Kilauea eruptions

Kilauea caldera. Source

Two VC readers, mjf and Turtlebirdman, contributed lists of historical and slightly pre-historical eruptions of Kilauea. They are worth putting into a post and that is what we have done. We assumed that the second list made use of the first, and used that.

It is worth pointing out that an eruption is a failed intrusion. It appears that the lower east rift zone (LERZ) erupts in part from previously stored magma. The storage is replenished during intrusions. These may lead to eruptions but at other times they do not, or there may be a very small eruption. When something triggers a full-blown eruption, it lives off the magma supplied by the previous intrusions. The summit works a bit different, as it has a more or less continuous magma supply. Where the magma erupts depends on which plumbing is open. If there is an easy (low stress) route to the east rift zone, the magma tends to go there and summit eruptions are rare. If there is a blockage, magma collects under the summit and eruptions can be at or near the summit. And for variation, it may erupt on the southwest rift zone.

From Click on image for full resolution

The reason that the east rift zone is prolific is the slumping of the island. The south side of the island slowly slides towards the ocean. This is needed because the lava is added to the slopes of Mauna Loa and that can’t go on forever. The slumping has formed a fault along the south side of the island, and the magma has found that this line of weakness allow for easy travel. The only reason there are any summit eruption is that Kilauea is not directly on this line: it is further north. The magma has to travel along the B-road before reaching the motorway of the rift. Over the past 35 years, this route have been completely open. But now that Kilauea has drained so much, there may not be enough pressure left for this, in which case it is possible (but not certain) that another era of summit eruptions will begin.

Summit eruptions can be either explosive, or effusive. It goes in phases. When the caldera is deep, explosions dominate. When the magma level is high, lava flows effusively, going everywhere. Rift eruptions are mainly effusive.

The current caldera formed just before 1500 AD, after a major long-lasting eruption drained the magma chamber. There was a different caldera before. But at other times, there was no caldera, just a massive shield. Kilauea shows us a different face every few hundred years. We haven’t seen all its faces yet.

The historical record begins in 1790. For older eruptions, we are dependent on dating of the various lava flows. The older the flow, the less complete our knowledge is. And where flows are buried underneath younger flows, we will know very little about the volume of the eruption.

Lava flows around the summit. Source: HVO

And now we are passing the word to Turtlebirdman.

Here is a timeline of large events at kilauea that postdate the caldera, that I am aware of. There are probably more. Obviously there are lots of intrusions we will never know about.

~1500 – caldera forms, 300 years of dominantly pyroclastic eruptions at the summit ending in ~1810.

~1500s – small lava shield eruption near current location of 1955 upper vents, vent buried by heiheiahulu. Probably similar to mauna ulu or kupaianaha.

~1550? – large eruption very close to pu’u kaliu, covers it with tephra and probably why it looks weird compared to the other cones (no crater, etc)

~1650- pu’u honuaula forms, big eruption, probably similar to current eruption.

~1650-1700 – kapoho crater forms, overlying some of the lava from pu’u honuaula. Not sure if there are any lava flows associated with it that still exist.

1750 – heiheiahulu eruption, lava shield similar to pu’u o’o, probably long lived over 10 years. Most likely the biggest post-caldera flank eruption before pu’u o’o.

1790 – eruption on the lower east rift. possibly two parallel dikes with associated double eruption. Probably similar in size to the current eruption.

1790 – largest eruption in the keanakako’i tephra series. VEI4 plinian steam driven eruption with pyroclastic flows that killed 300+ people who were near the caldera.

~1790-1810 – series of further large eruptions that produced lava fountains in excess of 1 km high, depositing tephra outside the caldera to the southwest. Golden pumice and east pumice.

1820 – summit

1823 – very fast eruption on the southwest rift that led to the caldera draining out and formation of a large lava flow that reached the sea. Flowed over a village and likely all its inhabitants. This eruption was probably similar to the 1977 eruption of nyiragongo.

1823-1896 – near continuous activity on the caldera floor.

1832 – small eruption on the caldera edge near kilauea iki, large intrusion into the lower east rift that ends without eruption.

1840 – very active in the caldera, then everything drains out down the still molten 1832 dike and erupts at various places on the east rift down to nanawale estates. Kilaueas biggest historical eruption before 1969. Drains out the magma system at a deep level and stops the rapid supply rate started in the 1700s.

1868 – small eruptions in kilauea iki and on the southwest rift, possible unconfirmed small eruption on the east rift. Probably intrusion into east rift. Result of the 1868 earthquake.

1877 – eruption on caldera wall between kilauea iki and keanakako’i craters. Mostly buried now.

1884 – brief eruption off coast of cape kumukahi.

1894 – overflows from halemaumau lava lake.

1912 – HVO was built.

1916 – activity returns to halemaumau after relatively infrequent activity in the preceding decade.

1918 – shallow eruption on the caldera floor in an area called ‘postal rift’. Since been buried by later flows.

1919 – overflows of halemaumau covering most of the caldera.

1919-1920 – mauna iki eruption on southwest rift. Fed at shallow depth to halemaumau and erupted quietly and mostly slowly.

1921 – halemaumau overflows again but not as extensively as in 1919. Some flows escape the caldera through a gap to the south.

1922 eruption on the east rift in makaopuhi and napau.

1923 eruption on east rift in makaopuhi and napau and downrift where pu’u o’o is now.

1924 – lava lake drains out deep and crater starts collapsing.

1924 – deep intrusion to lower east rift and puna ridge with failed eruption.

1924 – explosive eruptions at halemaumau that increase its diameter to twice what it was before. Probably driven by build up of pressure under collapsed material, vulcanian activity. One person killed by falling rock on May 18.

1924 – small eruptions at the bottom of halemaumau, lasts only a few days.

1927 – another eruption in halemaumau, lasts a few days.

1930 -summit

1933/34 – slightly bigger eruption – lasts a few weeks. Kilauea goes dormant after this for 18 years.

1940s – several intrusions into the upper east rift.

1950 – deep earthquakes indicate much more magma, and intrusion into the east rift to past napau.

1952 – very big eruption at halemaumau, lava fountains taller than the crater and forms a lava lake nearly 200 meters deep and fills halemaumau half way.

1954 – small eruption in halemaumau and caldera towards kilauea iki.

1955 – large east rift eruption over the whole of the lower rift zone, lasts 3 months. First large east rift eruption since 1840.

1959 – very big eruption in kilauea iki, fills it half way with a lava lake up to 150 meters deep, lava fountains up to about 600 meters high and extensive tephra fallout to the south. Probably similar to the eruptions in the earl 19th century. Forms pu’u puai cinder cone.

1960 – eruption at the end of the 1955 vents, builds a large cinder cone with lava fountains 500 meters high. Lava buries Kapoho and Koae villages, and almost buries cape kumukahi lighthouse. Significant summit deflation of 1.6 meters at HVO, and collapses at halemaumau. Forms ‘kapoho cinder pit’.

1961 – very small eruption in halemaumau, lasts 8 hours.

1961 – much longer eruption in halemaumau lasting 2 weeks

1961 – another brief eruption lasting a few days.

1961 – east rift eruption, brief event lasting 4 days. Vents between kane nui o hamo and heiheiahulu.

1962 – small eruption near napau and makaopuhi.

1963 – small eruption near napau and makaopuhi. Lava lake in alae crater.

1963 – small eruption near napau and makaopuhi.

1965 – larger eruption in makaopuhi and some lava further east. Forms a lava lake in mahaopuhi.

1965 – brief eruption near napau and makaopuhi.

1967-1968 – very large eruption in halemaumau, initial lava lake gets to within 20 meters of the edge before it stops and drains. Resumes but at a lower level and makes a perched lava pond that erupts many times over the next 8 months.

1968 – eruption at makaopuhi and napau.

1968 – eruption between hi’iaka crater and kane nui o hamo. Brief eruption lasting one day with very small lava flows. Significant south flank disturbance indicating large intrusion.

1969 – eruption between pauahi crater and kane nui o hamo.

1969-1971 – mauna ulu forms. Continuous eruption. lava fountains up to 550 meters high. Fills alae and aloi craters. Lava flows to the ocean.

1971 – eruption from vents through halemaumau and towards kilauea iki, as well as the southwest rift down to past mauna iki.

1971 – eruption on the caldera fault between kilauea iki and keanakako’i craters.

1972 1974 – lava erupts at mauna ulu again after 9 months. eruptions build the lava shield up and reach the ocean again.

1973 eruptions at pauahi and hi’iaka craters, alligned with the koae faults. fissures open up to the north of mauna ulu but erupt briefly.

1974 eruptions near keanakako’i and to the east, as well as in the caldera near the 1971 vents. still liquid lava from 1968 drains out of halemaumau causing it to collapse. Lava flows on upper east rift. Mauna ulu ends at this time.

1974 – brief but very fast eruption on the southwest rift zone. Lava flows 13 km in 10 hours before the eruption stops. Seismic activity suggests there was a large intrusion towards the southwest up to the kamakaia hills.

1975 – tiny eruption north east of halemaumau following the 7.2 earthquake on the south flank. Lasts only a few hours. Nearly continuous slow intrusion into the east rift over the next 7 years.

1977 – eruption near kalalua cone in the middle east rift. Mostly small but the last 2 days were much bigger and included 300 meter lava fountains and a 12 km long lava flow that almost reached Kalapana. Formed pu’u kiai.

1979 – eruption in and near pauahi crater. Large intrusion associated with the eruption.

1980 – very tiny eruption near mauna ulu. large intrusion into middle east rift.

1980-1982 – many intrusions into upper east and southwest rifts.

1982 – eruption in halemaumau and the caldera towards kilauea iki. Visible for 1 day but continued at a very low level for about another week.

1982 – eruption on caldera fault between the 1974 vents. lasted just over 1 day.

1983 – 1986 – pu’u o’o forms. 48 episodes of high lava fountains build a 250 meter high cinder cone. Lava flows up to 14 km long but no ocean entry.

1986-1992 – kupaianaha shield forms 3 km downrift of pu’u o’o. no fountaining but forms a lava lake and a lava shield the same size as mauna ulu but not as tall. Lava flows to the sea many times, destroys Kalapana in 1990. Lava in pu’u o’o but not erupting.

1991 – eruption between kupaianaha and pu’u o’o, lava flows into royal gardens subdivision. Kupaianaha continues erupting but at much reduced level and dies in 1992.

1992-1997 – fissures on the west side of pu’u o’o, lava buries most of the west side of the cone in a new shield. Lava flow to the ocean many times.

1997 – eruption between pu’u o’o and napau. Lasts just under a day and includes major collapses of pu’u o’o cone.

1997-2007 – eruption at pu’u o’o on the west side again, with lava flows to the sea almost continuously from several different vents.

2007 – tiny eruption on the north side of kane nui o hamo. Large intrusion associated with this eruption. Pu’u o’o collapses again, no eruptions for a month.

2007-2011 – pu’u o’o refills and lava breaks out between it and kupaianaha again. Eruption for 4 years with lava burying most of kupaianaha and flowing into kalapana again.

2008 – pit appears in halemaumau and lava erupts in it. Large lava lake for the next 10 years.

2011 – eruption between napau and pu’u o’o. Lasts 4 days and lava flows south of the rift. Pu’u o’o collapses again.

2011 – pu’u o’o refills with a lava lake and then breaks out with a very large fast flow to the southwest. Eruption doesnt sustain and stops for 2 weeks.

2011-2018 – pu’u o’o refills and lava erupts on the east flank. Lava flows to the ocean less frequently and flows as far as pahoa 25 km away.

2015 – eruption in halemaumau. lava overflows the pit.

2018 – larger eruption at halemaumau, lava covers most of the crater floor.

2018 – very large eruption on lower east rift inside Leilani estates and Lanipuna subdivision. Lava flows to the ocean several times. Large cinder cone formed that has yet to be named, flows from this cone destroy Kapoho 13 km away and enter the ocean. Biggest lower rift eruption since 1840. Still ongoing.

An artist’ view of the summit and the rift zone, from Kilauea to Kapoho, following the ridge line of this Galapagos iguana

And more from Turtlebirdman

I have some more info on some earlier eruptions, stuff that predates the caldera. Obviously there would have been way more eruptions but kilauea is largely a mystery before 1000 years ago so there isn’t much left…

A lot of this is based on my interpretation so it probably isn’t as accurate.

Last ice age, 25,000 – 15,000 years ago, pahala ash series. possibly over 10,000 years of dominantly explosive eruptions, including some possible ignimbrite formation based on the appearance of the formation. Likely to be several eruptions in the VEI 5 range and probably a large caldera. Ash today exposed in sea cliffs on kilaueas south flank, as well as on the southeast flank of mauna loa. Eruptions reached the south coast.

