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Kilauea SO2 emissions tops 10,000 tpd

Posted by feww on March 8, 2011

Kilauea Volcano: Elevated Seismicity, Increased Effusion

Volcano Shows Increased Effusion Rates, Significantly Elevated Seismicity at summit and east rift zone


Lava pours from the fissure just after daybreak and cascades out of sight into a deep crack. HVO geologist near upper right for perspective. Source: HVO. Click image to enlarge.

HVO/USGS Volcanic Activity Warning

Volcano: Kilauea (CAVW #1302-01-)
Current Volcano Alert Level: WARNING
Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE
Previous Aviation Color Code: RED

Issued: Monday, March 7, 2011, 6:13 PM HST (March 8, 2011, at 04:1UTC)
Source: Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
Notice Number: 2011/H2
Location: N 19 deg 25 min W 155 deg 17 min
Elevation: 4,091 ft (1,247 m)
Area: HI Hawaii and Pacific Ocean

Volcanic Activity Summary from HVO:  Eruption continues at Kīlauea volcano’s east rift zone  with intermittent activity at alternating locations along a 2.3 km long fissure between Pu’u ‘Ō’ō and Nāpau Crater. Effusion rates are high, with lava spatter reaching as high as  30m.

East rift zone gas emissions are significantly elevated above the 300 tonnes/day measured during the past several months and as recently as March 5, prior to the fissure eruption. Gas measurements on March 6 show an average SO2 emission rate of 10,000 tonnes/day, the highest measured on the east rift zone since an eruptive surge in July 2008 produced an emission rate of 7,000 tonnes/day. Summit SO2 emissions on March 6 were around 600 tonnes/day.

The TEB eruption system downrift (ENE) of Pu’u ‘Ō’ō appears to have shut down. During today’s overflight of the flow field, no active lava flows were observed on the pali or coastal plain.

Seismicity remains significantly elevated at both Kīlauea’s summit and east rift zone.

Deflation appears to be slowing at the summit and east rift zone.

At Kīlauea’s summit, the lava lake within the Halema’uma’u Crater vent is about 200 m deep, based on visual estimates. A rockfall within the vent at 2:23 p.m. HST today produced a vigorous dusty brown plume.


The fissure is located just west of Pu`u `Ō `ō Crater. Spatter was reaching heights of 40 m (130 ft). Source: HVO


Most of the day’s activity was focused at this vent, around which a low cone was forming. Pu`u `Ō `ō is visible in the background to the northeast. Source: HVO


Source: HVO.  Click image to enlarge.

Video showing lava pouring from the fissure into a seemingly bottomless crack

Video showing lava pouring from the fissure into a seemingly bottomless crack. Napau Crater in the background. Helicopter for scale.
Video showing lava pouring from the fissure into a seemingly bottomless crack. Napau Crater in the background. Helicopter for scale. Source: HVO

Video showing spattering from the most persistent vent of the day just west of the base of Pu`u `Ō `ō near the northeastern end of the fissure system.
Video showing spattering from the most persistent vent of the day just west of the base of Pu`u `Ō `ō near the northeastern end of the fissure system.

Lava spatters above the fissure just west of the base of Pu`u `Ō `ō.
Lava spatters above the fissure just west of the base of Pu`u `Ō `ō

Related Links

HVO Links:

Kīlauea Update | Mauna Loa Status | Deformation | Maps | Webcams | Images | Movies

Hawaii Volcanoes  Webcams

Kīlauea Summit

Halema`uma`u, Kīlauea Volcano
Halema`uma`u from HVO
Halema`uma`u from Overlook, Kīlauea Volcano, Hawaii
Halema`uma`u from Overlook
Kīlauea East Rift Zone

Pu`u `Ō `ō, Kīlauea Volcano
Pu`u `Ō `ō
Thanksgiving Eve Breakout From Pu`u `Ō `ō
Thanksgiving Eve Breakout From Pu`u `Ō `ō
Napau Crater, Kīlauea Volcano
Napau Crater
Mauna Loa Summit

Mokuawe`owe`o, Mauna Loa Summit Caldera
Mokuawe`owe`o, Mauna Loa Summit Caldera

2 Responses to “Kilauea SO2 emissions tops 10,000 tpd”

  1. feww said

    HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY CURRENT STATUS REPORT
    Tuesday, March 8, 2011 6:56 PM HST (Wednesday, March 9, 2011 04:56 UTC)

    KILAUEA VOLCANO (CAVW #1302-01-)
    19°25’16” N 155°17’13” W, Summit Elevation 4091 ft (1247 m)
    Current Volcano Alert Level: WARNING
    Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE

    The eruption on Kīlauea volcano’s east rift zone continued throughout the day on the eastern and western ends of the 2.3 km long fissure located between Pu’u ‘Ō’ō and Nāpau Crater, but late this afternoon, the eastern part of the fissure shut down.

