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RED Alert Kilauea Volcano

Posted by feww on May 16, 2018

Ash eruption from Overlook vent intensifies

Volcanic Activity Summary:

As of early this morning, eruption of ash from the Overlook vent within Halemaumau crater at Kilauea Volcano’s summit has generally increased in intensity. Ash has been rising nearly continuously from the vent and drifting downwind to the southwest. Ashfall and vog (volcanic air pollution) has been reported in Pahala, about 18 miles downwind. NWS radar and pilot reports indicate the top of the ash cloud is as high as 10,000 to 12,000 feet above sea level, but this may be expected to vary depending on the vigor of activity and wind conditions.

Ash emission from the Kilauea summit vent will likely be variable with periods of increased and decreased intensity depending on the occurrence of rockfalls into the vent and other changes within the vent.

At any time, activity may become more explosive, increasing the intensity of ash production and producing ballistic projectiles near the vent. [USGS/HVO @ 23:23:27 UTC 2018-05-15]

Volcanic cloud height: 10,000 – 12,000 feet (3,000 – 4,000 m)


At 11:05 a.m. HST [May 15.] Photograph from the Jaggar Museum, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, captures an ash plume rising from the Overlook crater. Ash falling from the plume can be seen just to the right side (and below) the plume. [USGS/HVO]


At 1:38 p.m. HST [May 15,] another dark ash plume rose from the Overlook crater. During a flight earlier today by the Civil Air Patrol, the height of the ash plumes near the crater rose to more than 3 km (9,800 ft) above sea level, and downwind the plumes continued to rise to about 3.5 km (11,500 ft) above sea level. [USGS/HVO]


TOP: Activity at Halema‘uma‘u crater increased this morning to include the nearly continuous emission of ash with intermittent stronger pulses that form occasional higher plumes 1-2 kilometers (3,000 to 6,000 feet) above the ground. This photo shows the ash plume at about 9 a.m. HST. Tradewinds this morning are blowing the ash generally to the southwest toward the Ka`u Desert. The dark area to the right of the ash column rising from the Overlook crater is ash falling from the ash cloud to the ground. [USGS/HVO]


Ash plume viewed from the Volcano Golf Course near Volcano, Hawai‘i. This view is nearly due north of the Halema‘uma‘u crater. [USGS/HVO]


At 11:43 [May 15] HST, Civil Air Patrol flight CAP20 reported plume tops at about 9,500 ft [~ 3,000m] with the dispersed plume rising as high as 11,000 ft. The CAP mission was launched from Hilo in support of Hawai‘i County Civil Defense and USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory response to the ongoing eruption. Ash from this plume was reported falling on communities downwind. [USGS/HVO]

Hazard Analysis:

  • Ash cloud: The ashcloud is drifting downwind primarily to the southwest with the Trade Winds. Wind conditions are expected to change in the next 24 hours and other areas around Kilauea’s summit are likely to receive ashfall.
  • Ashfall: Ashfall has been reported in the community of Pahala, at locations along Highway 11 from Pahala to Volcano, and in the Ka’u Desert section of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
  • Other hazards: Ballistic projectiles may be produced should steam-driven explosions occur. Impacts will be limited to an area around Halemaumau.
  • Volcanic gas: Vog or volcanic air pollution produced by volcanic gas has been reported in Pahala.

 

 

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