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HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY DAILY UPDATE
U.S. Geological Survey

Friday, August 26, 2016, 8:54 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 from its East Rift Zone. The 61g lava flow continues to enter the ocean at Kamokuna and produce scattered breakouts on the coastal plain and pali. The flow poses no threat to nearby communities. The summit lava lake level dropped slightly during the past day and the surface is about 37 m (120 ft) below the crater rim this morning.

Summit Observations:The circulating lava lake within the Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook crater remains active. The deflationary phase of the DI event that began Wednesday evening continues, though the tilt rate has slowed during the past day. The lava lake level has dropped in concert with the tilt, and the lake surface is approximately 37 m (120 ft) below the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu this morning. Tremor fluctuations associated with lava lake spattering continue. The average daily summit sulfur dioxide emission rate ranged from 4,000 to 4,300 metric tons/day over the past week.

Puʻu ʻŌʻō Observations: Webcam images show no significant changes at Puʻu ʻŌʻō; intermittent views show that persistent glow continues at the long-term sources within the crater. There was no significant change in seismicity during the past day. The tiltmeter on Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone did not record any significant net tilt over the past day. The sulfur dioxide emission rate from all East Rift Zone vents was about 270 metric tons/day when last measured on August 25.

Lava Flow Observations: Activity of the 61g lava flow, extending southeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō on Kīlauea's south flank, continues. The flow is entering the sea at several places near Kamokuna, spanning about 1 km (0.6 mi) of coastline, and building an increasingly large lava delta at the base of the sea cliff. Scattered breakouts continue, predominantly on the pali and the makai (seaward) portion of the coastal plain.  near Kamokuna (labeled 'ocean entry' on HVO maps). Scattered breakouts continue predominantly on the makai (seaward) portion of the coastal plain and on the pali. A small delta collapse occurred Tuesday afternoon which darkened the plume for a short time.

As a strong caution to visitors viewing the 61g flow 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 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. Finally, the interaction of lava with the ocean creates an acidic plume laden with 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 July 26 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as mapped on August 2 is shown in red. Lava reached the ocean on the morning of July 26. Older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray.

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 (for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth's surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over the 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM).
Video from July 10, 2016
The Lava has reached the ocean for the first time in 3-1/2 years