Volcano World Cup 2018: Round of 16

Here we are at the knockout stage and where the competition starts to hot up. Vote for whichever country in each game you want to see progress to the quarter finals.


Russia vs Portugal


Gorely Volcano. SOURCE: www.into-russia.co.uk

For this match up I pick the Kamchatka volcano Gorely to represent Russia to go up against a Portuguese volcano. This caldera contains some overlapping small stratovolcanoes and numerous craters at the summit or flanks, some containing a crater lake whether it’s freshwater or acidic. Eruptions are usually of vulcanian or phreatic style. Last eruption came in 2010.


Agua de Pau caldera. SOURCE: www.cruisebe.com

For Portugal I choose Agua de Pau on the island of Sao Miguel in the Azores to go up against Gorely. This stratovolcano contains an outer caldera and an inner caldera, the latter which contains a lake called Lagoa do Fogo. A VEI 5 eruption from the caldera occurred in 1563 which was followed by a lava flow originating from the northwest flank. Numerous cinder cones are present on the flanks plus some hot springs on the northwest flank.


Peru vs Argentina


El Misti Volcano. SOURCE: www.andeantravelweb.com

I choose El Misti to represent Peru for this match up. This majestic symmetrical stratovolcano rises above the city of Arequipa at the altitude of 5822m asl, and the summit crater displays fumarolic activity. Pyroclastic eruptions have occurred in the past especially at around 2000 years ago when a pyroclastic flow travelled 12km to the south. Some reports of historical eruptions may have been mistaken for increased fumarolic activty.


Peinado Volcano. SOURCE: www.viajeros4x4.com

Representing Argentina will be the Peinado Volcano, a symmetrical stratovolcano in northwest Argentina. No historical eruptions have been known but well preserved lava flows which appeared to have originated from the summit and flank vents are well preserved.


Costa Rica vs Germany


The summit craters of Poas Volcano. SOURCE: www.vantourscostarica.com

For this match up I choose Poas to represent Costa Rica against Germany. Poas is the most visited active volcano in Costa Rica and has for long contained an acidic crater lake in the active crater until the last major eruption in 2017. Eruptions on Poas are predominately of phreatic style especially as they break through the surface of the lake and many historical eruptions have occurred since 1747. The extinct Botos crater contains a freshwater lake. In 2017, strong phreatic explosions blew apart the small lava dome at the south end of the crater lake, eventually leading to the lake to dry up.


Laacher See volcanic caldera lake. SOURCE: www.vulkanregion-laacher-see.de

Laacher See will go up against Poas of Costa Rica for this one. This volcanic caldera lake is part of the East Eifel Volcanic Field but is no longer active and was formed about 12,900 years ago as a result of a VEI 6 plinian eruption.


England vs Colombia


Tristan Da Cunha in the Atlanic Ocean. SOURCE: ww2.rspb.org.uk

I choose Tristan Da Cunha to go up against a Colombian volcano. This South Atlantic island consists of a central shield volcano (Queen Mary’s Peak) with numerous parasitic cones and vents dotted around the flanks. During the only historical eruption of 1961-62 a vent opened up near the north shore of the island causing the evacuation of the island’s only settlement, Edinburgh of the Seven Seas.


Cumbal Volcano. SOURCE: elturismoencolombia.com

Cumbal Volcano near the border with Ecuador will go up against England’s volcano representative. This glacier capped volcano contains two summit craters both of which have active fumaroles. Two historical eruptions occurred in 1877 and 1926.


Spain vs Saudi Arabia


Montañas del Fuego, Lanzarote. SOURCE: www.lanzaroteguide.com

I thought I’d be fair on Saudi Arabia and give them an equal opponent and choose Montañas del Fuego on the island of Lanzarote to represent Spain, a cinder cone field which saw historical activity in 1730-36 and 1824. The eruptions of 1730-36 originated from fissures and produced voluminous lava flows covering 200 square km and also reached the western coast of the island.


