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Thread: Kīlauea Activity

  1. #1
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    Kīlauea Activity

    Not to detract from what Loihi may do in a few thousand years, but Kīlauea seems to be suddenly getting very active.

    From Volcano National Park
    Due to the possibility of a new eruption and unstable geologic activity, park management closed 15,688 acres near Kīlauea Volcano’s Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō vent to the ocean today, including the gravel emergency access road from the eastern gate near Kalapana, to the western gate at the end of Chain of Craters Road, and all land on the makai (ocean) side of the emergency road.

    “The recent eruption changes and increased seismicity around the East Rift Zone and Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō vent may threaten land and the community outside the park. The partial closure in the park is necessary to prevent unsafe travel onto lands under the jurisdiction of Hawai‘i County and to keep people safe,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “Most of the park, which is 333,308 acres in size, remains open,” she said.

    On Monday afternoon, April 30, the crater within Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō collapsed, and a flurry of low magnitude earthquakes continues to shake the eastern side of the island, particularly communities in lower Puna. A small fissure opened to the west of the vent on Tuesday, May 1, but scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory report that an intrusion of magma is heading eastward from the vent towards Highway 130.
    USGS as of yesterday evening
    Elevated earthquake activity in Kīlauea's lower East Rift Zone has persisted through the day, with many reported felt events by residents. Earthquake counts have decreased slightly since midnight in the area east of Highway 130.

    Beginning this morning a GPS station located about 1.5 km (1 mile) southwest of Nanawale Estates began moving toward the north, indicating the magma intrusion is approaching this area of the East Rift Zone. The station has moved several cm (inches) since this morning.

    A tiltmeter at Pu'u 'Ō'ō recorded steady, deflationary tilt during the day, with several sharp inflation offsets. These offsets probably recorded the continued episodic collapse of the crater floor. Some of these offsets corresponded to short-lived ashy plumes rising from the crater.

    Tiltmeters at the summit began recording an increased deflationary tilt this afternoon. The summit lava lake level has lowered about 20 m (65 ft) since the deflationary tilt began in the early morning on May 1.

    New small ground cracks less than a few cm (inches) wide developed today across a couple of roads in and adjacent to Leilani Estates; these cracks reflect the buildup of stress at the surface due to the magma intrusion. No steam or gases were observed escaping from the cracks.
    Interactive earthquake map showing all the activity.
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  2. #2
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    Activity continues to ramp up
    CNN
    A volcanic eruption has spewed magma from the ground in a small community on Hawaii's Big Island, sending people fleeing from their homes as molten rock burned trees and threatened more destruction.

    Kilauea volcano's eastern rifts -- cracks miles away from its summit -- erupted late Thursday afternoon, spewing lava in Leilani Estates, a subdivision of about 1,700 people near the Big Island's eastern edge.
    Video posted on social media showed magma spewing several feet into the air from a crack in a Leilani Estates street. Aerial videos showed lava searing a long orange and smoky line through a wooded area.
    Authorities ordered residents of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens to evacuate to a community center, which is serving as a shelter.
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    Part of me wants to live in that area of the Big Island just to be close to volcanic activity. The other part realizes that perhaps a few more miles from the volcanic activity might be wiser.

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    Quote Originally Posted by geonuc View Post
    Part of me wants to live in that area of the Big Island just to be close to volcanic activity. The other part realizes that perhaps a few more miles from the volcanic activity might be wiser.
    I've had the same thought, but I think if I was to actually buy a home, it would be in the western or northern parts of the Big Island, and I'd drive to see the volcano.
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    It's still safer than ours?
    _____________________________________________
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    Hopefully everyone can be evacuated safely and the eruption will be interesting to watch but non-threatening.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    It's still safer than ours?
    Depends how you define safer. Kilauea is far more likely to destroy property in the short term than Rainier, for example, and Hawaiian lava is easier to outrun. But Rainier has the far greater potential for mass destruction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    I've had the same thought, but I think if I was to actually buy a home, it would be in the western or northern parts of the Big Island, and I'd drive to see the volcano.
    I recently learned that there are not two, as I thought, but three active volcanoes on the island. Guess where the third one is? Can you say "Kona" boys and girls?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    It's still safer than ours?
    From a catastrophic situation? No. From near-term damage to very limited areas? Yes.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    I recently learned that there are not two, as I thought, but three active volcanoes on the island. Guess where the third one is? Can you say "Kona" boys and girls?
    Four actually. Five if you count Loihi just off the coast. Kilauea, Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, Hualalai and Loihi. Mauna Kea hasn't erupted in quite a while, but geologically, it's still active.

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    Alarmingly, there was a magnitude 6.9 earthquake centered near the Kilauea rift. That's large, the largest to hit Hawaii since 1975.

    https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthqua...dyad#executive

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    This Twitter video shot from a helicopter by a Hawaii reporter also shows something alarming: an empty Pu'u O'o vent (a subsidiary caldera of Kilauea near the recent activity) where the day before it was full of lava, according to the reporter.

    https://twitter.com/lynnkawano/statu...900987904?s=12

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    The level of the lava lake in the main crater has also dropped greatly.

