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HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY DAILY UPDATE

Friday, May 5, 2017, 8:02 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 in
Halemaʻumaʻu Crater and at Puʻu ʻŌʻō on the East Rift Zone. The Puʻu ʻŌʻō
episode 61g lava flow continues to enter the ocean at Kamokuna. The small
lava delta forming there since late-March has fallen into the ocean. Active
surface flows appear to persist above and near the pali southeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.
These flows pose no threat to nearby communities. At the summit, the lava lake
surface was measured this morning at 24.5m (80ft) below the adjacent crater
floor.

Summit Observations: Low levels of seismic activity and ground surface
deformations continue. Tremor amplitudes continue to fluctuate with the vigor of
lava lake spattering. Summit tiltmeters show deflationary tilt beginning at
approximately 0300h Hst this morning, registering about half-a-microradian
thus far, and continuing. The surface of the lava lake in the Overlook Vent has
dropped since yesterday, measured this morning at 24.5m (80ft) below the
adjacent floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater. Summit sulfur dioxide emission rates
remain high.

Puʻu ʻŌʻō Observations: Webcam images over the past 24 hours showed
persistent glow at long-term sources within the Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater and from a
small lava pond on the west side of the crater. Low-levels of surface
deformation and seismic activity continue. The combined sulfur dioxide
emission rate from all East Rift Zone vents has been steady over the past
several months, and remains significantly lower than the summit emission rate.

Lava Flow Observations: The episode 61g flow remains active and entering the
ocean. Yesterday a field crew noted that the small lava delta forming at
Kamokuna since late-March has fallen into the ocean. Webcam views suggest
active breakouts of lava within the upper portion of the 61g flow field, near the
pali but, otherwise, no obvious surface lava flow activity on the coastal plain
between the pali and the ocean entry. The 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
sudden 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. 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 April 10 is shown in pink, while widening and
advancement of the active flow as of May 3 is shown in red. Older Puʻu ʻŌʻō
lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray. The yellow line is the trace of the
active lava tube (dashed where uncertain).
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
On May 3, Kīlauea Volcano's Kamokuna lava delta, which had been
growing since late March, collapsed. Within five minutes, between
9:55 and 10:00 a.m. HST, nearly the entire delta disappeared,
collapsing into the sea.