7000-2000 years ago – most of the puna ridge surface dates from this time, few flows younger than this and none that are really recent were observed. Probably why the puna ridge is very deep even close to the lower east rift, eruptions seem to be infrequent there possibly indicating some change in kilauea in the last 2000 years that prevents intrusions from getting past kapoho easily.

~100 BCE-1000 AD – Powers caldera and uwekahuna tephra series. Lava flows are rare in the summit area. Relatively low eruption rate but very big eruptions spread out. Most of the summit area covered by pyroclastic flow and surge deposits.

270 BCE – Kipuka nene lava flows. large lava flow field over 1 km3 in volume and possibly a lot higher if most of it ended up in the sea. Today cut by the koae faults and one of the older surfaces still exposed on kilauea. Erupted from a vent that might have predated the powers caldera.

850 AD – Large explosive eruption simultaneous with a big lava flow from the summit area, possibly on a ring fault (I cant find the source to this now but I remember reading it a few years ago). Lower kulanakaoiki tephra and kipuka hornet lava flow?

900 AD – Plinian eruption with large airfall deposit around the caldera and to the south, though only minor pyroclastic flow deposits recognised. Lava is a very primitive basalt with little to no residence time in the crust. Very high magnesium content of over 12% suggesting extremely rapid asscent from the mantle to the surface. Eruption likely at least a VEI 4. Upper kulanakaoiki tephra.

~1000 AD? – Kalalua cone forms in the middle east rift. Today it is fragmented and partly buried by the pu’u o’o eruptions, but it was likely a significant eruption when it was new based on how much survives today. It might have been a lava shield like mauna ulu. Age is a very rough estimate.

~1000 AD – lava starts erupting in the caldera again. Probably not very different from the historical period.

1200 – 1350 AD – lava overflows the caldera and constructs the observatory shield. Lava flows mostly to the southwest but some goes south and probably also east and north east. Very likely not a continuous flow, but rather periodic breakouts from flank vents that sent robust lava flows down the slopes at a relatively high effusion rate but for a relatively short amount of time. Remains active up to 1500 but mostly stops overflowing before 1400.

~ 1250-1300 – Kane nui o hamo eruption. The biggest lava shield on the east rift before pu’u o’o formed. Likely at least 2 km3 in volume, and lava flows extend from hilina pali to Kalapana along the coast. This eruption probably lasted decades like pu’u o’o, and likely formed in the same manner.

~1300 – pu’u kaliu eruption on the lower east rift near Leilani estates. Lava flows to the south and possibly east. Large cinder cone forms that is still a high point today. Possibly formed after the conduit to kane nui o hamo ruptured and a dike went to the lower rift, similar to the current eruption now, this is theoretical though.

~1300 – Puulena, kahuaki, pawai craters form slightly east of Leilani estates. Eruptions are mostly magmatic but ended with violent explosions that made the existing craters. The lava from these craters has been covered by lava from 1790 and 2018. Most likely syn-eruptive with pu’u kaliu.

1400-1500 – The aila’au eruptions happen from fissures to the north east of the observatory vent, where kilauea iki is now. The eruptions are vigorous and produce large lava flows that reach the ocean on the north coast as far as 45 km away, fed by extensive large tube systems at a fairly high eruption rate of at least 15 m3/s over an extended period of time. The first stage included lava fountains and cinder cone formation, although eventually all of this was buried by more effusive activity that created a large shield like the observatory vent before it, and which is still largely intact. These flows covered much older ground that was fertile and populated, and are recorded in a chant along with the caldera formation.
Activity ends just before the modern caldera forms, though is not the cause of said collapse. Only eruption currently exposed that is bigger than pu’u o’o.

~1500 – observatory shield collapses and some pit craters form on the east rift and on aila’au shield. Return to violent eruptive activity with extensive pyroclastic fallout to the southwest.

320 thoughts on “Kilauea eruptions

  1. Is the picture at the bottom supposed to be an iguana? 😉

    I forgot to add that there were at least 3 eruptions on the southwest rift between 1790 and 1823, but I only remembered that when I had already posted the comment. They all happened in the kamakaia hills area and one was quite big, around the size of the current eruption but a lot more drawn out.

    • If you can give some detail, we can add it to the list for you. Does this include the 1805 eruption mentioned by mjf?

      • I only mentioned 1805 because turtle mentioned there were eruptions between 1790 and 1820, so I put 1805 as that’s half way. Oh and eruptions in 1820 and 1930 (both summit) need to be added, and also the 1933 should say 1933-34. That’s pretty much it.

      • Yes I thought there was an eruption in 1930, but by the time I confirmed it I had already posted the comment…
        The eruptions at the kamakaia hills weren’t all in one go, it is one of those places where magma tends to aggregate, like it was doing under pu’u o’o before pu’u o’o actually formed. There will very likely be more eruptions there in the near future particularly if the southwest rift becomes more active due to its more obvious and direct connection to the summit than the east rift has.
        The last eruptions in this area are not really dated either but 1790 ash underlies the flow so it is younger than that. The Ellis expedition apparently walked past this area in 1823 and saw the recent lava flow from the eruption of that year, but they also saw other steaming cracks in the kamakaia hills area. The recent fissures can remain hot for a while but an eruption probably happened in that spot within the past few years before he got there.
        I got the info for this from a Volcano Watch article where they mentioned the discovery of 1790 ash under a lot more of the flows on the southwest rift than previously thought, meaning there were a lot more eruptions there in the 1790-1823 period than was believed earlier. This is concurrent with a number of very big caldera eruptions post-dating the 1790 eruption that we now know were multiple events rather than single very large far spread episodes. The 1820 eruption was probably a long term eruption that began some time earlier and was observed in 1820, and was likely continuous until the 1823 draining.

        To put everything into context, between 1823 and 1840, a period of only 17 years, there was 3 km3 of magma erupted in the caldera. For comparison pu’u o’o had erupted ‘only’ half that amount by its 17th birthday. If the same sort of thing happens after this event then the whole entire caldera (incuding the new collapse) will be filled completely before 2030, and based on the similarities between now and back then, that isnt actually unlikely at all.
        I am not a HVO scientist at all and dont live in hawaii either, but I would very strongly recommend watching the summit cams over the next few years, as the resumption of activity could be quite literally like opening the floodgates from hell. A deep (if relatively small) caldera has just formed, and that brings out kilauea’s darker and much more violent side.
        If this current situation is anything like the 1790-1840 period, expect anything and everything ranging from actual lava lakes to lava fountains up to 1500 meters high, massive sudden lava floods from the southwest rift, and everything in between. That doesnt even get into the possibility of kilauea going all the way and dropping a nuke on its ‘gentle volcano’ title by throwing a VEI 4+ basaltic plinian eruption.
        Most people today have only seen kilauea through the slow phase of the pu’u o’o eruption or the now gone summit lava lake, but the kilauea that the first observers (both the first Hawaiians in ~700 AD and the European explorers in the late 18th century) saw was a very different volcano that few people would recognise today and even fewer would think of calling a ‘safe’ volcano…

        I seem to like long replies…

        • Very well written. I can see the picture.
          I hope the Island can keep its economy going, through this, possible extended
          turbulent period.

          Changing the subject slightly, I live near active landslips, some of the best in Europe in fact.
          The rotational slumping of the caldera is so familiar to me, not volcanic, but coastal, same size acreages but on a different level in many other ways…
          Not all the caldera slips on a level plain I noticed, some tilts back as it goes down.

    • I think there was also an intrusion in the SWRZ in 2006. Anyway, we unknowingly made an article, success! *Virtual cookies for us* 😀

      • I think the high lava lake in 2015 also ended with an intrusion that way but it didn’t get very far down. There also is a pretty fair chance that if the conduit at pu’u o’o didn’t rupture then the April overflows would have ended with a southwest intrusion and possible eruption too.

        In historical time there have been confirmed and observed eruptions in 1823, 1868, 1919, 1971 and 1974 (last two probably associated). That gives about 50 years between eruptions and 1974 was 44 years go so another one some time around now would be on this pattern. This might be even more likely now with the recent changes probably favoring intrusion into the southwest rift over the east rift.

    • If my theory is correct, we wont be seeing much of mauna loa for quite a long time still. It will probably erupt some time in the next few years but that will probably be something like the 1975 eruption and be quite small, while kilauea will be extremely active for at least another 30 years.
      Mauna loa will have its time later in the century but until that actually happens people everywhere should stop thinking of it as the ‘big one’ in the background. That is what made everyone complacent with kilauea until it literally erupted in their backyards.

      HVO made a good choice downgrading it as there is very little risk of an eruption now and having it on alert still only gives the less trustworthy media something to work with. Eventually they will get their title but it wont be soon.

  2. This is sad, news reporting that they may have to give up on the Jagger museum and HVO. Moving their collections and old equipment out.

    • ;(
      Maybe thye can set up a base near Volcano House, that side of the caldera isn’t likely to collapse as there isn’t really shallow magma under it as far as I know. The trade winds also blow away from there and it is popular with tourists and locals alike so the location is quite suitable. I think anyone going to a hotel called Volcano House probably wouldn’t mind being so close to somewhere they could get a lot of information about said volcano either.

    • One typo in the blog: Leilani 2018 isn 1/10th of Laki, it it 1/100th. On the world scale of eruptions, this is not big. But locally, it is massive.

      • Yeah there seem to be one or two typos, the overall comparison is a really good one though.
        I’m not convinced mauna ulu was only 0.2 km3 though, I would assume it to be at least twice that size considering it filled in 2 pit craters and grew to about 100 meters high and the lava field is very obviously bigger, so that could also be a typo. Erick is a volcanologist though so he could have directly asked HVO that and gotten that answer.

  3. Quite a few quakes in Öræfajökul these last few days, nothing major though, the largest being a 2.7, which was felt in the farms nearby.

    • I noticed yesterday and today the vent seemed to have more ash then the last week or so, kind of continuous emissions. Could be dust kicked up with the sliding of the walls. I also noticed that we have the one spot in the bottom left of the crater that is emitting steam vigorously over the last two days.

      • yes and it seems to expell the fumes with some diagonal force…. not just meandering up. i was thinking it might have a more direct connection to deeper chambers…. 🙂 Best!motsfo

        • On the last post I wrote a really long comment on why this is different to 1924, and there was a picture at the end showing the basic idea of how kilauea’s magma system works. The part that is causing the visible collapse is a shallow system less than 1 km deep, and that extends from kilauea iki to the upper southwest rift, and in the current activity this has completely drained out and mostly collapsed. This is also why the actual collapses have been largely to the southwest or towards kilauea iki initially. The dike to pu’u o’o is fed from the main magma chamber, which is about 3 km deep at the top and has so far contributed a relatively small part of the total inflation. This last drained out in 1975 as space in the east rift was created by the big quake that year, and it also drained out even more in 1960.
          Below that is the deep feeder system that is like the roots of a tree and extends about 40 km away from the summit is all directions and probably over 50 km deep, and currently sources its magma from the deep quakes under Pahala, though that might be a recent event. This is completely unchanged in the current eruption because the leilani eruption is only a new system past pu’u o’o, there was no extra dike formed in the deep rift, so this eruption is probably a close analogue to 1960 but there is a lot more magma at play now leading to bigger changes. 1840 and 1924 were fed at least in part by massive deep intrusions that ruptured the deep feeding system below the main magma chamber. That is known because deflation in 1924 went on for a long time (several years) and was significant over a much wider area than any otherwise similar event since then, including the eruption now. As of now there are no signs of the deep system being affected, and there is also no reason to assume that will happen at all either.
          The 1790 eruption series could be the best comparison because it was a massive rift eruption with a large caldera collapse and massive drain on the summit (much bigger than the current one). Although any sensible person would assume it would go to sleep for years after that, a few months later it not only had a sizeable VEI 4 eruption, but even that didn’t really do much and kilauea erupted almost continuously afterwards for 50 years and at an average eruption rate even higher than observed currently…

        • There is also some ash and gas events that appear to transit from left to right on the screen from the area. They are usually very energetic, but may be hard to see since they have very little water vapor in them (hot?) This is the old area of the summit lake so it may be some left over semi solid magma that has not fallen into the pit and has a source of water.

          • Sorry this was a reply to motsfo, us older guys need to pay attention.

  4. Nice little rumble with stuff falling off the walls and just before nightfall…. which was a really good story… 😉 Best!motsfo

  5. This latest magnitude (guess what?) 5.3 earthquake was registered on the southern rim of the caldera. This is in the middle of a well-defined southern grouping. I wonder if this represents a shift in volcanic activity to a new locus.

