lake area is available at https://www.youtube.com/usgs/live.
Summit Observations: Uēkahuna tiltmeter is recording a deflationary tilt trend. We are in the “D” portion of a DI event. Seismicity is at background levels. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) measurements have been hampered by southerly winds. The last emission rate of approximately 250 tonnes per day (t/d) was measured on February 28.
Rift Zone Observations: No unusual activity has been noted along the Rift Zones; steady rates of ground deformation and seismicity continue along both. Measurements from continuous gas monitoring stations downwind of Puʻuʻōʻō, in the middle East Rift Zone, have been below detection limits for SO2, indicating that SO2 emissions from Puʻuʻōʻō are negligible.
Hazard Analysis: Recent eruptions at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano have been occurring within a closed area of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. 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. 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 the volcano. 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 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.
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.
Subscribe to these messages: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vns2/
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