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HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY DAILY UPDATE

Tuesday, February 14, 2017, 8:56 AM HST

KILAUEA VOLCANO
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 continues to erupt at its summit and
East Rift Zone. Lava continues to enter the ocean at Kamokuna and surface
flows remain active near the vent at Puʻu ʻŌʻō as well on the coastal plain
south of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. These lava flows currently pose no threat to nearby
communities. At the summit, DI inflationary tilt continued and the lava lake
surface to about 20 m (65 ft) below the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu crater this
morning.

Summit Observations: Summit tiltmeters recorded continuing DI inflation. The
lava lake surface rose along with the tilt and was measured at about 20 m (65
ft) below the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu crater this morning. Seismicity rates were
at background levels and tremor values fluctuated in response to changing
lava lake circulation, spattering, and rockfalls. Sulfur dioxide emission rates
ranged from about 4,600 to 5,800 metric tons/day over the past week, when
measurements were possible during trade wind conditions.

Puʻu ʻŌʻō Observations: Webcam images show persistent glow in long-term
sources within the crater. There was no significant change seismicity rate
during the past day, while the tiltmeter on Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone recorded slight
inflation. The sulfur dioxide emission rate from all East Rift Zone vents was
about 200 metric tons/day when last measured on January 30.

Lava Flow Observations: The episode 61g lava flow remained active and is
entering the ocean at Kamokuna. At Puʻu ʻŌʻō, surface flows are occurring
within about 2.4 km (1.5 mi) of the 61g vent and also on the lower 61g flow
field at the coastal plain. These flows pose no threat to nearby communities
at this time.

As a strong caution to visitors viewing the ocean entry (where lava meets the
sea), there are additional significant hazards besides walking on uneven
surfaces and around unstable, extremely steep sea cliffs. Venturing too close
to an ocean entry on land or the ocean exposes you to flying debris created
by the explosive interaction between lava and water. Also, the new land
created is unstable because it is built on unconsolidated lava fragments and
sand. This loose material can easily be eroded away by surf, causing the new
land to become unsupported and slide into the sea. In several instances,
such collapses, once started, have also incorporated parts of the older sea
cliff. This occurred most recently on December 31. Further collapses of the
sea cliff have been occurring since then, most recently on February 11.
Additionally, the interaction of lava with the ocean creates a corrosive
seawater plume laden with hydrochloric acid and fine volcanic particles that
can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs.
This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow
field. The area of the active flow field as of December 14 is shown in pink,
while widening and advancement of the active flow as of January 12 is
shown in red. Older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray.
Surface flows are focused on a branch of the flow east of Puʻu ʻŌʻō that
has been active since late last year. The front of that flow branch has
stalled, but there are weak scattered breakouts upslope along its length.

The blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field are steepest-descent paths
calculated from a 2013 digital elevation model (DEM), while the blue lines
on the rest of the map are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983
DEM.
Video from July of flow moving toward ocean
A steady stream of lava exiting the episode 61g lava tube pours into the
ocean at the Kamokuna ocean entry. The interaction between the lava and
ocean water causes explosive reactions, throwing bits of lava.
TIME-LAPSE sequence of lava lake activity at Halemaʻumaʻu