    • The centre of deeper inflation is apparently somewhat south of the caldera centre, so this is the very rough location of the main magma chamber feeding this event. The visible collapse event is because of the draining of the very shallow system that has existed in the caldera since at least 1954, but if these quakes are a bit deeper then this could be the roof of the main chamber giving way a bit. I really doubt it is going to do much though as the deflation is nearing 2 meters which is likely to have drained out the pressure there that has existed since 1960 after 1960. This will effectively end the east rift eruption the same way holuhraun ended, although the eruption itself might go on a little longer due to stored magma under the upper east rift. This won’t result in the entire floor of the caldera collapsing though, the new halemaumau is probably near its final size.

      Of course maybe these quakes are actually shallow and have nothing to do with the main chamber…

        • It is 25 km2 all up, the lava delta is almost 400 acres. The lava river created by fissure 8 is over 13 km long, and is the biggest river in hawaii based on flow rate. It also continues underwater an unknown (but probably not very long) distance.

          This eruption has covered the same amount of land as 1955 and 1960 together, created more new land than the entire 36 years at pu’u o’o did, and the amount of lava erupted by fissure 8 alone is bigger than the combined volumes of every east rift eruption before it minus pu’u o’o and mauna ulu (which are unfair comparisons), and is equivalent to what it would take pu’u o’o about 1.5 years to erupt. If the lava from other vents is added then I think it is even bigger than 1840 but that is hard to say for sure. Basically this is a once in a lifetime event…

      • The southern group seems close to the edge of the caldera, while Halema’uma’u is now mostly quake-free. The caldera ring fault is taking the strain, and is moving, while the interior is in free collapse.

        • If a ring fault is falling down then it will probably fall until the conduit is blocked off, which will basically end all activity on the east rift for some time into the future. Based on the level of deflation already observed, this probably wont take very long, as the same sorts of quakes happened before 1960 ended and the eruption stopped soon after and quite suddenly. A (possible) ring fault also suggests the caldera is moving, something that hasn’t happened in recent time and last happened in 1790 or maybe 1823. Again I bring up 1790, but the similarities are striking…

          It is also possible that the activity seen here is related to a possible new pit forming in the CRIM area, which I have suggested before.

          Or maybe it was a relatively random quake and is a once off that is not indicating imminent ring faulting…

          • The ring fault is too shallow for that as the larger quakes are less than 1.4 km deep and the reservoir is 2-3 km deep?. A collapse at Puhimahu or Keanakako I think would be the best mechanism to block the shallow transfer of magma summit-ERZ.

          • Also since HVO hasnt said anything about signs of collapse at Keanakako or Puhimahu nor there are any signs of collapse at any other place of the ERZ so I think that the eruption is not about to stop and seeing how much time is taking for the summit to collapse a big pit forming would take several days, more than a week? probably more.

            This is of course only if the eruption is 1790-like (and maybe Puu Kaliu-like) because otherwise it could end at any moment from now and I am convinced that activity would return to the ERZ in a few years in that case.

        • It is interesting to see the differences between the magnitudes and the parts of the caldera where they occur in the past month.
          M2-M3 quakes are taking place in the most part of the caldera. M2 ruled out there is a zone with far less quakes from Halemaumau east wards, as Albert wrote.
          M4 plus quakes including M5 do take place at two particular spots 0 to 1.4 km depth, north and southeast of Halemaumau. Could this be the area where the old vent is reaching the most upper chamber?

          Graphs credit USGS

          M2 – M5 eartquakes

          M3 – M5 quakes

          • Most of the M4 did occur in the southern spot, large part of the M5 north of Halemaumau.

          • Over the past month, that is certainly true: the earthquakes occured across the entire area including Halemaumau. But in the past few days, they have been mainly in the two groups with a quiet area in between. Interesting that the M4’s and M5’s are so well separated over the entire period.

          • Could it have something to do with the sides of the crater that are slumping? That would explain why arent there any large earthquakes in the middle and if the slumping is now taking place at the south and north rim then it would explain why arent there large earthquakes to the east or west of the collapse.

  6. Hi folks; here’s part of an email I’ve just received from an archaeologist friend I think it’s of sufficient volcanic interest to reproduce here:

    “This year was the
    last of the Oplontis digs near Pompeii and I was in Trench 32 for a lot
    of the time, where I worked on a vertical section in which was a
    striated thick mud layer that gave convincing proof of a tsunami
    associated with the Vesuvian eruption that destroyed Pompeii etc. This
    has long been speculated upon (partly due to Pliny’s account of the
    eruption) but never before seen in the archaeological record.”.

    • If big pyroclastic flows hit the ocean the effect would be like that of a landslide but combined with a lot of steam explosions, so there probably was a tsunami if a major flow hit the sea. I think Herculaneum was near the coast and a lot of the deposit was in that direction, 20 meters of deposits in that area. That is probably where the tsunami came from.
      I thought a lot of the water damage to Pompeii was because of the land subsiding and rising with resulting floods into previously dry areas?

      • ‘Near’ Pompeii is a relative term; Oplontis (now Torre Annunziata) was on the coast Vulnerable, given its location, both to tsunami and to pyroclastic flows It might be interesting to see the full description of that section – if there are PF deposits overlying that mud level, then perhaps the tsunami was triggered pretty early, maybe by the PF which destroyed Herculaneum, just to the north But perhaps I shouldn’t speculate on the basis of one email

    • Pliny describes a ‘sudden retreat of the sea’ but not a tsunami as such, although it may have happened. For a pyroclastic flow to have caused it, the flow would have had to be around Herculaneum. Oplontis is closer to the coast than Pompei so may have been more susceptible? But there are also comments about a possible tsunami after the AD62 earthquake: I don’t know whether there is any evidence for it.

      • Could be deposits from the eruption, slipping after settling and slumping in the years after.
        Or some places get less actual big waves but a still turbulent withdrawal of the sea as is the case with our more video observed tsunamis these days.
        Eddy’s and flows confuse.

    • Has the mud been chemically analised? It could also be a lahar deposit or something.

      I imagine a tsunami would leave mostly salty deposits.

  7. HOVL is accelerating northwest. It is southeast of Halema’uma’u, south of crater rim drive, which gives a hint what is happening.

    • Albert, isn’t this station off line a while already. Compared to other stations these graphs are showing not many point in the period the event is taking place. I think it is not measuring at least for two or three weeks now.

        • Based on the recent changes and some of the pictures I wouldn’t be suprised if HOVL actually has fallen into halemaumau, even if the data doesn’t say. I think it stands for halemaumau overlook, which has been entirely consumed after slumping of that side of the crater. It probably got hit by rocks from an explosion which took it out, as it stopped working before the collapse was affecting that area.

          Really the only two useful stations that actually work now are CRIM and the one at HVO. HVO seems to have largely stopped subsiding overall, but CRIM is still falling fast and a new crater or extension of halemaumau could be forming there or it would probably show a more exponential decline than it actually does. That spot is also where there are quakes as mentioned above, and it is very close to the point where magma leaves the caldera for the east rift so if this is deflating it means the entire upper system of kilauea is involved and a lot of the magma might be coming from the CRIM area rather than halemaumau. Eruptions happened just west of CRIM only a few months before pu’u o’o started so this would seem to make sense as the point where the east rift conduit begins (began?).

          • Ok, I have a question for TBM (or others). What is a ” a collapse explosion” quoted below from the usgs facebook page for some of these events? They are stating that these are explosions but what are they, large landfalls, steam or gas explosions that cause falls?? There has been no explosive activity in a while, just the collapse of the upper magma reservoir causing landfalls?

            At Kīlauea Volcano’s summit, at 6:52 p.m. HST on June 22, after approximately 25 hours of elevated seismicity, a collapse explosion occurred at the summit producing an ash-poor steam plume that rose 500 ft above the ground surface (4,500 ft above sea level) before drifting to the SW. The energy released by the event was equivalent to a magnitude 5.3 earthquake.

          • Well, based on the normal mode faulting couplet signature associated with the seismic events, that points to one block separating from another and sliding away.

            Whether this is before or after the actual “explosion” has yet to be stated as far as I know.

          • I am guessing that it means that the energy of the explosion comes from collapse, i.e. gravity. A M=5.3 earthquake releases around 5 10^12 J. Assuming that the block drops by 20 meters (number from the defunct NPIT GPS), that requires a mass of 3 10^10 kg, or a volume of 10^7 m^3.

            That volume corresponds to a cube of rock of 200m on each side. Such a block, dropping by 20 meters, can provide the energy of the explosion. The volume may be similar to the size of shelfs seen along the edges of the crater, I think, although obviously in reality it won’t be a cube.

  8. USGS “Fissures 16 displayed incandescence and weak lava fountain was observed at Fissure 22 by this morning’s overflight crew.”

    Film the thing on a mobile and put it on the Internet please…
    The Islands tourist economy is sinking and they can note even film it from the $$$$££££ overflight.

  9. During the recent volcano reawakenings in Iceland there were quite a lot of very good time lapse interactive 3d models of earthquakes under the volcano….. It was easy to visually track the path of the magma as it was about to make it’s breakout…

    Yet, I have been unable to find similar productions of the Kilauea event. Does anyone have a good link? I only ask, because my apple watch is buzzing every few minutes with my earthquake filter set at 3.0 for the Hawaii islands, and I’m curious to see what’s up as this is a new behaviour from the recent weeks…..

    This was held for approval by the system: this is standard for first submissions. – admin

  10. really enjoyed the rainbow over the Kilauea crater. Looks like the steaming has stepped up. Hope they keep the cameras running….. i’m pretending i’m sitting on the rim…. 😉 Best!mosfo

    • I’m not on facerook.

      But why is the tourism down, can’t anyone find a way to touristify the eruption, after all its not every day you can see rivers of lava like this.

      • Here is what facebook tries not to let you see, Credit (lots of it) to Brad Lewis

        Yes, there should be ways for tourists to see the lava, especially now it is both spectacular and well behaved. But that is not HVO’s role, I think.They have their hands full enough already.

  11. I have some more info on some earlier eruptions, stuff that predates the caldera. Obviously there would have been way more eruptions but kilauea is largely a mystery before 1000 years ago so there isn’t much left…
    A lot of this is based on my interpretation so it probably isn’t as accurate.

    Last ice age, 25,000 – 15,000 years ago, pahala ash series. possibly over 10,000 years of dominantly explosive eruptions, including some possible ignimbrite formation based on the appearance of the formation. Likely to be several eruptions in the VEI 5 range and probably a large caldera. Ash today exposed in sea cliffs on kilaueas south flank, as well as on the southeast flank of mauna loa. Eruptions reached the south coast.

    7000-2000 years ago – most of the puna ridge surface dates from this time, few flows younger than this and none that are really recent were observed. Probably why the puna ridge is very deep even close to the lower east rift, eruptions seem to be infrequent there possibly indicating some change in kilauea in the last 2000 years that prevents intrusions from getting past kapoho easily.

    ~100 BCE-1000 AD – Powers caldera and uwekahuna tephra series. Lava flows are rare in the summit area. Relatively low eruption rate but very big eruptions spread out. Most of the summit area covered by pyroclastic flow and surge deposits.

    270 BCE – Kipuka nene lava flows. large lava flow field over 1 km3 in volume and possibly a lot higher if most of it ended up in the sea. Today cut by the koae faults and one of the older surfaces still exposed on kilauea. Erupted from a vent that might have predated the powers caldera.

    850 AD – Large explosive eruption simultaneous with a big lava flow from the summit area, possibly on a ring fault (I cant find the source to this now but I remember reading it a few years ago). Lower kulanakaoiki tephra and kipuka hornet lava flow?

    900 AD – Plinian eruption with large airfall deposit around the caldera and to the south, though only minor pyroclastic flow deposits recognised. Lava is a very primitive basalt with little to no residence time in the crust. Very high magnesium content of over 12% suggesting extremely rapid asscent from the mantle to the surface. Eruption likely at least a VEI 4. Upper kulanakaoiki tephra.

    ~1000 AD? – Kalalua cone forms in the middle east rift. Today it is fragmented and partly buried by the pu’u o’o eruptions, but it was likely a significant eruption when it was new based on how much survives today. It might have been a lava shield like mauna ulu. Age is a very rough estimate.

    ~1000 AD – lava starts erupting in the caldera again. Probably not very different from the historical period.

    1200 – 1350 AD – lava overflows the caldera and constructs the observatory shield. Lava flows mostly to the southwest but some goes south and probably also east and north east. Very likely not a continuous flow, but rather periodic breakouts from flank vents that sent robust lava flows down the slopes at a relatively high effusion rate but for a relatively short amount of time. Remains active up to 1500 but mostly stops overflowing before 1400.

    ~ 1250-1300 – Kane nui o hamo eruption. The biggest lava shield on the east rift before pu’u o’o formed. Likely at least 2 km3 in volume, and lava flows extend from hilina pali to Kalapana along the coast. This eruption probably lasted decades like pu’u o’o, and likely formed in the same manner.

