Meanwhile, at Kilauea . . .

Update, November 24, 2018, 7:26 a.m., Pacific: Per the volcanologists, who kindly replied by email, this cloud coming out of the caldera, captured on the cam shot (below), was:

Volcanic gases — visibility of plume is more pronounced in early mornings and evenings when warm gases condense as they are released into cooler air temperatures. See this week’s Volcano Watch article for more info:

We, outside Hawaii, forget that the air cools down more there, this time of year, just like where we are.

Check out the article: it turns out that local people are still dealing with a sulfur smell, only this time it’s the “rotten-egg” smell. Pelee, that’s not polite!

New featured image: Rainbow in Kilauea Iki crater this summer, by Heath Cajandig, CC BY 2.0

Update, 8:34 p.m., Pacific: Well, this is weird. Per the 6:59 p.m. note below, all is clear per VAAC; no updates on the HVO web page (linked in original post) or the Hawaii CD tweets; nothing on KHNL.

And yet I saw this on the summit cam; fortunately I saved it, because the next cam update was a black screen (night time, nothing unusual–all the other cams were already black).


It’s difficult for experts and impossible for a layperson to tell what’s going on in such scenes from just one static image, especially with such lighting. That could conceivably be weather (note the cloudy sky), but it seems to be coming up out of the summit caldera.

Well, we can but wait and see . . . and send an email to the “ask HVO” hotline. Will pass along any replies.

Update, 6:59 p.m., Pacific: About four hours ago, the VAAC issued an all-clear. No other changes; Kilauea remains at Yellow aviation code. We’ll see what HVO says in its next weekly update.

Yes, Kilauea is monitored very closely, and not just because of its Lower East Rift Zone eruption earlier this year. It’s the #1 most hazardous volcano in the US.

Original post:

Washington VAAC reports possible volcanic ash emission, perhaps mostly steam, extending 5 nautical miles from summit. HVO hasn’t updated or issued a VAN (Volcanic Activity Notice) yet. I looked at the webcams, and saw nothing that looked like remobilized volcanic ash from this year’s earlier eruptions. Nothing about it yet on the Hawaii CD Twitter feed or KHNL, either.

Here’s the current webcam view at Pu’u O’o:

That may just be typical for this empty crater in the middle of the Lower East Rift Zone just now.

All of those links are given so you can follow this, too. It doesn’t seem like a sudden return of eruptive activity at Kilauea, but you never know. Will add any significant changes today below, if any occur.

Featured image: geralt at Pixabay.


Kilauea: HVO Decreased Alert Level Today

USGS/Hawaiian Volcano Observatory caption for this image (full size image here), with emphasis added:

This wide-angle photo shows the fissure 8 cone (center of image) and the long line of steaming areas extending uprift (west), towards the upper right corner of the image. No significant change was observed at fissure 8 during today’s overflight. Thermal images (see inset lower left) show no signs of lava within the cone – the small collapse pit in the center of the crater floor is cold.


Per HVO today:

HVO/USGS Volcanic Activity Notice

Volcano: Kilauea (VNUM #332010)

Current Volcano Alert Level: ADVISORY
Previous Volcano Alert Level: WATCH

Current Aviation Color Code: YELLOW
Previous Aviation Color Code: ORANGE

Issued: Friday, October 5, 2018, 8:47 AM HST
Source: Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
Notice Number:
Location: N 19 deg 25 min W 155 deg 17 min
Elevation: 4091 ft (1247 m)
Area: Hawaii

Volcanic Activity Summary: It has been 30 days since lava has been active at the surface of Kīlauea Volcano. HVO monitoring shows low rates of seismicity, steady, relatively low rates of deformation across the volcano, and only minor gas emission at the summit and East Rift Zone (ERZ). These observations indicate that resumption of eruption or summit collapse is unlikely in the near-term.

Accordingly, HVO is lowering the Volcano Alert Level for ground based hazards from WATCH to ADVISORY. This means Continue reading

Kilauea Update

There has been a slight, but possibly very important, change in the eruption–less lava coming out in the Lower East Rift Zone and a hiatus in summit collapse events–and I’m updating the Kilauea eruption page again. Can’t spend a lot of time on it because of book work, but I’ll try to catch the important stuff. Right now it’s mostly waiting to see the next pronouncement from USGS/HVO.

Click the link at the upper right of this page or use this one.

You’ve seen plenty of video of the lava flowing in the LERZ, so here is a USGS video of a summit collapse event about two months into the eruption. It’s not dramatic to look at–just trees shaking as the seismic waves roll through–but it is every bit as much of a caldera collapse as something CGI’d in a supervolcano movie.

Only it’s in real life, and happening so slowly that we can watch it in relative safety, while carrying on with our lives as usual nearby. And there hasn’t been one of these otherwise daily occurrences since August 2nd; it may never happen again our lifetime. (Then again, it might–you can’t be sure of anything around Pelee!)

Featured image: USGS/Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Guest Video: Hawaii’s Vog

Vog is volcanic smog, and thanks to Kilauea’s longstanding eruption, there’s a lot of it in Hawaii right now. But this video from the University of Hawaii also shows somebody climbing a snow-covered volcano, and someone else snowboarding. In Hawaii. Cool!

Featured image: Vent at Kilauea’s Halemaumau crater, by Scot Nelson (Flickr). CC BY 2.0.