Kilauea Update: No Eruption, Some Refilling of Middle Rift Zone

Update, October 21, 2018: From an October 18th HVO update:

A slight inflationary trend near and east of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō suggests that magma may be refilling the middle East Rift Zone. Low seismicity and reduced gas emissions do not indicate that the magma is shallow, but HVO continues to closely monitor this area and will report any significant changes.

Original post:
This VEI 3 eruption, which actually began in 1983 at Pu’u O’o, doesn’t seem to be over yet.

On October 16th, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) reported that ground deformation indicates that the middle East Rift Zone is refilling (current status updates here). This would be around the area of the Pu’u O’o crater.

Recall that this past May, the LERZ eruption that made headlines all summer was preceded by floor collapse at Pu’u O’o, followed by the disappearance of the summit lava lake, which had filled a crack at Halemaumau, the summit crater, that first opened up in 2008.

And here is what the Halemaumau area looks like today. As volcanologist Erik Klemetti notes, much of it slowly collapsed after the lava lake drained.

This volcano is a very dynamic place.

We will just have to wait and see what Pelee has planned next for Kilauea’s neighbors and a watching world. I’ll continue to add significant updates at the Kilauea page linked up top.

Here’s the HVO Kilauea page

Featured image: Grace Simoneau/FEMA via Wikimedia