    ~1300 – pu’u kaliu eruption on the lower east rift near Leilani estates. Lava flows to the south and possibly east. Large cinder cone forms that is still a high point today. Possibly formed after the conduit to kane nui o hamo ruptured and a dike went to the lower rift, similar to the current eruption now, this is theoretical though.

    ~1300 – Puulena, kahuaki, pawai craters form slightly east of Leilani estates. Eruptions are mostly magmatic but ended with violent explosions that made the existing craters. The lava from these craters has been covered by lava from 1790 and 2018. Most likely syn-eruptive with pu’u kaliu.

    1400-1500 – The aila’au eruptions happen from fissures to the north east of the observatory vent, where kilauea iki is now. The eruptions are vigorous and produce large lava flows that reach the ocean on the north coast as far as 45 km away, fed by extensive large tube systems at a fairly high eruption rate of at least 15 m3/s over an extended period of time. The first stage included lava fountains and cinder cone formation, although eventually all of this was buried by more effusive activity that created a large shield like the observatory vent before it, and which is still largely intact. These flows covered much older ground that was fertile and populated, and are recorded in a chant along with the caldera formation.
    Activity ends just before the modern caldera forms, though is not the cause of said collapse. Only eruption currently exposed that is bigger than pu’u o’o.

    ~1500 – observatory shield collapses and some pit craters form on the east rift and on aila’au shield. Return to violent eruptive activity with extensive pyroclastic fallout to the southwest.

    The rest is in the article already 😉

    • Looking back on this, is it possible that the pahala ash was driven by interactions with snow? Even today the summit of kilauea has gotten close to 0 C in the winter, so there would have definitely been snow there in the last ice age even being a lot lower than it is now.
      Some of mauna keas eruptions were influenced by a glacier so it isnt too far fetched. I doubt an actual glacier existed on kilauea but snow was very likely a near permanent presence, and this could have played a role in the eruptions there.

    • There you are getting into eruptive history that is mostly unknown. The radiocarbon dates for the Observatory Shield flows are 670+-60, 550+-70, 530+-70, 450+-60, 330+-60, 310+-70 BP so a period much more longer than what you say and extending even after 1500. The Ai Laau flows are also dated, with radiocarbon ages of 450+-60, 375+-20, 320+-70, 310+-70,260+-70 BP which would mean that the emplacement of the flows happened well after 1500 and probably around 1600 or 1700 in which case the Ai Laau eruption was followed by ERZ activity in a similar way the recent 1960, Mauna Ulu, 1977, Pu’u’o’o… ERZ eruptions were preceded by the 1790-1840 intense summit activity with a low in activity in between.

      I think the reason why you chose the 1200-1350 and 1400-1500 dates is because HVO says so but I really find it hard to believe when in the studies I have seen on the matter, both old and modern ones, place the Observatory and Ai Laau flows more recent in time and also HVO doesnt really say what reason they have to say what they say., this is a detailed map of the summit area I am not sure if it is the same one you used in the vents and cracks distribution maps you created. It places Ai Lauu somewhere 1600-1800 AD and the Observatory flows 1250-1600.

      • Radiocarbon doesn’t work very well for accurately dating something, that is why most dates have a 50+ year margin of error. there are no tephra layers from the keanakako’i ash underneath the observatory shield, and the oldest layer of ash is dated to about 1500.
        It is possible, even very probable, that the observatory shield was not formed in one eruption, and that another larger flow happened 100-200 years after the first one, but if there are flows after 1500 they are probably not from the summit of the shield as a caldera of some sort has to have existed by that time for there to be ash deposits. The caldera probably reached its current size in 1790 but didn’t form then.

        If aila’au happened up to 1800 then the flows would have been only 20 years old when the first proper recorded expeditions to kilauea were done. 20 year old lava is barely able to support plant life (mauna ulu is over twice that age and still looks barren), but there is no mention of any unvegetated areas east of the caldera in any of those expeditions. Not to mention that a date that young would mean the first Europeans to find Hawaii would have actually seen it erupting and they would have recorded it, but they didn’t.

        Another possibility is that they dated a lava flow that post-dates aila’au but was clumped in with it. Or that the area could have been reactivated by a deeper eruption source that largely bypassed the caldera. This happened in 1959 where a vent on the eastern end of the fissure erupted an unusual calcium oxide rich magma. This is very close to aila’au too…

        • The explosive activity beginning in 1500 doesnt mean that the caldera cant fill and overflow again after that. But I do think that most of the Observatory Shield eruptions happened before 1500 but it may have had another intense phase afterwards.

          There are several radiometric measurements of the Ai Laau flows with the mean date around 1650 so it probably didnt extend to 1800 and maybe not even to 1700 but Wilkes in 1840 does describe the area to be “a mass of lava, which retained all its metallic lustre, and appeared as if it had but just run over the ground”, this was probably an exageration but the flows couldnt possibly be very vegetated if he said that.

          • I think whatever Wilkes was describing was the 1840 flow, not aila’au. That would be a much better fit for what he is saying and also wouldn’t be exaggerated wither.
            As said above, it is possible there have been eruptions in that area after the main shield formed that made lava flows. 1868 and 1959 were both within kilauea iki but if they happened just a few hundred meters away they would have been lava flows on the outer edge of the shield, and 1959 would have been a pretty sizable flow too.
            This could be the same for the observatory vent too. Maybe before 1790 or somewhere about then, the caldera was a bit smaller and an eruption happened somewhere near where HVO is now and sent lava flowing to the southwest. Or maybe explosive eruptions can happen inside a relatively small caldera in which case the next few years could be interesting…

            Basically the point I’m making is that the observatory and aila’au shields probably formed over the time I have listed, but further eruptions could have happened in the general areas afterwards and after a caldera already existed. The 1959 eruption that actually did happen near aila’au might a good bit of evidence.

            Or maybe the idea we have is a bit wrong, maybe kilauea iki actually didnt exist before about 1800 and the aila’au vent area was occasionally active after the caldera collapse. If the original connection to aila’au was deeper than the upper system then the caldera formation might have left its conduit intact, so when eruption rates increased a bit again some of this could have been through there. With no large pit crater the shield was still intact and probably could erupt again. If it had its own shallow chamber then that would allow this to happen, and we know something like that did exist because kilauea iki is there. I think assuming all of the pit craters formed at the same time as the caldera is probably incorrect, some of them are most likely younger, while some could be older, but probably not formed at the same time in the same event for the most part.

          • Kilauea Iki is really enigmatic to me first because the SWRZ, ring faults and maybe Koae faults converge there and also because of the strange magma source to the north of the caldera while I think the rest of Kilauea historically has shown signs of having the main source south of the volcano. I think that Ai Laau could have only formed when the Observatory Shield reached its maximum possible size causing the main summit vent to move to its flank, but this is problematic when a caldera is supposed to have existed during this time but I could also be possible that the caldera actually filled and overflowed during this time after all the Keanakakoi Ash is not comparable to other explosive phases of Kilauea like Uwekahuna or Pahala because while the second ones show an hiatus in effusive activity during Keanakakoi really numerous and some big effusive events have taken place: Kookolau, Puu Huluhulu, Puu Heiheiahulu, Puu Honualua, Ai Laau, Cone Peak flows, Puu Koae…

            The author of what I was reading seemed to think that Wilkes was referring to Ai Laau and Wilkes also says he had just leaved Olaa which is right east of Ai Laau and very far away from the 1840 flows.

          • The whole text:
            “After leaving Olaa, we had no distinct path to follow; for the whole surface became a mass of lava, which retained all its metallic lustre, and appeared as if it had but just run over the ground – so small was the action of descomposition. There were only a few stunted bushes on our track.”

            A description of the area from 1847 describes ohelo bushes, grass and small trees to exist. I think that this added to the radiocarbon ages means that the Ai Laau probably formed around 1650 and I dont know where HVO gets their misterious dates from (Maybe hawaiian oral tradition?).
            I doubt it is possible for a large shield to form at the rim of a deep caldera when the floor of the caldera would require less pressure to erupt being topographically lower and heavily fractured and not to mention right on top of the summit magma conduit. It used to be thought that the whole caldera formed in 1790 and I think that is still likely, previous explosive events dont mean that the caldera existed all the way from 1500 to 1790.

          • Plotting out the locations of exposed surface vents on kilauea actually did surprise me with how the rift zones seem to be separated. The east rift only has a surface expression starting from hi’iaka crater, while the southwest rift seems to extend right through the summit and starts going to the east where kilauea iki and aila’au are. Maybe the east rift is in the long process or relocating to be more direct.

            I think it is a bit hard to compare rift activity now to the apparent absense of rift activity when the uwekahuna ash was erupted, as most if not all of the surface of both rift zones have been resurfaced since then. However if you are correct and the current caldera has possibly filled or almost filled several times in the last 500 years then the chance of this current collapse (which is much smaller than the main caldera) actually being final is probably quite small…
            I am skeptical of this personally, but USGS has reported the volume of the new crater to be 0.2 km3. I did a calculation that finds the caldera to be about 2 km3 so I think maybe they did the maths sightly wrong?
            Either way at the rate kilauea was erupting before this episode, it will take about 1 year to fill the new caldera by the USGS estimate, and 10 years by the one I did, so either way even if there is no magma surge like in 1790 the caldera will fill up very quickly.

          • I more meant that if the aila’au shield was fed from deeper down, maybe even the same place where the 1959 magma came from, and that this conduit maybe wasnt immediately destroyed when the caldera formed, so eruptions could have happened there afterwards on occasion. I guess that probably doesnt work now that there is a more shallow connection to the main caldera but when the caldera was new that probably didnt exist.

          • The whole system of Kilauea has been proposed to be moving southward towards the sea both summit and rift zones all in process of relocation further away from Mauna Loa and closer to the Hilina Slump. I find Kilauea rift zones really amazing, they are more complex than what one would expect and also very well defined. The volcanic SWRZ and Kilauea Iki are part of a rift structure that cuts trough the summit, the seismic SWRZ is supposed to be more recent and is connected to the summit through a short strike-slip fault. I consider there to be a third SWRZ the Kamakaia vents that run more or less parallel to the other vents and cracks of the SWRZ but are perfectly aligned and a continuation of the Kalanaokuaiki fault. I wouldnt be surprised if someone told me that the SWRZ is going to end up there.

            The speed at which these relocations are taking place is surprissing, Halema uma u itself has moved south from the Observatory vent in a few centuries and the ERZ has been progressing from uncommon short eruptions to much more common and long lived events, in fact I think it is possible that Kane Nui o Hamo was the first large shield (100+ meters high) at the ERZ, It is one of the oldest exposed eruptions there and it is still now as topographically prominent as Mauna Ulu, but no other comparable shield structures are visible to exist.

          • I have seen that idea too, and the recent development of the seismic southwest rift and the koae faults becoming defined could be a sign of this. I don’t think the summit is going to relocate until something manages to entirely drain the main magma chamber though, as the conduit is very robust down to quite deep and extends into the mantle as mostly one area.
            I dont think something big enough to drain out the entire magma chamber happens very often (this current eruption isn’t going to do it either) but whatever caused the powers caldera to form managed to do it. In that case the only thing I can think of is a very large deep intrusion into the puna ridge and probably a big eruption there very deep down near the far end about 4 km deep underwater.
            The powers caldera is supposed to have been generally more north of the current one and might have been a bit smaller in diameter but probably a bit deeper, and the absence of a proper magma chamber is inferred by the violent and episodic nature of the eruptions as well as the time it took for lava flows to start again. When the most recent caldera formed it didn’t seem to quite get to the point of draining the magma chamber entirely because lava eruptions started in the caldera quite soon again and the last point the caldera was deep enough for water interaction was less than 300 years after its earliest formation date, compared with the ~1200 years that the powers caldera existed.
            Relocating the entire central vent is going to be a big event.

            I don’t think Kane Nui o hamo was the first large east rift eruption, it was maybe just the first eruption to resemble pu’u o’o. There are a lot of very extensive lava flows on the east rift from now buried vents that are outwardly similar in size to the recent shield flows.

        • “Radiocarbon doesn’t work very well for accurately dating something”

          And it’s absolutely worthless if there is no carbon residue material from something entombed in the tephra/magma.

          Other rock based “clocks” have to be used absent organic matter. Uranium ratios in Zircons is one such clock.

    • 54°C to 173°C, but it really depends on the mix that is used in paving. It is not always pure bitumen. In fact, sometimes it isn’t even bitumen based at all.

      Caveat: I don’t work in the paving industry, but I had a relative that did.

      Side note: Have you ever noticed that your radar detector goes nuts near a paving operation? That’s could be the “Tack Truck.” Some systems use a radar based speed sensor to determine the flow rate for the application of tack prior to laying down fresh asphalt. Other than that, it could be highway patrol keeping an eye out for idiots endangering the crew by speeding through the area. It’s hot gritty work and the last thing a paving crew needs is some self important dipshit to wizz by and kill someone.