A cone in the Harrat Rahat volcanic region. SOURCE: mshafei.kau.edu.sa

The Harrat Rahat volcanic field will represent Saudi Arabia. This is the site of Saudi Arabia’s largest lava field which covers 20,000 square km and extends 300 km south of the Islamic holy city of Madinah. Evidence for volcanic activity can be seen for miles around in the form of basaltic lava flows, scoria cones, cinder cones, and even Pelean-type lava domes. The most recent eruption occurred in the year 1256 when a lava flow threatened the city of Madinah.


Iceland vs France


A flank of Hengill. SOURCE: iceland.for91days.com

Iceland has no shortage of volcanoes to choose from but just to be fair on France I’ll choose Hengill. A volcanic system which contains fissure vents, crater rows, and small shield volcanoes, as well as the Hengill central volcano itself. No historical eruptions have occurred but hot springs occupy the flanks of Hengill as well as the Nesjavellir Geothermal Power Plant located down valley between the central volcano and the Thingvallavatn lake.


Flooded caldera of St. Paul Island. SOURCE: www.britlink.org

For France I’ll choose the island of St. Paul in the Indian Ocean to go up against Hengill of Iceland. The caldera of St. Paul is breached to the northeast and is filled in by the sea as a result of the collapse of the northeastern half of the island. The only historical eruption of St. Paul took place in 1793 from the lower southwest flank. Geothermal areas are present near the caldera rim.


Mexico vs Brazil


Barcena Volcano of San Benedicto Island. SOURCE: mission-blue.org

For Mexico I choose Barcena which is located on San Benedicto Island off coast of Mexico in the Pacific Ocean. Barcena was formed during the only historical eruption in 1952-53 when a tuff cone formed at the southern end of San Benedicto Island. Two small lava domes then formed in the crater and a lava flow occurred from a fissure at the southeast base of the cone.


Trindade Island in the Atlantic Ocean. SOURCE: es.hdhod.com

The island of Trindade in the Atlantic Ocean will represent Brazil. Very much dissected, phonolitic lava domes and volcanic plugs are present on the island along with remnants of a cinder cone. No historical eruptions are known on this island.


Japan vs Panama


The majestic Fuji of Japan. SOURCE: www.nationalgeographic.org

For Japan, I’ll choose their famous volcano to be their representative in the match up against Panama, Mount Fuji. This stratovolcano is the most well known in Japan and is very picturesque within the surrounding landscapes especially when there’s snow. The last historically known eruption of Fuji came in 1707-08 but was quite strong. Explosive eruptions along with small pyroclastic flows have occurred in the past as well as some basaltic lava flows. Flank vents are also present especially the Hoei Crater, site of the 1707-08 eruption.


Baru Volcano. SOURCE: www.panamericanworld.com

Up for representing Panama is the Baru Volcano located in the west of the country. Lava domes occupy the summit caldera which is breached to the west, and a possible strong eruption may have been observed in the mid 16th century.


Polls will close on the 2nd July.


284 thoughts on “Volcano World Cup 2018: Round of 16

    • Incredible! How large that ocean entry zone is… and the pulsing flow of the lava river!
      Best of all, no music. And no comments. Just the sounds of nature. ☺

    • This is a fantastic video. Absolutely a must see.

      And it reminds me so much of the Holuhraun eruption in Iceland in 2014. The rate of lava production in Hawaii seems actually very high. Almost in the same league as was Holuhraun – the big lava eruption in the world since more than 200 years.

      So this eruption is another BIG one.

      Officially at more than 0.25km3, but I wouldn´t be surprised if this eruption already adds up to something like 1km3 erupted lava. It certainly looks already close to Holuhraun size, looking at the video

      (Holuhraun was still slightly broader, and a longer lava river, but this eruption is very impressive nonetheless)

      Holuhraun was around 2km3 (in about 6 months), and this eruption is probably around 0.5km3 (in just 2months) and probably will near the 1km3 threshold sometime soon. It could even surface Holuhraun if it keeps this rate.