    Wikipedia has Mauna Kea as "dormant" rather than active. I'm not sure how they define the distinction.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Wikipedia has Mauna Kea as "dormant" rather than active. I'm not sure how they define the distinction.
    The USGS has it as active.

    https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observato...volcanoes.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by geonuc View Post
    Depends how you define safer. Kilauea is far more likely to destroy property in the short term than Rainier, for example, and Hawaiian lava is easier to outrun. But Rainier has the far greater potential for mass destruction.
    You're more likely to be killed by Rainier when it goes, was what I meant.
    _____________________________________________
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    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

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    I'm not going to go chase after a link, but i saw on Facebook that Volcano National Park is now closed completely and all visitors must leave the park.
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    Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

    Webcams and updates.

  18. #18
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    Great google mapping project showing location of fissures, lava flows, steam vents, road closures, etc.

    On Facebook, Honolulu Civil Beat is showing a live feed from a house about a half mile or so from (I think) vent 17. Here is a link, though I'm not sure Facebook links work outside of Facebook (look under their Videos).
    .
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    Thx for that map Swift. The way the fissures are lining up it looks like a piece of the island is spliting off, hopefully it's not that drastic nor result in underwater landslides.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacedude View Post
    Thx for that map Swift. The way the fissures are lining up it looks like a piece of the island is spliting off, hopefully it's not that drastic nor result in underwater landslides.
    The geologists I follow on Twitter say that will not and cannot happen with this kind and size eruption. As dramatic as the fissures are, they are quite small in comparison to the island, and they don't go nearly deep enough to slough off part of the coastline.

    CJSF
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJSF View Post
    The geologists I follow on Twitter say that will not and cannot happen with this kind and size eruption. As dramatic as the fissures are, they are quite small in comparison to the island, and they don't go nearly deep enough to slough off part of the coastline.

    CJSF
    I've been thinking of the fissures as a kind of relief valve for the upwelling lava.

    I'm guessing that the lava in the main caldera has't yet reached the water table, or if it has then the eruption may not have been as violent as anticipated.

    In any case this may all come to an end in 100,000 years or so...once the hot spot is 10 km further southeast.

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    I'm having a bit of trouble understanding the water table concern. It will reach it by going DOWN to the water table, which means it is already there and then some. I guess that when it gets low enough more water intrusion is possible but it seems strange.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    I'm having a bit of trouble understanding the water table concern.
    I was about to post the same thing. CNN had a graphic the other day, but it didn’t help explain the situation.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    I was about to post the same thing. CNN had a graphic the other day, but it didn’t help explain the situation.


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    This USGS page on the 1924 eruption has a graphic about 1/2 way down that might help explain it.

    https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes...alemaumau.html


    CJSF
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  25. #25
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    Further:

    Quote Originally Posted by USGS
    Below the water table, a conduit filled with magma keeps water out, but, once the conduit empties, groundwater can flow into the still-hot conduit, where it quickly flashes to steam. Most of the time, the steam rises up the conduit and escapes without explosion. However, the wall of the conduit, which is no longer supported by a filling of lava, collapses from time to time, temporarily impounding the steam. The steam quickly builds up pressure, and, within several minutes, overcomes the weight of the blockage and explodes the collapse debris out of the crater.
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  26. #26
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    Does ground water come in contact with magma in “normal “ times, when the conduit is full?

    I guess that it would just bubble in that situation? From the graphic, it looks like the key to an explosion is a plug of rubble.


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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    Does ground water come in contact with magma in “normal “ times, when the conduit is full?

    I guess that it would just bubble in that situation? From the graphic, it looks like the key to an explosion is a plug of rubble.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    From the USGS article, it suggests that the presence of the magma in the conduit keeps the surrounding rocks dry and the ground water at bay. It also does say that without a blockage, the water flashes to steam in the still-hot conduit, but a blockage is "needed" to build up pressures enough to blast it out.

    CJSF
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJSF View Post
    This USGS page on the 1924 eruption has a graphic about 1/2 way down that might help explain it.

    https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes...alemaumau.html
    Its interesting that both the buildup sequence, and the time of year of the 1924 eruptions, bear an uncanny resemblance with the behaviors over the last few weeks(?):

    Quote Originally Posted by USGS
    Though most past explosions that we know about took place during one of Kīlauea's dominantly explosive periods, the 1924 events occurred during a dominantly effusive period. This shows that explosions can be triggered by large-scale migration of magma into one of the rift zones.
    As per the HVO Status report of Tuesday, May 15, 2018, 9:41 AM HST, there has been a noticeable clustering of minor tremors around the Halema'umaʻu vent over the past 24 hours and steam eruptions also appear to have intensified over the same period.

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    Aviation status at Kilauea ugraded to: Alert Level: WARNING, Color Code: RED2018-05-15 23:23:27 UTC.

    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.

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    That's very helpful on the water table concern, thanks.
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