  12. Just went back and watched the live cam for the two 3.8 quakes from 18:23 utc. You can see very energetic flows of ash/dust from the left hand side of the screen across the bottom of the screen. Looks like a slide was triggered, or venting gas?


  13. More from USGS

    USGS Volcanoes
    ‏Verified account @USGSVolcanoes
    16h16 hours ago
    Replying to @JennaKellyJD

    Summit storage region is draining into East Rift Zone and collapse is result. Eventually summit storage will refill with magma. 1 mechanism for very explosive events at summit require magma to interact with water – not there yet. Scientists discussing other explosive mechanisms.

    And a Reply to the question “Always 5.3 – why?”

    USGS Volcanoes
    ‏Verified account @USGSVolcanoes
    4h4 hours ago
    Replying to @mel_ethier

    It’s probably a reflection of the energy released when the pressurization crosses a threshold that triggers the explosive process. Same amount of energy required = same size seismic signal.

    • Scientists discussing other methods… Like the fact that basalt can explode on its own if it is very primitive?

      I think if anything, the current event at kilauea is really going to change our view on how basaltic volcanoes erupt. The influx of magma has no reason to slow down so inflation should begin soon after the current activity stops. The longer the wait the bigger the eruption will be. At the rate of supply kilauea has now, a big summit eruption like in 1790 should be considered a serious possibility.

      • I think the determining factor is going to be how fast exsolved gas can nucleate and escape from the magma body vs how viscous it is. What we are used to is basaltic magma releasing the gas from bubbles relatively easily. Evolved magma is less able to do this and yields the gray eruptions you see in stratovolcanoes. Ultra primitive magma magma may have a higher net dissolved gas load that pushes that explosive nature more towards the basaltic end of the spectrum. Interesting idea, even if it is a bit spooky.

        I have no idea how to calculate nucleation rates vs gas release rate from magma… or any idea of what the typical gas content of very primitive magma is. I also don’t know if the FeO – TiO2 ratios can tell us anything about Hawaiian magma. I do know a lot of work has been done on Icelandic Magma to estimate total SO2 mass concentration from it.

        • Tarawera in New Zealand had a plinian eruption that was composed of very primitive basalt. I think the magma was even more mafic than kilaueas magma but it produced no lava flows at all and created a gaping fissure in the mountain. Only a part of the fissure was hydromagmatic and most of the eruption was a result of the magma itself fragmenting. I think the eruption probably occurred as a line of gigantic lava fountains that was so high it was largely solid upon reaching the ground. Some of the last activity could have been calmer but that stage was very brief.

          Also the word ‘stratovolcano’ is short for stratified volcano, meaning a volcano composed of loosely alternating layers of tephra and dense lava. The thing is, kilauea fits that definition exactly as a significant proportion of its general summit area is composed of tephra, and the same is true of many other large basaltic shield volcanoes on other islands. Meanwhile a lot of actual classified stratovolcanoes are often entirely composed of solid flows of viscous lava and contain little if any tephra, most of the active volcanoes in the Andes are like this.
          The term lava shield and pyroclastic shield are relevant here, kilauea is somewhat of a hybrid of both.

          HVO have reported the SO2 levels at the summit to be half of what was happening when the lake was active.

    • Well, that’s new but it is a shame they ran the timelapse so fast. It looked more like a couple of Audi A40s racing down the M25 with the police after them, rather than lava boats bobbing along. Nonetheless, instructive. Thanks for posting it!

    • Okay? Yes and no. Tomorrow is 57. I like beer, but am not supposed to consume it due to meds. It sort of ticks me off. I have an interest in archeology, so this article caught my interest. One saving grace is that before I was warned off beer, I did have the opportunity to brew a batch that was pretty close to what was consumed in the taverns along the waterfronts in the days of sail.. A most horrendous flavor, probably only suitable for getting drunk and not actually enjoying. What I found interesting in the article, is that it was likely that ‘standard’ beer of the time (Hittites) was a bitter based beer, not that dissimilar to what we use today. This comes from the fact that they had no special word for ‘bitter’ when writing about beer, but they did have one for ‘sweet’ in describing some of their brews. This says that something akin to mead or cider got the ‘sweet’ annotation. Also from the article, they used other agents than hops to achieve the bitterness.

      @emptout; Even hops don’t help oat based beer very much. (Oats were used to supplement barley in the mashing process in 1500-1700 era waterfront beer)

      A side project that I conducted when I did the ancient beer experiment, was that I made some Hard Tack from an 1850’s era recipe. Per the military specifications for acceptable product, it should have the consistency of a brick when completed.

      • Interesting. We (UK) can’t go back as far as the Hittites, but India Pale Ale, Trafalgar Ale and others like it have a solid 19th century pedigree. And there’s always a pint of Mild. A dark, syrupy flat ale that I loved as a youngster (and even then it was the drink of old codgers). Sadly, it is a brew that is slipping away into history. I have not seen it on tap in a pub for over 30 years now.

        • The romans brewed beer, I have a feeling so did the celts.

          Its a classic way to provide bug-free drinking liquid, quite important in bygone days.

        • … and, from what I understand, the first “Mixologists” were sailors. Making grog palatable was an art-form. Rum+water keeps longer, add a bit of lime or citrus, and you solve the scurvy problem.

          Deep in American history is how the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. Lesser told is why there? → The beer ran out and they needed to make more. Once ashore the idea came about… “Eh, this will do.”

          I’ve spent many many hours at sea in much more accommodating conditions, but even with that, it gets old really really fast. Imagine doing an Atlantic crossing on a 180 tons Dutch cargo vessel with maybe 80–90 ft of usable deck space. Compared to the 50,561 tons 796 feet long vessel of my last cruise, I was on a dream boat compared to them… even if everything reeked of fuel oil. You get used to the smell after a while. What I never liked was on a previous vessel where the engineers took forever to get all of the salt and diesel out of one of our fresh water tanks. Coffee with a slight hint of salt and diesel is not something I could get used to. Seattle never had that problem in my experience… though they did managed to foul one of our JP-5 cargo tanks. The solution was quite novel in my opinion. They decertified the fuel from aviation grade to DFM (Diesel Fuel Marine) and we burnt it in the boilers. (A boiler doesn’t care as long as it makes fire. Jet engines, not so much.)

          Why was the AOE so freeking big? The original keel for the Sacramento was intended for the follow-on ships in the Iowa class BB’s but the war ended and they canceled the build of the USS Kentucky. Eventually it was finished out as a fast combat replenishment ship. Each AOE got 2 of the original 4 boilers for Kentucky. (600 psi plant) But, all of the Sacramento AOEs are gone now. Maritime Sea-lift Command operates the follow-on Supply Class AOEs which are gas turbine powered, civilian manned with a small detachment of active duty USN for operational purposes.

      • It is important to embrace your roots. It gives you a pretty good perspective on how things have changed. I remember visiting Vicksburg National park many many times while growing up. I was always intrigued by one of the static displays in a museum there that showed living conditions for the residents during the siege of Vicksburg. It was quite common to burrow a small cave into the loess soil for shelter against rain, bullets and cannon fire. In the display, was a small table and a plate of beans and Hard Tack. The stories you hear of Hard Tack only being edible after soaking in broth or with beans is accurate. I was actually able to drive a nail into a piece of wood using the Hard Tack as a hammer.

        As for the 19th century pedigree ale, I imagine that it is quite good. My beer experiment was to try to approximate the crap beer sold to sailors centuries ago just to see how bad it was.

        Side note for you. William Sealy Gosset is responsible for the mathematical work that gave us statistical based quality control. He developed the math while he was working for Arthur Guinness & Son. You may have seen his work under the pen name “Student,” which was a by-product of publishing restrictions put in place by his employer regarding trade secrets. interestingly, the statistical quality control methods were probably more valuable in the long run than an specific recipe for their beer.

        So, from beer, we gained inroads into statistical methods.

        • How is it more important? Easy. Using Gosset’s mathematical work, a buyer could take a small sample of a batch of grain and deduce the characteristics for the entire batch. Consistency of product is very very important when it comes to brewing beer.

          With regards to his work; Gosset was a friend of both Pearson and Fisher, a noteworthy achievement, for each had a massive ego and a loathing for the other. He was a modest man who once cut short an admirer with this comment: “Fisher would have discovered it all anyway.”

  14. 57? take a moment and pretend You are 67.. think ’67’ feel 67. What can You do? what can’t You do. Retired ? Less funds? more pain. less movement…. and now realize You are really 57! Wow! Ten Years Younger!! Way to go! Enjoy! Best!motsfo

    • I know, I know. The sobering bit is that my dad would have been 100 this month. He saw and did more during his time than I can possibly imagine. If genes have anything to say about it, I should have the hardware to make it to my 80’s. One of my childhood memories is having to go to funerals every few months, but each and every one of them were in that age range before checking out. Baring stupidity on my part or someone nearby, I should be okay.

      However, that still doesn’t mean I have to be happy about aging.

      • Valid point. For solace, I have convinced myself that eventually, I will wind up as a bit of schist under a mountain range following the next Wilson cycle. Not many people know where they will be at in a few million years. I’ve toyed around with the idea of having “Schist Happens” eventually placed on my tombstone. That should be good for spinning a few heads around.

        Evidence to back up my idea.

        1) I live on the sediment of the Mississippi Embayment. No matter what my future holds, there is a really good chance that I will be interred somewhere on this geologic formation.
        2) The Wilson cycle is the periodic opening and closing of oceanic basins as continental crust blocks are torn apart and reshuffled back together. During the combining phase, orogeny compresses and folds the sediment along the borders of those crust blocks, forming mountains. Schist is a high end metamorphic rock that is generally formed under large mountain ranges. Following my demise, time will be on my side, and eventually, it will happen.

        The alternative is to fiddle my thumbs waiting for the Technological Singularity. I have a morbid point of view about having my consciousness uploaded to a computer. Ya see, in my opinion, sure, your “consciousness” might survive (provided you have good battery back-up power) but the person or entity being copied remains a conscious, living person… still subject to dying. Odds are, that dying experience won’t be part of the copied “self.” This is theoretically the same issue with the SciFi notion of teleportation. The copy makes it to the destination, but what of the original person? What a horrible way to die. And every single “transport” on the Star Trek series, by necessity, involves evaporating the person being sent, atom by atom. No wonder the “Bones” character historically had an issue with it in the series. Every time you get “teleported,” a version of you has to literally die in some sort of glorified particle accelerator. And that is not even getting into the soul aspect of the discussion. In a way, this was the central issue in Stephen King’s “Pet Sematary” novel. The ones brought back were missing “something” that made them who or what they were.

        • That will be in a really long time though. The next supercontinent is much more likely to have the Atlantic as its exterior global ocean so if you live in Florida I think it might be about 600 million years before another continent collides with that spot… I dont know if schist forms under subduction zone mountain ranges like the Andes but one of those might turn up a lot sooner.

        • Like I said, by then, time will be on my side.

          The Gulf of Mexico is going to be a problem anyway. Lots of weird plate juggling is going on. The Yucatan used to be next to Galveston Texas, and part of Orlando used to be just south of what is now New Orleans.

  15. OT if the subject is death….. Did You guys know that the wide angle camera from HVO still works under the moonlight tonight??… the live camera doesn’t; just the static one one the wide shot… still kinda cool… Best! from a tired motsfo at 2am here…. and the heat cam on hwy 130 still reading above 100F.

    • I don’t know how to convert between farenheight and celsius but I think 100 is only sort of warm to touch, it isn’t a very good sign of an eruption at that location now. The chance of an eruption happening at that spot is probably small now, the eruption will probably just keep going the way it is now for maybe another 2 weeks max, before quickly declining.

      • i have a small garden type themometer that has both C and F on it so i just cheat and look across the lines…. 115F this morning is appox 42C. but for higher than 50C i have to look it up. (don’t give me that divide by 30 and add stuff) i’m old, i barely remember what i had for breakfast==== (( well it’s usually oatmeal now and i have to sadly admit: ground up to boot; and the next phase is baby pape :(….. the body gets tired of dealing so enjoy whatever You have now))

    • The earthquake and energy rate (per day) has been remarkably stable over the past weeks. It is very similar to the collapse of Bardarbunga – even the size of the largest earthquakes is similar. I think that shows that the energy does not come from volatiles or water. It is purely gravity-driven collapse of the crater which provides the energy for the quakes.

      Repeating my calculation in the comment above, the typical M=5.3 earthquake releases around 5 10^12 J. Assuming that it is powered by a part of the crater that drops by 20 meters (the number comes from the now-defunct NPIT GPS), that requires a mass of 3 10^10 kg, or a volume of 10^7 m^3.