      • Assuming the eruption rate is about 9 million m3 per day, the volume of lava erupted at fissure 8 alone is about 0.25 km3 and the other vents probably adding another 0.1 km3 to that. So it isn’t getting into the range of being an actual flood basalt but it is behaving like one for sure…
        Fissure 8 alone is the same size as 1840 and as big as 1955 and 1960 combined… The 1790 and some prehistoric eruptions might have been similar in volume but that is hard to tell as no one knows what the pre-1790 terrain looked like to get an accurate volume. Either way this eruption now is definitely much bigger in most ways than anything else kilauea has done in recorded history*, it would have taken about 2 years to erupt that amount of lava at pu’u o’o…

        *except December 31 1974, that eruption only lasted 6 hours but erupted 16 million m3 and lava flowed 13 km in that time. Eruption rate of about at least 800 m3 per second or 8 times what is happening now and comparable to holuhraun opening stages…

          • Oh wow I didn’t know it was that much. I guess before fissure 8 opened there were often several vents erupting at high rate so maybe I underestimated the volume they erupted. That means this eruption was already comparable to 1960 before fissure 8 even got going…
            That volume would also make this eruption almost as big as mauna ulu…

            I guess if pu’u o’o was erupting about 0.1 km3 per year then that explains why kilauea was inflating over the past 3 years, the supply was exceeding the eruption rate.

          • Well, this eruption is releasing a lot of old magma contained at the ERZ at once, 1790 and Puu Kaliu probably did a similar thing. 1790 was a large eruption but not that large, I think the current one may have already outdone it or if not then matched it. Puu Kaliu had a larger (70-80 m tall) cone than fissure 8, only part of the flows that went south are exposed and I think that they surpass 0.2 km³ by far, all large eruptions in that area including the ones that followed Puu Kaliu flow north and east too and also the fulll extent of the fissure vent is unknown. I would say Puu Kaliu still may have surpassed the volume of the current eruption and is a much better analogue, it is a shame that we dont know much about this event or what came after or before.

          • I used 1790 as the main comparison because it is relatively well known and it’s aftereffects are historically observed. The pu’u kaliu eruption is a lot older so some of it is hidden and as you said it could have been a lot bigger than the currently exposed part. The 1790 eruption doesn’t seem to have ever made a significant cone though, while this eruption has, so 1790 might have been more like the first part of the current eruption but for longer. While pu’u kaliu seems to have centralised like the current eruption has. Maybe the fact that pu’u kaliu, the main 1790 flow and “pu’u 8” are in the same general area isn’t a coincidence either, maybe this is where a lot of large eruptions happen. Pu’u honuaula could also be an example of another big eruption although it is probably smaller than the current one still.

            I don’t think pu’u kaliu is entirely formed in one eruption though, the initial cone formed about 700-750 years ago but there was apparently another large eruption near it that might have covered the original cone in new tephra and so made it bigger. The 1960 cone was apparently over 100 meters tall when it stopped erupting but that eruption is much smaller than the current one or pu’u kaliu so I don’t know if cone height exactly follows eruption volume.

          • The large eruption you talk about was the one dated at 490 BP right? It was very extensive and happened very close downrift and uprift of Puu Kaliu but the flows didnt reach the base of the cone, there is a small shield structure around the main cone that deflected the 490 BP flows and later flows and that is still exposed now. The northeastern flank of the cone was the one which was affected by more recent events, the picrite eruption that stratigraphically follows Puu Kaliu and the 1790 eruption, both of them are probably the ones that filled the crater of Puu Kaliu but the cone height and base area should be the original. 1960 may have been partly phreatomagmatic.

            I think this is the best geologic map for the lower east rift zone: https://ngmdb.usgs.gov/Prodesc/proddesc_13021.htm

          • Yes, I didnt know its exact location so I assumed ‘very close’ meant that it was actually right next to it.
            I think that pu’u kaliu probably reached its maximum size after its peak. Basing it on the current eruption, all of the lava from fissure 8 now is going into the channel. However after the main flow stops there will probably be some more strombolian sort of activity for a while as the last of the magma erupts. That wont add much to the actual volume of the eruption but will make the cone bigger. This is the sort of thing happening at fissure 22 now and that fissure previously erupted a much bigger flow. The spatter from fissure 22 is going something like 100 meters above the ground so this sort of activity will probably be quite visible from a long way away. I think 1960 did this sort of thing too at the end.