    The effusion rate remains high, with lava spatter reaching as high as 75 m. Lava erupted from the fissure is typically forming short, thick flows, but a channelized flow from the western end of the fissure reached about 800 m in length by late afternoon.

    East rift zone gas emissions are significantly elevated above the 300 tonnes/day measured during the past several months and the long-term average of 1,700 tonnes/day. Gas measurements on March 7-8 show an SO2 emission rate of at least 10,000 tonnes/day, the highest measured on the east rift zone since an eruptive surge in July 2008 produced an emission rate of 7,000 tonnes/day.

    Pu’u ‘Ō’ō and the TEB vent downrift of Pu’u ‘Ō’ō remain inactive today.

    Summit SO2 emissions today were around 500-600 tonnes/day.

    Seismicity continues at significantly elevated levels at both Kīlauea’s summit and east rift zone.

    Deflation has slowed at the summit and east rift zone.

    At Kīlauea’s summit, the lava lake within the Halema’uma’u Crater vent is estimated to be about 220 m below the crater floor based on visual observations this morning.

    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 Hawai`i.

    source: http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/

  2. feww said

    HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY DAILY UPDATE
    Tuesday, March 8, 2011 7:39 AM HST (Tuesday, March 8, 2011 17:39 UTC)

    This report on the status of Kilauea volcanic activity, in addition to maps, photos, and Webcam images (available using the menu bar above), was prepared by the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO). Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park status can be found at http://www.nps.gov/havo/ or 985-6000. Hawai`i County Kalapana Viewing Area status can be found at 961-8093. All times are Hawai`i Standard Time.

    KILAUEA VOLCANO (CAVW #1302-01-)
    19°25’16” N 155°17’13” W, Summit Elevation 4091 ft (1247 m)
    Current Volcano Alert Level: WARNING
    Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE

    Activity Summary for past 24 hours: There have been significant changes as Kilauea volcano continued to erupt at two locations: On the east rift zone, a fissure eruption that started March 5 continued intermittently at locations approximately 2-3.5 km WSW of Pu`u `O`o. At the summit, the lava lake level remained deep below the rim of the vent inset within the east wall of Halema`uma`u Crater; several rim collapses produced dust plumes. Summit and east rift zone seismicity remained significantly elevated.

    Past 24 hours at Kilauea summit: The lava level remained very deep (estimated more than 200 m or 655 ft) and mostly out of webcam view within the vent inset within the east wall of Halema`uma`u Crater. There were at least three rim collapses, each enlarging the vent and producing dense, dark plumes of rock dust. The summit tiltmeter network recorded slowing deflation. Seismic tremor levels remained significantly elevated.

    Three earthquakes were strong enough to be located within Kilauea volcano all beneath Halema`uma`u Crater.

    The summit gas plume is robust and moving to the southwest this morning. The most recent (preliminary) sulfur dioxide emission rate measurement was 1,100 tonnes/day on March 7, 2011.

    Past 24 hours at the middle east rift zone vents: The fissure eruption that started March 5 continued through this morning with vigorous spattering from at least two locations along the fissure which is located between the west flank of Pu`u `O`o and the east rim of Napau Crater within Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Low fountains and spattering fed several temporary lava flows advancing to the south within the park.

    The most recent (preliminary) sulfur dioxide emission rate measurement was 10,000 tonnes/day on March 7, 2011 from all east rift zone sources.

    Preliminary satellite radar interferometry as of March 7 showed patterns suggesting that the new fissure eruption is the surface expression of a dike possibly larger than the one that fed the January 1997 eruption and the June 2007 intrusion/eruption. The tiltmeter on the north flank of Pu`u `O`o recorded slowing deflation. Seismic tremor levels remain significantly elevated and variable in this part of the rift zone.

    There was no active lava on the TEB or Nov. 29 flow fields nor within Pu`u `O`o Crater.

    Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park message: In response to the current volcanic conditions, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park has closed the Chain of Craters Road and all east rift zone and coastal trails, along with the Kulanaokuaiki campground, until further notice.

    Hazard Summary: East rift vents and flow field – near-vent areas could erupt or collapse without warning; potentially-lethal concentrations of sulfur dioxide gas are present within 1 km downwind of vent areas. Kilauea Crater – explosive events are capable of ejecting rocks and lava several hundred meters (yards) from the Halema`uma`u vent; ash and potentially-lethal concentrations of sulfur dioxide are present within 1 km downwind.

    Maps, photos, Webcam views, and other information about Kilauea Volcano are available at http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hvo/activity/kilaueastatus.php. A daily update summary is available by phone at (808) 967-8862.

    A map with details of earthquakes located within the past two weeks can be found at http://tux.wr.usgs.gov/

    A definition of alert levels can be found at http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/activity/alertsystem/index.php

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