      That volume corresponds to a cube of rock of 200m on each side. Such a block, dropping by 20 meters, can provide the energy of the main quake of each day. The volume may correspond to the size of shelfs seen along the edges of the crater. Obviously in reality it won’t be a cube.

      • I saw a reference to an analysis supposedly by someone quite well known in the field but unfortunately I cant relocate the reference or the source. He apparently described it as seeming to be a collapse event causing a sudden over-pressure which triggered the explosion. Sadly I’ve forgotten who said that and can’t find it again.

        USGS latest term for the event on twitter was a “collapse explosion”. They also referred to it as a gas explosion a couple of days ago which reminds me of their original “chemical explosion” description.

        If it really is a simple block dropping I wonder why USGS keep going on about gas, explosions and pressure changes and talking to local residents about “foamy magma somehow interacting with the plumbing” – which was apparently attributed to HVO’s Tina Neal.

        • It used to be that the local briefings were streamed live by multiple sources and they were a good source of info especially at the Q&A with the locals, but now they never are and we have only reports of selected parts of what was said accurate or otherwise.

          Even when multiple frequent streamers are at the event they don’t carry them either. Excellent sources such as Philip Ong and Ikaika Marzo seem to be careful about only reporting the latest facts and figures given at the meetings but not going into the speculation too much – which I suppose is understandable.

          But they did make interesting viewing!

          • I suspect that those briefings have largely got boring now. The reality is that the eruption is now in a period of status quo. The lava is continuing to flow down in a channel to the ocean entry at Kapoho. The fountaining is continuing from fissure 8 at roughly the same level. The laze hazard is essentially the same, subject to wind direction shifts. The caldera collapse has settled down to a regularity.

            Notice how samey the civil defence videos on Big Island News’ Youtube channel have got. Ditto for the root cause of the problem. Announcements about free dental care aren’t exactly riveting viewing.

          • Oh I Imagine you are right and that the briefings are fairly repetitive now with just the numbers updating until something changes but it was specifically the Q+A sessions where they would do their best to answer anything asked by the local people who were, after all, most affected. And some of them had very good questions.

            I suppose if there are any new good answers we’ll hear them in time.

      • Thank you for the calcs. Saves me the trouble of doing it.

        The point is that the detected energy release is easily explained by the dropping masses.

        • I understand what Albert is saying but I still don’t get why USGS just doesn’t say that – of all the answers they have given (or not given) not one of them has been that simple answer. They’ve even been extremely cagey about whether a “collapse” or “explosion” starts first (A: “the seismic signals are very unusual for these events”) or even whether a “collapse explosion” is the same as an “explosion collapse” or the very latest term “collapse/explosion”.

          Probably I’m just over-complicating things.

          • Doing the calculations is easy. Proving this is what is actually happening is a different matter. I do think it is correct, because of the similarity with Bardarbunga and because of the excellent repetition from day to day (which suggests the earthquakes relate most to the rate of magma loss). But HVO requires a higher standard of evidence: they have to be more careful in separating facts from interpretation.

          • Squonk, Our Albert has nailed it. Don’t forget at periodic times the USGS have admitted they have lengthy debates about causality and that would point the way to them not being 100% agreed on stuff. They do not like presenting information they are not sure on. Lets look at the 2 most common questions asked at Q&A sessions previously. How long will this go on for and what will be the end result. They have no way of knowing the first, the same as we do not. They will report any changes that might be ushering in the endwhen they occur and i have no doubt they will do this). But the obvious fact is without knowing how long this will continue then you have no way of predicting what will be the scale of the outcome per this eruption event. Hearing this everyday was not adding anything “new” into information that was already available previously.So unless something “new” occurs then not surprised for the lull in new information being presented. They will be studying this eruption for years to come trying to understand all the finer details 🙂

    • The cumulative moment red line hasbecome steeper though.

      Two screenshots (couldn’t save it otherwise) made in interactive
      Shown are earthquakes under Kilauea caldera with magnitude higher than 3.0 in the weeks 20 – 26 may and 18 – 24 june 2018. Credits quake data USGS.
      So the number is about stable, but the cumulative moment is changing

    • So that’s where the dutch football team went. Must have confused FC Krylia for Kilauea.

  16. UWEV (HVO)

    OUTL (southern caldera fault)

    PUHI (near puhimau crater)

    CRIM (near keanakako’i crater and 1974 vents)

    Notice how all of them are showing exponential decline (UWEV has basically stopped) except CRIM, and CRIM is over an area of known magma storage. I dont think this collapse is going to go north any more than it has already, it is probably going to go more to the south, probably with a noticeable drop of the southern part of the caldera south of halemaumau. That is if it doesnt just stop in the immediate future.

    This eruption is about 600 meters below the level of the lava lake before it collapsed, so the pressure should theoretically equalize when the magma reaches that point. The shallow system was probably around that deep then in order for it to collapse the way it did. That also means there is possibly some magma still connected to the system only a few hundred meters below the floor of halemaumau, which could lead to a quick revival of activity, and also probably lessen the risk of a large eruption immediately. I think this is what happened when pu’u o’o collapsed in 2011 (both times), the shallow lava drained out but the conduit was still largely intact and eruptions resumed a few weeks later (I think the last collapse is final though, the conduit was destroyed). The question is, would this count as a new eruption technically, or a continuation of the old one in halemaumau. Pu’u o’o is classed as one eruption despite significant pauses of weeks with no active lava, so if the same sort of thing happens at the bottom of halemaumau it would be a continuation of the overlook eruption?

    • Turtle if subsidence is heading out to the south then that is above the second larger magma chamber. The upper chamber is directly under the halemaumau vent. So if we see subsidence heading south that would suggest the magma level is well below your speculated few hundred metres below the crater floor.

      • *Also USGS reported SO2 has halved since the eruption began , that might also be synonymous with a far greater lowering of the magma.

        • Half of 10,000 is still about 10 times higher than it is typically between eruptions, and is probably higher than most volcanoes in actual eruption. Also the amount of SO2 erupting from the east rift is over 20,000 tons per day so…

          There is only really high SO2 when there is magma exposed to an area of near atmospheric pressure. A lava lake is a very good example but shallow magma under rubble is also very effective.

          The SO2 lowering at the summit also not necessarily indicative of anything related to the magma supply at all. It could be because there is enough material above the magma colomn that is is prevented from coming out of solution.

          As I have said before the magma supply rate is about 0.2 km3 per year, which for a volcano fed from a hotspot alone is extremely high. The only way that would stop is if a very big deep intrusion happens below the main magma chamber in the deep feeder system. That is what happened in 1924 and 1840, when the supply rate declined significantly afterwards. The point where the current dike exits the summit area is somewhere near the top of the main magma chamber, enough to drain the upper shallow stuff within the caldera (~1 km deep) but it is never going to cause the entire caldera to collapse to the level it was at when it formed. The last time an eruption similar to the current one happened was in 1960 and that if anything lead to an increase in eruption rate, and the 1790 east rift eruption was even more similar (similar size as well as almost identical location) and what happened after that is pretty well known… No deep rupture means no long dormancy, no matter how big the eruption on the flank is. The leilani eruption is only 600 meters below the elevation of the summit so it is never going to drain out something that is 2 km deeper than that, it would be like expecting a water tank to drain completely from a hole half way up the side. If another pipe fed into the tank from underneath it would be completely unaffected by anything happening in the tank itself. If the bottom pipe breaks instead then it is a very different story. The current eruption is analogous to the hole on the side scenario.

          Te reason HVO is saying otherwise and comparing this event to 1924 is because they have to be much more cautious about what they say as they have an actual impact if they say something and it goes differently.

          • That all makes sense on the proviso the 6.9 EQ has not opened up new magma storage space lower than fissure 8. The magma withdrawing from underneath the summit is going somewhere and the continued lowering of the summit suggests outflow is greater than inflow with the continuing deflation. You have seen the suggestion there are multiple dykes in the LRZ/LREZ right ?

          • The quake was a tectonic quake, created by a strike-slip movement along the base of the volcano along the former sea floor and below any magmatic activity. The void was never there, it was removed by the ground sliding down above that area, and the amount of southwards movement was only a few meters at the very bottom so anything connected to the actual dike would have been much less and probably not made a difference really.
            And it was also actually way smaller than the 1975 quake. Earthquakes are rated on an exponential scale so the difference between a 6.9 and a 7.5 is a lot. The 1975 quake had a surface expression bigger than the amount of displacement the recent one had at its epicenter, so the volume of the space created then was much bigger.
            This quake is fairly big but it is nowhere near a crippling event to kilauea.

            There are not multiple active dikes in the lower east rift now. That was said in relation to the 1790 eruption not this one. And about that, if the 1790 eruptions can collapse the entire caldera and include two large lower rift flows about the size of the current eruption, as well as a decent VEI 4, and were caused by about the same supply rate as now then that is not a good sign of kilauea going to sleep after this eruption now…

          • The quake reduced the stress in the area, in the direction of the slump. It did not create a gap, but a low stress region that made it easy for the magma to push its way into. The magma could than travel perpendicular to the low-stress direction. So yes, I think that quake was fundamental to how this eruption proceeded. Without it, I think this even would have happened at Pu’u’O’o (remember that one) or even the summit.

          • The idea of multiple dikes at different depth is sort of inferred by the lack of quakes below a few km in the east rift. However this could just be because the rock is too hot for quakes to happen, but even if that isnt the case this is probably something that has existed for kilaueas entire history so for it to be building up to an eruption from there right exactly now would be extremely unlikely and nearly all of these areas will probably never actually erupt. They probably turn into plutonic and intrusive rocks that are exposed on the surface much later by erosion. This is probably what the exposed dikes on Oahu are from, the volcanoes deep system.
            Green mountain has gabbro xenoliths and drilling at PGV found a lot of evolved intrusive rocks as well as the molten dacite.
            I guess that every now and then these deep dikes might make it to the surface along the rift zones but that is probably a very infrequent thing. That could have happened in 1840 and 1924 where earthquake activity on the rift was only near the point of eruption (or near eruption).

            Anyway if there was a deep intrusion that was in the process of eruption now the deflation would be detectable way further from the summit. 1924 deflation was enormous and there was a detectable movement on tiltmeters as far away as north puna, and this was in 1924 when the technology was far less sensitive than today, and this also continued for a long time after the event which is also something we aren’t seeing now (HVO GPS has basically stopped moving as of right now). The deflation observed now is only in the summit area and pu’u o’o, and there is none at all outside the upper part of the east rift and the summit. That is basically complete proof this is a shallow event.

          • I thought the movement of the south flank had been registered by several GPS so that it affected shallow areas too but I dont remember very good.

            I dont like the term dyke to refer to the summit-Pu’u’o’o conduit, fissure eruptions reveal how the shallow dykes intrude and where and how (Kilauea has a remarkably high number of eruptive intrusions compared to non-eruptive ones, at least during the last decades, the same cannot be said for the 1924-1955 period, I have already shared my opinion on why is that and I dont think it means less magma entering the volcano). Eruptions reveal how the dykes at the ERZ intrude in a southwest-northeast direction (because of the stresses generated by the Hilina slump) and that means no shallow dyke is going to cross the upper ERZ because it would be perpendicular to how they would intrude. I think geologists usually place the conduit 3 km deep, the magma probably intrudes through a strike-slip fault and with the help of magma reservoirs.

          • 3 km deep is where the main chamber is so this is exactly where it should be, also the part between pu’u o’o and the current eruption is a dike still, it hasnt lasted long enough to become more rounded yet. The rest probably has though.
            The deeper intrusions that I have talked about are something like 5-10 km deep, near the base of the volcano.

            I would like to see your actual reasoning for thinking the 1840-1950 period was dominated by magma seeping into the rift instead of erupting at the summit. It sounds fine but I dont know how it explains the total shutdown of eruptive activity for almost 20 years when there was only one actual decent intrusion between when the 1924 deflation finally stopped (after 1930 I think) and the reactivation of kilauea in 1950. This doesnt sound like a very active volcano in the way you describe.

          • Yes I also consider the Pu’u’o’o-Leilani intrusion to be a dike. About the low activity period I think it is important to consider that after 1790 the ERZ was left drained (The most recent pit craters probably formed then) and a period of inactivity followed until 1840 that is one reason I dont think there was a reservoir that collapsed at Makaopuhi at that time. From 1840 on more and more intrusions began to intrude the ERZ (you probably know more about the number and size of these intrusions but I would say some of them like 1924 or 1950 were really massive and didnt cause any eruption) the intruding magma causes lower activity at the summit and is not able to erupt probably because the ERZ is “empty”, at least the larger reservoirs should have been destroyed then. As magma periodically intruded the rift for decades intrusions there began to have better chances of erupting when there was old magma they could push out.