          • Do you have a source for the large picrite eruption after pu’u kaliu formed? I have been assuming it happened about 50 years afterwards as equivalent to the time between 1790 and 1840, but 1840 might have happened a bit earlier than would be expected as the high volume caldera activity preceding it hadn’t overflowed the caldera yet. The high volume caldera activity after pu’u kaliu lead to the observatory shield and aila’au eruptions so it seems to have been either much larger in volume or much longer lasting (probably the second one).
            That could give an indication to what the future of the current summit might be like.

            From the looks of what I can see on maps, the 1790 eruption seems to have been two similarly sized flows from parallel fissures. The northern one might have been relatively brief as the lava didn’t reach the sea, but the southern fissures were larger and at least one flow was active for long enough to form a littoral cone at its ocean entry, so the 1790 eruption was probably like a bigger version of the current eruption from before fissure 8 took off. The total volume is probably somewhere about 0.2-0.25 km3.
            The pu’u kaliu eruption probably formed a flow field similar in appearance to the current one except maybe more east directed because there were none of the cones further downrift from it to divert its lava. The volume of that eruption was probably about 0.4 to 0.8 km3 or about the same size as the eruption now. As you said, it is probably the best comparison. That eruption might have also lasted quite a long time too (possibly up to a year) and included episodic high lava fountaining in its later stages based on the very thick layered a’a flows it erupted to the south. That could be in the future of this eruption too, and episodic high fountains would send lava flowing in basically any direction from fissure 8 as well as build a bigger cinder cone. The low area has been filled in too so lava could flow south over the ridge now into areas previously considered safe…

          • I did some calculations and if the 1790 flow has an average thickness of 10 meters it would have a volume of 0.35 km3. Based on how thick some of the flows from late may are (the ones that entered the sea near mackenzie) then this might not be an unreasonable number and could be on the lower side.
            The same equation using an average flow thickness of 15 meters and surface area of 26 km2 would give a volume number of of 0.39 km3 for the current eruption so it is fairly accurate. The pu’u kaliu flows are largely buried on the north and east sides but assuming an area of 30 km2 and average thickness of 20 meters the volume would be 0.6 km3 so this is also quite plausible given how big it might be.

            Just for a comparison, I used this to estimate the volume of holuhraun. Using the surface area of 85 km2 and thickness of 20 meters I got a volume of 1.7 km3 which is within the range of what official numbers are.

          • All information I have on the picrite eruption comes from the geologic map brief unit description and distribution of exposed flows, the size of the event cannot be estimated as there are only a few kipukas surrounded by more recent flows, Leilani is almost completely built over three massive lava flows belonging to the eruption that followed the picrite flows, to the one dated at 490 BP and to 1790, each of these were probably able to resurface a very large part of the middle LERZ during their eruptions and are the reason why most of Puu Kaliu flow field is buried now. It would be interesting to know how exactly the Puu Kaliu eruption developed but not much is known, an interesting possibility is that the Malama craters (Puulena, Pawai, Kahuwai) formed during the eruption, the 490 BP flow seems to be more recent than the Malama tuff while Puu Kaliu fissure vents are probably buried by it as the Kaliu flows are exposed downslope from the craters in kipukas surrounded by 1790 lava. In this time interval I think there are only three eruptions likely to have been related to the tuff: Near the end of Puu Kaliu eruption, the picrite eruption or at the outbreak of 490 BP. There is not much evidence to think this will happen now but when you consider that the distance between the Malama craters and Puu Kaliu is the same as the one that separates fissure 8 from fissure 22 maybe it would be good to keep that in mind just in case so that if 22 begins to emit steam or do something weird maybe know that a large blow up could be coming.

      • This might also be of interest to you 🙂
        You can fit the entire holuhraun lava flow inside that picture…

        It frustrates me so much that this happened literally last week and there is next to nothing in terms of updates apart from ‘the eruption continues’…

  1. Since the new caldera started to take shape, the GPS’s to the east show much less motion.

  2. Albert mentioned earlier that Puʻu ʻŌʻō is venting steam days ago, still going on PEcam. Will steam emissions keep it active?

