Saturday, July 23, 2011

Lava only a few yards away from Overflowing Pu'u O'0, Hawaii - 22nd July 2011

The active Pu’u O’o vent on the east rift of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano is just about to overflow.

In a written update detailing recent observations made by the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, scientists foretell continued activity will “overflow the western rim” sending lava out of the crater for the first time since the Kamoamoa fissure eruption halted lava flows towards the ocean.


Past 24 hours at the middle east rift zone vents: Uplift of the crater floor and perched lake continued; lava nearly filled the Puka Nui and MLK pits, smaller craters to the west of the main Pu`u `O`o Crater, from sources outside the perched lake (see images); the western rim of these craters is lower than the east rim of Pu`u `O`o Crater so continued activity here will overflow the western rim. The lava lake, fed continuously by a source beneath the northeast edge remained perched in the center of the doming crater floor; circulation was from northeast to southwest. The crater floor was about 18 m (59 ft) and the lava lake surface 7-8 m (23-26 ft) below the east rim of Pu`u `O`o Crater based on measurements on July 21. Through July, the crater floor was uplifted about 0.5-1 m (1.5-3 ft) per day based on several measurements.

The GPS network around Pu`u `O`o recorded long-term extension since mid-April with more rapid extension across the crater since July 3 that is not recorded by nearby receivers outside the crater consistent with the source being shallow beneath the crater floor. The tiltmeter on the north flank of Pu`u `O`o Cone recorded continued weak deflation. Seismic tremor levels were low. The most recent (preliminary) sulfur dioxide emission rate measurement was 900 tonnes/day on July 19, 2011, from all east rift zone sources. Read More