          • The 1950 intrusion wasnt really big, it extended to about where pu’u o’o is now. That is not small either but many similar intrusions have occurred with similar results and a lot of those have erupted, so I dont think that intrusion would be particularly unusual except for when it happened.

          • 1950 apparently entered the Koae Fault System and maybe from there the SWRZ. I thought there were more intrusions into the ERZ during the 1924-1950 period, now I can only find the 1936-1938 intrusions and of course 1924 and 1950, so it was not very active during that period. I still think that the ERZ was in process of recovering from the 1790 drainning and that may explain some things like why those intrusions were so deep or why most of them failed to erupt.

          • I don’t think there were actually that many intrusions in the 1840-1950 period at all. Before 1924 there was one in 1868, probably after 1886, and there was one in 1922 that did erupt briefly and another that was probably the same which also erupted in basically the same spot. There was an eruption reported near cape kumukahi in 1884 but there was no summit response then so if this actually happened it was entirely a local event, it’s short duration would support this.
            Then there was 1924 that kept draining until after 1930, then some poorly recorded events in the 1940s, and then 1950, 1954, 1955 which erupted, and 1960 which erupted. After that it becomes way more frequent and happens basically every year multiple times with about 50% chance of erupting.

            It is probable that during times of low supply rate eruptions would usually keep happening, but when a really deep intrusion happens it is a slow and local event that is characterised by the summit deflating from very deep and the onset of flank activity starting after the summit has started deflating. A shallow eruption from the main reservoir that happens in the lower rift will show activity before the summit responds, which is what we observe in 1955, 1960 and now.

            My idea is that the deep intrusions cause a sort of internal bleeding effect, where magma can seep into the intrusion for a long time after it has formed instead of refilling the summit. Shallow intrusions are more set, they form, try to erupt, succeed sometimes, and when the pressure is too low the eruption stops and the dike shuts and begins to cool.
            I guess by analogy it would be like getting a surface cut that bleeds but is generally harmless… It is similar to your idea but would be a semi continuous process that is largely aseismic and doesn’t have any major effect on the surface. In 1840 the deep intrusion probably happened in 1832 but the supply rate was very high so it filled to the point where an eruption could happen from it. In 1924 the same thing happened except no eruption ever came from it, so the supply rate was logically much lower. That could be because after 1840 mauna loa woke up, and that is possibly because kilauea had deflated so much it stopped pushing on mauna loa and allowed magma to erupt there instead, and when mauna loa eventually had its deep draining eruption in 1950 it lost pressure and kilauea started inflating again. This idea is also believed to have caused the 2002 lava flow from pu’u o’o, and mauna loa had been inflating over the last few years so it could indirectly have something to do with the current activity too.

          • Something interesting, the probably next eruption after Puu Kaliu at the LERZ erupted picritic lavas, it is so poorly exposed that its size is not possible to estimate but it happened very close to Puu Kaliu, just north of it. This could be related to 1790 and 1840. Halekamahina is the other LERZ eruption that has also erupted picrite.

          • Seems like eruptions in that area might often be quite deep. 1960 erupted some picrite too, although that was believed to be 1959 summit magma that made its way down the dike.

            This eruption hasnt erupted picrite though.

          • 1790 and Puu Kaliu had a more common lava composition while 1840 and the next eruption after Puu Kaliu in the middle LERZ were picritic. What would be interesting to consider is that eruptions like 1790 or Puu Kaliu that could be similar to the current one (we will have to wait to see) are followed by picrite eruptions which could be an indicative of deep intrusions?

          • I would say there is a decent chance of that happening, but it still might be 50+ years away or something like that if the difference between 1790 and 1840 is an indication.

            Based on the situations of those eruptions you mentioned as well as some research, I think deep intrusions and picrite eruptions on the lower rift are associated with the end of prolonged high volume summit activity, whereas large tholeiite eruptions on the lower rift like pu’u kaliu and 1790 are associated with the end of a long series of east rift eruptions. It might not entirely be a coincidence that pu’u kaliu, 1790 and the current eruption are all happening in basically the same place either.
            I think there is also a correlation between how east rift activity seems to progress. Before pu’u kaliu there was kane nui o hamo erupting as a large rift eruption similar to pu’u o’o and there was probably a shallow mostly filled caldera with what would later become the observatory shield inside it, something really quite similar to today.
            Before 1790 there was the also quite big eruption of heiheiahulu less than 40 years earlier as well as a few cones and lots of lava flows formed on the lower rift zone between where pu’u o’o is now and cape kumukahi, the biggest one is probably green mountain but there was apparently an eruption near pu’u kaliu that might have been very big too.
            That activity period seems to have mostly been centered on the lower part of the rift compared to the upper part before pu’u kaliu and the current eruption, but the situation is very similar. Even the situation at the summit then is somewhat similar, as summit vents before and after 1790 had already localized mostly to the southern part of the caldera where halemaumau is now based on the tephra from lava fountains being thickest there (the trade winds would cause some of that but not enough to fully account for it).
            The period before now is well known and needs no comment here.

            After pu’u kaliu there seems to have been extensive large summit eruptions for a while including the initial formation of aila’au (much more vigorous than the later shield building stages that might have been a separate eruption*) and probably most of the formation of the observatory shield.
            1790 started a series of very large and basically continuous high volume eruptions for 50 years that lead to something like 4+ km3 of lava being erupted by 1840.
            If this is a thing then in the likely event something like that happens after this eruption, the entire summit caldera will easily be filled within the next 20 years and large flows will spill over the surrounding areas that haven’t seen lava for hundreds of years. Most of it will probably go south towards the koae fault zone and southwest rift but Volcano and the golf course are quite at risk too.

    • This might interest you Turtle –> Posted a few hrs ago by USGS on Facebook in reply to a query.

      “USGS Volcanoes We would visualize the reservoir as flattening, and we don’t know how much “open space” might exist at its top. Probably not much, and it’s probably also not a perfect sphere (despite the fact that we usually draw it that way for simplicity). As for the pressure state, we’re not sure at what stage that will occur. We have seen some indication that magma is also draining from the deeper reservoir (based on a broader subsidence pattern at the summit), but that is occurring at a much slower rate than occurred form the upper reservoir. “

      • A small amount of that will occur in any large eruption if the eruption rate is higher than the amount of refilling, the thing I am talking about is a deflation of the entire magma system of kilauea out to the edges of the volcano, deflation was detectable at keaau in north puna with 1924 technology. If they say a slight deflation then I am fairly certain that is not happening, and probably never will as this effect had started by this point in 1924. I would expect the same thing happened in 1840 but there is obviously no record from then.
        What this can do instead is create a lower pressure area that draws in magma at an even higher rate. Que 1790 sized summit eruptions, extremely rapid caldera filling, eruption rates twice as high as pu’u o’o, etc… As I said, you can’t fully drain a water tank with a hole half way up the side. Same thing applies here but on a way bigger scale.

        Also the characteristic of a deep fed eruption would be the eruption of picrite magma, which is sort of half way between normal tholeiite basalt and ultramafic komatiite, and is the hottest lava that can erupt on earth today under normal conditions. This is what erupted in 1840, and some of 1959 also erupted it. The eruption now is not erupting picrite, it is erupting pu’u o’o basalt that is quite hot for tholeiite but not as hot as picrite magma can be. Picrite eruptions are often characterised by high gas content and many basaltic plinian eruptions are fed by it including those at kilauea and mt etna and the 1886 eruption of tarawera in New Zealand, and if that doesn’t happen it will typically erupt as a very high fountain if the vents focus to a single point. In 1840 this didn’t happen because the eruption was too fast and never had a chance to focus and build a cone but the results are pretty obvious in the 1959 eruption.

  17. Has anyone seen a recent video of the “new” Halemaumau? I have seen helicopters fly over Kilauea on the live cam but we have not seen a video or SAR image in a while.


    • The answered on Facebook someone who asked the question why last week’s drone video hadn’t been made available yet that “It takes time to get the video converted and uploaded” and they hoped something would be up on Monday. Not there yet though.

      Latest update on FB

      The fissure 8 cone morphed and grew between June 15th and 24th. Most notably, a shoulder grew on the channel side of the cone as the vent shifted from being two distinct fountains to three, then to a single source of voluminous roiling. The cone height is about 47 m (154 ft) from the hardened lava surface on which it was built.


      Btw I noticed some posts saying people don’t have Facebook accounts and can’t see the links – most of the Facebook links (including all the USGS posts) are public posts which means you can see them without an account – at least with desktop Facebook.

      • It varies per facebook site but often facebook blocks part of the screen with a ‘create account’ message. And that includes the USGS facebook page. It may differ per person as facebook has been said to keep track of you even if you are not logged in, so different people may see different messages depending on their on-line activities.

        • Yes I get the “Create Account” but just click “Not Now” and it goes away. I normally open facebook links in a private window so it has no pre-existing cookies and I never have a problem reading public posts. Others mileage might vary.

          • Yes, you click ‘not now’ and you get a smaller version instead which still blocks part of the screen.

          • What I get is a floating bottom bar which doesn’t block the screen although reduces the scroll window. Even that disappears if I read a post such as a photo gallery or video in full screen mode.

            I am not a complete idiot (just a partial one)and would notice if I couldn’t actually read the post, pics or videos and comments because they were blocked by a message in front.

          • It varies. sometimes I get nothing and can read facebook fine. At other times (or after some time) a bigger or smaller bar pops up. In that past that also happened on the VC facebook page but not most recently. The ‘not now’ is not always there, even on the big, screen-blocking bars. And my screen is possibly smaller than yours, so I may lose a larger fraction of the displayed area even with the smaller bar.

      • It says the cone is 55-60 meters high on the pictures yesterday from HVO. I assume the 55 meters is the height of the cone plus the lava underneath it?

        There is also confirmation of the demise of NPIT, they did an overflight of the crater again and took pictures of where it was and that spot is now about half way down the crater and riddled with crevasses…

        • They think NPIT is still working but the signal isn’t getting to the receiver.

          Drone and helicopter views confirm that NPIT is still intact and likely still recording data. Unfortunately, the large motions have now resulted in a misalignment of the radio shot between the instrument and the observatory, cutting off communication and therefore data flow from the GPS station

          Btw, the above facebook link for me takes me (not logged in) to a full size window of the post and facebook completely removes its create account prompt by itself after a few seconds so nothing clutters the screen. That’s with desktop firefox – I wonder if it could be browser dependent?

          • This facebook page shows up fine even for me. Unlike the previous USGS page. Confusion reigns.

  18. Kind of a long video, basically a discussion of the impact to the tourism industry on Hawaii. There was some talk from candidates for Governor that they need to set up a viewing area for the lava, bring back the tourists.

    • A viewing area for tourists. Oh dear. I don’t think they have any comprehension of how dangerous this eruption is compared to the previous activity. It is probably less dangerous now that the channelised lava flow is well established and less likely to have breakouts. However if a big breakout were to happen it could easily roast a while bunch of tourists.

      They need to get their priorities straight.

      • Depends how you look at it on the grand scale of things.
        Richard Branson is progressing with his project to take people to space for fun, how dangerous is that compared to viewing lava in Hawaii? Nobody stopping him.

        The old cinder cone quarry that was used by the press filming the lava river is high and away enough for the press, so it would be OK for tourists, afterall a life is a life, all are equal.

        Hawaii is loosing trade rapidly, Iceland would be sensibly cashing in if it was there and not Hekla or one of the other nasty’s.

        Hekla would probably scare all the tourists off for good if it were to appear in Hawaii, the thought makes me laugh mischievously.

        I wish I could afford to go for a helicopter flight near fissure 8, dreams…

        • Last month I was at Mesa Verde.

          There I visited some of the cliff pueblo dwellings. The thing that really struck me that with lethal drops all over the place there were no warnings or railings yet there were lots of (sensible) kids in the group.

          Not unsurprisingly they all behaved excellently, yet the USA is renowned for paranoia, not really deserved.

          In the UK nobody would be allowed there because someone might be an idiot.

          I applaud the USA authorities.

          One family had a young boy who I would guess had been walking for less than a year. He (with enthusiasm) climbed a 30′ ladder on his own. OK dad was ready to catch him if anything happened, but he didn’t help nor warn.

          People underestimate other countries…..

          • I see what you mean.
            In the UK, common sense is now removed from children at school, thats why we have safety notices everywhere and a massive well paid safety officialdom raking in the cash from certification and regulation, we even need a certificate to change a light fitting now.
            Common sense was better, cheaper and did not require an army of over paid busybody’s enforcing petty laws for sheeple.

            Best we fence everything off.

          • Fascinating place. I’ve often wondered if their demise could be linked to a volcanic event, as their existence was on the edge (so to speak). The Flagstaff volcanoes went off during that period as did the Mono-Inyo craters.