        • The cause of this steam is the simple fact that basically all of pu’u o’o is probably at least 200 C. This is also why the area around halemaumau steams too, it was next to a literal lava lake for the best part of a decade.
          The June 27 lava flow still steams sometimes after over 2 years, and the 61g tube was still incandescent in daylight for about a month after it drained and is still in the 300-500 C range now. Mauna ulu still steams in the rain, as does kilauea iki, so pu’u o’o will be steaming for decades into the future. Not to mention that it has formed in the one spot where the east rift erupts most often so future rift activity is likely to happen in part on pu’u o’o (this doesn’t count as it erupting again though).

          • And a lot of cracks at the east rift are persistent degassing areas indicating that shallow magma dikes are intruded below (Puhimahu, Aloi, north of Kane Nui O Hamo…). So steaming is not that strange.

          • The puhimau area is interesting, there hasn’t been any eruption there for at least 500 years but repeated shallow intrusions. Maybe some of 1974 came from there?
            I think the one that formerly existed near aloi was probably involved in the mauna ulu eruptions, there are reports of vents in the crater multiple times over the eruption duration.

            The steaming area on kane nui o hamo had a tiny eruption on Father’s Day in 2007 too, the event lead to the end of the long lived episode 55, some vents further up the rift on mauna ulu almost erupted lava too. That area is where the current intrusion started from so there have probably been many such events there before, the area between mauna ulu and kane nui o hamo (where alae crater was before 1969) as well as the north side of kane nui o hamo might be a candidate for a new pit craters to form if the current activity is able to drain the rift entirely (quite likely with the way things are going…)

          • Puhimahu is even more interesting when you observe the earthquake swarms associated to ERZ intrusions, there is an obvious gap in there in most Upper ERZ swarms and I dont think that could be explained just with a fresh dike, the path intrusions follow also makes a slight bend there. All of this could mean a magma reservoir is sitting underneath, that would also play an important role in transmiting intrusions that come from the summit, a collapse there would probably be an effective blockage for magma transfer.

            I would say that the most likely place for a pit crater collapse to happen is the Pauhai-Hiiaka area, it is not only another low seismicity anomaly but also seems to have feeded its own intrusion into koae in 1969 with no magma coming from the summit, koae or from downrift. It is also where several koae faults intersect with the summit-ERZ conduit (I dont have a better name for it because I dont really know how magma moves through that region and it is NOT a dike, if it was it would intrude in a different direction), faults/intrusion paths intersecting probably helps these reservoirs to form because there is no reason for them to form in the middle a dike (Mauna Loa would be a good example of not having any pit craters outside the summit because it has a simple rift structure). An intersection of different magma intrusion pathways (which is what happens at Pauhai) could be a potential spot for an intrusion to get stuck if this is correct then a magma reservoir must be waiting where Kalanaokuaiki Fault intersects the ERZ, this one I think is the most remarkable of the Koae Fault System, and this must be true because is the only one with its own name. Kalanaokuaiki was intruded by magma continuously between 1963 and 1968 and feeded several eruptions at the ERZ during that period, it is also the one where you placed the recent spatter in the vent distribution map, at its western end is where Kamakaia Hills where erupted and also recent ERZ intrusions seem to commonly send some lava into the fault. The problem is I dont know where exactly does Kalanaiokuaiki join the ERZ but its probably somewhere between Makaopuhi and Aloi.

            I have read at three different publications the probable existance of one or more reservoirs around Pu’u’o’o based on both deformation and seismic data, so that could be another likely place for an incoming collapse.

          • Really I think anywhere between the summit and pu’u o’o has potential for pit crater formation. I have read that alae crater had pyroclastic deposits around it so the formation of larger pits could be quite a violent event sometimes, probably similar to the caldera collapses but smaller.

  3. Cool photo from the PGcam. Looks like lots of steam, from rain? 4:35 Hawaiian time (don’t know what that is on the east coast).

    • Just so happened that it dumped a lot of rain just after those large channel overflows this morning.

  4. If fissure 8 continues at this rate Hawaii will have a new easternmost point soon. A new bay is already visible.

    New map:

    • Cape kapoho?

