HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY STATUS REPORT
U.S. Geological Survey
Thursday, June 8, 2023, 9:39 AM HST (Thursday, June 8, 2023, 19:39 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 erupting. Eruptive activity is currently confined to Halemaʻumaʻu crater within Kīlauea's summit caldera. No unusual activity has been noted along Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone or Southwest Rift Zone.
Halemaʻumaʻu Lava Lake Observations: Multiple minor fountains remain active in the central eastern portion of Halema‘uma‘u crater floor and one vent is open above the crater floor on the west wall of the caldera. Lava fountain heights have decreased since the eruption onset, but remain up to about 10 meters (33 feet) high. Active lava covers much of the crater floor (an area of approximately 1.5 square km or 370 acres). After an initial rise of approximately 6 meters (20 feet) depth of new lava added to the crater floor (measured by laser range finder), the lava level has decreased over the past day by 2 meters (6 feet), likely due to gas loss. This drop left a "bathtub ring" of cooled lava along the cliffs at the edge of the crater floor. An average effusion rate of approximately 150 cubic meters per second is estimated for initial 24 hours, based on the rise in the lava lake level and assuming a flat surface; however, this estimate is likely inflated and doesn't account for vesiculated lava and variations in topography across the surface of the crater floor. The very earliest phases of this eruption appears to have an effusion rate that was significantly higher than the previous three Kīlauea summit eruptions based upon the rapid coverage of the entire crater floor. The effusion rate has since declined and a refined estimate will be provided when overflight data is reduced. A live-stream video of the crater is available at https://www.youtube.com/usgs/live.
Summit Observations: Summit tilt has remained deflationary over the past 24 hours. Summit seismic activity is dominated by eruptive tremor (a signal associated with fluid movement) resumed. Volcanic gas emissions in the eruption area are elevated; a sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission rate of approximately 65,000 tonnes per day was measured yesterday, June 7, 2023.
Rift Zone Observations: No unusual activity has been noted along the East Rift Zone or Southwest Rift Zone; low rates of deflationary ground deformation and seismicity continue along the East Rift Zone. Measurements from continuous gas monitoring stations in the middle East Rift Zone—the site of 1983–2018 eruptive activity—remain below detection limits for SO2.
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.
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 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
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