          • I think both the flagstaff volcanoes and mono inyo craters would be way too small to be damaging to mesa verde. Sunset crater is quite big but I think it would have been like paricutin when it formed, which is to say it is a big surprise but doesnt really do much beyond the local area and im sure there was at least one adventurous guy who wanted to see the lava up close and poke it with a stick, its not like you get a lot of chances to do that in that area 😉
            Mono-inyo craters were several VEI 3-4 eruptions, probably all over a relatively short time period and each set of craters probably a few decades to a century apart. Seeing as VEI 4s happen every few years on average I dont think much would be happening to a distant site as a result of those eruptions either.
            I think the main theory is that most of southwest north america went into a long drought, and fires became more common, so people left or died trying. I guess much bigger eruptions elsewhere in the world could have had some impact on the severity of the drought though.

          • Mesa verde:

            The Hopi moved and apparently simply say “it was time to leave”. I think there is evidence that the Chaco culture was under raids from the Aztecs. Its almost impossible not to believe that a culture that had existed on top of the mesa for a millennia or more then suddenly switched to highly defensive locations then within a generation left, was not affected by some sort of conflict.

            But nobody knows.

            PS sunset craters are conveniently visible from Twin Arrows Hotel which is about 30miles from Meteor Crater. We spent 10 days visiting parts of Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado (just), California (just). The scenery is amazing, even just on the road.

          • Dunno about the “betterness” of the USA. We are very nearly a certifiable batch of idiots in our own right.

            One thing that I learned from Naval service came from the typical DEA inbriefs that we got each time we were assigned Counter Narcotic Operations. In every single brief, they stated that “If you can think of it, it has already been tried… many times.”

            This statement was mainly intended to motivate search parties to have great vigilance in their searches, but I think it applies quite well to the Mk-1 mod 0 standard idiot. (aka Homo Stultus) If you can imagine something really really stupid, odds are, someone probably has already been injured or killed trying it out.

      • When mauna ulu was active an observatory (wooden platform…) was put on the very edge so you could see the lava inside, even though it overflowed vigorously less than a month later. No one died then. In the 1960s alemaumau overlook was open during eruptions that covered the entire crater with lava and sent tephra to the rim, no one died even though someone did die in 1924 from being hit by tephra. When activity resumes in the new (and much larger) crater I doubt anyone will be allowed anywhere near the caldera full stop… Health and safety is important but it should be considered a persons own responsibility more than someone else’s. If someone REALLY wants to see the lava then they should be allowed to but it is not the fault of the national park or HVO if they choose a spot that is downwind…

  19. UWE has stopped reporting …………… i keep loosing friends…. 🙁 Who will tell me when to check the cameras now?? Best!motsfo

    • VOA is in the norther part of the caldera only about a km north of CALS. Shows that the deflation is quite localized for the most part.
      CALS is also right on the trend of historical vents going between kilauea iki and halemaumau, which indicates that it is indeed the shallow system that is causing most if not all of the visible deformation as I said before.
      I think the amount that the main magma chamber has deflated is a bit more than in 1960 but not significantly more. This could indicate there wasn’t much of a shallow system in 1960 and that it was not completely open at halemaumau, which is why it didn’t collapse then but it has now.

    • I saw this. Quite interesting. I live in New England so I am quite scared. Bahahahaha.

  20. Just watched the latest collapse live and took a screenshot of the new cam before and after. A huge area of the caldera/area dropped a few centimeters, not just around the crater.

    (open in different tabs and switch between them to see the drop.)

    Looks like there is a fault that goes all the way to the other side of the caldera . Even parts of the rim dropped there.

    • That is really amazing. You can even see the drop right over almost to the far side. I’d love to see a time-lapse from that camera.

    • Thanks, MaxJ. That’s a remarkable demonstration of what caused and/or was caused by an (energy equivalent) 5.3 or so magnitude extended EQ.

      A live video with an accompanying seismogram might be able to distinguish how much of that is cause and how much is effect? A complication is that on the seismo this will look like a train wreck.

    • That is the keanakako’i magma body, it is where the 1823, 1877, possibly some of 1959, 1971, 1974 and 1982 eruptions got their magma from and it is connected to where the conduit to the east rift starts, the last eruption from that area was only a few months before the first episode of the pu’u o’o eruption started. The fact keanakako’i crater is there means this area can and has collapsed before but if the area drains out then a new big crater will form southwest of there that isn’t directly connected to halemaumau. What is also interesting is that this appears to have relatively little to do with the northern part of the caldera so evidently there is actually no shallow magma there, all the active areas are in the southern part.

      If this keeps up then maybe all the areas on the upper east rift with shallow magma above the main intrusion level could experience collapses and new pit craters could start appearing in the next few years. Certainly the caldera will be a lot different after this is over, and not just because a preexisting hole got (much) bigger.
      Really the longer this goes on I think the more likely it is that the east rift is going to choke itself and stop erupting for a long time while activity returns in full force to the summit. Again take 1790 as a very notable example of what happened after an event very similar to the current one. Kilauea is about as far from going dormant as it can get if it repeats that again…

      • In the next few years? I am assuming that is because of how long it took for the Devils Throat to form. Devils Throat is just 45 m wide and I dont think a 1 km wide crater like Makaopuhi or Napau or 500 m long like Pauahi, Keanakakoi or Alae is going to take that much time, even when being 3 km deep for a drained magma reservoir of that side I am expecting the overlying column of rock to fall quite fast.

      • Well the presence of big craters doesn’t mean ones the size of Devils put can’t form either. A bit further down the rift there would mostly be bigger craters but those would also take a bigger event to form and the rift isn’t deflating anymore from the looks of it, the summit output is matching the eruption rate and the summit deformation is also becoming a bit more localised so a new collapse is fairly likely in the CRIM area but not really anywhere else where it hasn’t happened already. As you said it will probably be much more immediate than the devils pit scenario but it still won’t be immediate and will probably happen in stages like the halemaumau collapse has.

        • It will happen in stages because these reservoirs can be quite big (able to store 0.2 km³ for the old Napau and Makaopuhi). Albert has just posted some of the GPS graphs where a recent acceleration of the deflation of the ERZ is visible especially at Mauna Ulu, Pu’u’o’o keeps falling linearly, deflation is still not finished and probably far from it, up to now it hasnt been accompained by any collapses so I see likely that only wide shallow dikes have drained.

          • I saw Alberts post on that only after my last post, but if the east rift is subsiding near mauna ulu then that means less magma is going into the rift from the summit than is being erupted at fissure 8. I based my initial idea on something I saw where the deflation on the pu’u o’o tiltmeters was only a few mm, but the GPS is showing otherwise for some reason.

            If your volume measurements are correct then the eruption could actually go on for a while on rift magma alone if collapses start, so the summit might even start inflating again (or even erupt) before the lower rift eruption actually stops, while new pits form in the chain of craters area. That could be interesting…

          • Something interesting is how Pu’u’o’o GPS falls linearly while all other ERZ GPS show large fluctuations.

  21. This is a plot of all the earthquakes along the rift zone (excluding the caldera and its environment). It goes from south of Kilauea to the tip of Puna. You can see that during June the earthquake activity appears to be decreasing a little, and the shallowest quakes (above sea level) have stopped over the last week. Perhaps the deeper quakes (4-6 miles) also but this may be affected by the stronger quake that occured at this depth around June 20. It may be (speculation alert) that the pressure in the dike is decreasing a bit.

  22. This from a few years ago.

    Landon Curt Noll
    ‏ @landonnoll
    19 May 2013

    Tonight #Kilauea volcano is in the mid-deflation of a DI cycle: Halema’uma’u lava lake in Infrared

    Recent comments by Landon Noll say that the current periodic events at the caldera are fundamentally related to the same gassy magma DI mechanism seen for years at Kilauea. Noll has also said he is actively working with USGS at Kilauea. That’s what he says anyway.

    DI event

    “DI” is short for “deflation-inflation.” A DI event is an abrupt deflation of Kīlauea’s
    summit that lasts from several hours to 2-3 days, followed by an abrupt transition to inflation that effectively cancels the preceding deflation over the ensuing hours to days.
    DI events are best recorded by tiltmeters at Kīlauea’s summit, which typically measure a few microradians (see definition below) of change for individual events
    DI events indicate a decrease and subsequent increase in pressure within a magma
    reservoir located about 1.5 km (1 mi) beneath the east margin of Halema‘uma‘u Crater.
    The level of the summit lava lake generally tracks tilt during DI events, with the lava level dropping during the deflation phase and rising during the inflation phase.
    Many DI events at Kīlauea’s summit are also recorded, after a delay of minutes to hours, by a tiltmeter on the north flank of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō on
    Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone, which is a sign that the pressure changes at the summit are being transmitted through the magma conduit to the East Rift Zone eruption site.
    DI events sometimes correlate with pauses and pulses in lava output from East Rift Zone eruptive vents.

  23. USGS wrote

    “The M5+ events that occur nearly each day are associated with the 20-25-foot drops. The small explosions aren’t really “causing” those, but rather it’s one system that has many manifestations. The largest earthquakes are collapse-style events as the caldera settles, and that’s when a lot of the blocks around Halema`uma`u move. As for the timing, we don’t have a great handle on why they are so repeatable. We suspect that it reflects the relatively constant deflation rate due to magma withdrawal from the summit, which means the settling of the caldera floor occurs at a constant rate, and stress builds up at a steady rate. But this will need to be tested and refined with models that incorporate a variety of data.”

    Which says pretty much what we thought. They also no longer use the word ‘explosion’

    • They did call the last event a “collapse explosion” on twitter anyway and they do say in that quote:

      explosions aren’t really “causing” those, but rather it’s one system that has many manifestations

      Landon Noll was very specific in an online chat which somebody (not me) saved a copy of) and he did seem to know Kilauea inside out. I’ll be disappointed if he was speaking with apparent confidence but completely wrong.

      • I mean that ‘collapse explosion’ has been replaced with ‘collapse-style events’. We’ll see how it pans out. And I would not be surprised if at some point there is a true phreatic explosion. At the moment, the daily shakes would stop any gas from building up.

        • Depending on how waterlogged the crater rocks are (personally I think ‘not very’) then when the next eruption happens it could start that way, and this is probably the same thing that happened in 1790 too.

  24. Latest daily update from Philip Ong, Ikaika Marzo and John Stallman – they were just doing them on facebook but now putting them on youtube as well. Lava at the ocean entry continues to work its way south bringing more locations into danger.

  25. The GPS stations along the entire east rift zone all seem to show continuing deflation. The rift is losing magma, it appears.

  26. There is a report that Cleveland volcano is erupting with minor lava flows in the crater.

  27. From Dr. Jessica Ball

    1h1 hour ago
    If you give a mouse a cookie…he’s gonna want a better cookie, also a cookie livestream and hourly cookie drone videos and direct access to the bakery. And then he’ll accuse you of hiding all the cookies because you’re running a cookie conspiracy and you’re clearly a lying liar.

    • LOL, I want a 1000 foot tower to raise the cameras so we can look down in to the crater in real time! Maybe 3 towers so we can have multiple angles (we would need pan, tilt and zoom remotely operated 4k res). Maybe they can cut some switch backs into the crater wall so we can walk down there. We plan to be there in a week or two if they can step up the work (sarc if necessary).

      • Don’t think the area will be open for visitors for a while…. You could see lava ocean entry, tho…. and i’m so jealous…. enjoy! Best!motsfo

        • motsfo

          We looked into that and it is almost as much as the helo tour we took 2 years ago, most likely not going to happen (200+ times 5). We are looking at an Airbnb in Hawaiian Beaches, and then a hotel in Kona. I have heard that government beach road is open from Hawaiian beaches to Papaya farms road so we could drive down and maybe see the fountains or the lava flow from there. Some people have been filming from a quarry off Cinder Road and Railroad Ave, not sure if it is open to the public. It has an elevation of over 300 feet in places and some of the latest videos are from that area. Might need to pack a tripod! The area over by Lava tree state park (Nanawale Estates)is also open but my wife wont let me get a room there but might be able to get in for a view. I would stay over by volcano the whole trip but the family likes to swim, snorkel and (me and our oldest) were certified to dive last trip, so most of the vacation is over in Kona. We have snorkeled from the shore with turtles (green sea), spinner dolphins, white tip reef sharks (lucky the wife did not see it as it swam right underneath her), spotted rays and we have done the night trip snorkeling to swim with the Manta rays twice (worth every penny for this trip).

          We love the Big Island!


          Will report from the field while out there, if we make it, airline employee family.

          • It really sounds wonderful…. enjoy every minute. Old age makes it just easier to stay home. Got to see Hawaii and it was wonderful. If i had my life to live over………….

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