      I think the sea drops off quickly about where the flow is now though so it would probably have to focus the channel into that area to build out far enough.

    • Note that the lava now comes out a bit short of the southernmost (furthest) extent of the lava. A new infrared (thermal) map would be interesting. You would expect that the ocean entry will slowly contract towards the north, and eventually cease.

  5. The tilt shows a change. Before, the earthquakes gave an upward jolt. Now, it is downward. It changed a few hours before the last M5. If you think of it as a tilting block, before every quake would lift the side of the block closest to the caldera. Now it lifts the opposite side. Note that they changed tiltmeter: it was UWE before, now it is UWD.

    • c/o Facebook Q&A –> * USGS Volcanoes Any idea what happened to cause Kīlauea Summit tilt to behave the way it did in the final run up to and during the last VE ? Also the location of that last EQ, did it raise any eyebrows over there ?

      USGS Volcanoes There was a bit of an artifact in the tilt caused by the need to re-level the tiltmeter (we switched feeds to a new sensor in the same place as the old one, but that we can re-zero from time to time, and that’s what caused the weird run-up anomaly). And you’re right about the earthquake location being odd. This might be an anomaly of the way the earthquake waves were picked up at certain stations. We’re not sure yet (we suspect it is a location error), so we’re curious to see where the next collapse event locates…

      Brian Shiro Indeed, it was a mislocation. There were two events very close in time, making it a challenge to tell them apart. We plan to correct it soon.

      • Yes, I had realized that the drop around 18:00 yesterday meant work had been done on the instrument, followed by a recalibration. So the change from ‘up’ to ‘down’ earthquake signature may be due to the mount of the new sensor, relative to the supports of the platform. We’ll make that ‘instrumental’!

    • A few months or so at that spot, probably a year on the lava delta though. The lava cools very slowly, fissure 8 cone and the deep upper lava field will probably be incandescent inside for well over a year after the eruption ends, so that will hopefully deter anyone from trying to get rid of it.

  6. Largest Pahala cluster yet and not just deep quakes

    Last 24 hours largest 4.0 at 6.1 km and 3.9 at 32.3 km

    4km E of Pahala, Hawaii
    2018-07-03 10:43:42 (UTC)
    34.2 km
    3km E of Pahala, Hawaii
    2018-07-03 09:46:39 (UTC)
    -0.1 km
    3km E of Pahala, Hawaii
    2018-07-03 09:46:07 (UTC)
    -0.4 km
    3km ESE of Pahala, Hawaii
    2018-07-03 07:38:06 (UTC)
    -0.8 km
    2km E of Pahala, Hawaii
    2018-07-03 06:50:54 (UTC)
    4.8 km
    4km SE of Pahala, Hawaii
    2018-07-03 05:56:00 (UTC)
    7.8 km
    10km NE of Pahala, Hawaii
    2018-07-03 01:00:12 (UTC)
    27.8 km
    0km NW of Pahala, Hawaii
    2018-07-03 00:48:06 (UTC)
    32.3 km
    3km E of Pahala, Hawaii
    2018-07-02 21:32:55 (UTC)
    36.6 km
    2km ESE of Pahala, Hawaii
    2018-07-02 21:14:53 (UTC)
    35.3 km
    2km E of Pahala, Hawaii
    2018-07-02 19:40:28 (UTC)
    0.2 km
    9km ENE of Pahala, Hawaii
    2018-07-02 19:02:51 (UTC)
    16.9 km
    2km E of Pahala, Hawaii
    2018-07-02 17:55:45 (UTC)
    0.2 km
    2km E of Pahala, Hawaii
    2018-07-02 17:53:56 (UTC)
    -0.6 km
    2km E of Pahala, Hawaii
    2018-07-02 17:30:18 (UTC)
    6.1 km
    4km E of Pahala, Hawaii
    2018-07-02 15:43:04 (UTC)
    34.9 km

    • We know what causes the deep quakes but what causes the shallow ones? I assume they are caused by the same flank sliding as what caused the east rift quakes but some of them are really shallow.

