Kilauea volcano update for Tuesday July 13

USGS: A koa’e kea (tropical white-tailed bird) hovers above Halema’uma’u at the top of KÄ«lauea. Typically, a few of these birds can be seen flying over the lava lake at Halema’uma’u during field visits. (USGS photo by Mr. Patrick)

(BIVN) – Seismicity has slowly increased at the top of KÄ«lauea in recent weeks, but the Hawaii Island volcano is not currently erupting.

The volcanic alert level remains at YELLOW / ADVISORY. Scientists reiterated on Tuesday that it was possible for the Halema’uma’u vent to resume its eruption or for the KÄ«lauea to enter a longer rest period before the next eruption.

In its weekly KÄ«lauea update, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory wrote that no surface activity has been observed by field crews or in webcam images since May 23, 2021. The surface of Lake lava in Halema’uma’u crater is completely covered with solidified lava crust.

The USGS wrote:

The most recent sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission rate, measured on July 6, 2021, was 70 tonnes per day (t / d). SO2 emission rates approach the levels associated with the non-eruptive period from late 2018 to late 2020 (30-35 t / d) and are significantly lower than the emission rates which averaged over 800 daily from mid-February to mid-April. Summit tiltmeters have recorded two cycles of deflation-inflation over the past week, along with continued gradual inflation. Continuing inflation was also recorded by the summit’s GPS instruments; however, the tilt and GPS movement pattern indicates that the center of inflation may have shifted slightly towards the southern part of the caldera. Seismicity has slowly increased in recent weeks, although it has yet to reach the levels seen immediately before the December 2020 eruption.

No unusual activity was noted in the East Rift zone, the scientists said. “Geodetic monitors indicate that the summit and upper East Rift zone – between the summit and Pu’u’ō’ō – are filling at rates similar to those measured over the past 2 years and before the December eruption. 2020, “the USGS wrote. “Pu’u’ō’ō’s SO2 and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) emissions were below instrumental detection levels when last measured on January 7, 2021.”

The weekly update on Mauna Loa volcano, which is also not erupting, is expected later this week.

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