      Also this shows that magma is still moving into kilauea at a high rate so my theory is looking pretty solid at this point 😉
      Maybe the Pahala swarm last year was when a lot of new magma moved into kilauea, and it reached the surface in April and that is why there was such a big response afterwards. It looked like the eruption was going to be a breakout on the side of pu’u o’o like the 2011 eruptions, but then there was too much pressure and it forced open a dike to the lower rift. I dont know why that would have happened if there was already several open vents on pu’u o’o, so this was more than just a surface expression.

      • “magma is still moving into kilauea at a high rate”

        In rotational landslips where I live the water is doing the same job as the magma.

        So water is not water undergound it is in fact, water magma by comparison.

        Are the quakes in my non volcanic locality not detectable, but in Hawaiian hot rocks, the place shakes somewhat?

        • The slump covers a huge area and the magma is restricted to a “narrow band” formed by the summit, the rift zones and the Koae Fault System, in the rest of the slump some poorly consolidated rocks like lava delta collapse deposits or the sediments buried by Kilauea can act in a similar way to water or maybe magma allowing the slump to ocurr. Mauna Loa’s east flank is also slumping and both are very seismically active as magma is absent in most places.


        • Russel the really deep quakes in this area is where the magma for all the recent eruptions has come from. It started getting really noticeable in 2010 (possible precursor to 2011 kamoamoa eruption?) and I think there was a really big swarm last year that very likely has something to do with the activity now. The eruptions at the summit in April were much bigger than any similar overflows and happened to also coincide with a period of long term inflation picking up as well as culminating in a much bigger event on the rift than any other similar episode at pu’u o’o. If the summit wasn’t involved then there probably wouldn’t be an eruption on the lower east rift and that tiny almost failed eruption on the west flank of pu’u o’o probably would have been the centre of eruption and the event be similar to 2011. Instead there was enough pressure to force the entire south flank to move and open up a dike to the lower rift and cause a very big eruption there. I don’t see how this could happen otherwise when the system is so open.

          The shallow quakes are obviously tectonic but the deeper ones can only be from magma moving and from the looks of it the supply at least isn’t slowing and might well increase at some point in the future. Assuming the roughly 8 months is how long it takes to reach the surface from there, then kilauea might be mostly inactive for the rest of this year but some point next year I think something big is going to happen…

          • I wonder if more spreading of the rift and slumping of the flank would delay the big Kilauea one further. Nothing else would delay the inevitable would it?
            Perhaps now the caldera is collapsing the damage is done and nothing would stop the big eruption at the end, the pressure is in the deep shaking but is the main eruption locked in.
            From what you have been saying and what I have read on this site, I think history will repeat.

          • If the caldera collapses enough then the rift will become inactive until the pressure at the summit is too high. If the rift undergoes collapses (more pit craters) then the summit might be able to get really high before anything breaks.
            The 1700s was a period of high rift activity and low summit activity, and then the rift went inactive after the 1790 eruption. That eruption had a very similar effect on the summit as the current eruption. After that the first thing that happened was a rapid surge of magma leading not only to the 1790 explosive eruption but also to some lava flows erupted from ring faults to the southwest. A similar thing happened when the caldera itself formed in ~1500, there were some really huge eruptions before it calmed down (possibly semi-continuous lava activity) and then some more big eruptions. One of those probably created a spot that was deep enough to become a lake and the 1790 eruption happened in that lake.

  7. Next M5.1 at Kilauea. Bit more to the north this time.

    Screenshots from the USGS monitoring site.
    Selection “all magnitudes, today”.

    Selection “M4-5 and M5-6, month

  8. I mentioned that this Hawaii eruption is already a BIG eruption, on the par with the big Icelandic lava floods like Holuhraun (but still far from the size of what a Laki would look like).

    In the meantime, Iceland is jealous is threatens to throw something big in the party. The eruption of Oraefajokull in 1362 was simply the largest Icelandic explosive eruption in 1000 years: a massive VEI6 blast. A second eruption in 1727 was a VEI4, more similar to Eyjafjajokull. This volcano is very restless at the moment and I am pretty confident we will see an eruption sometime in the next 1-10 years. How big? There is no way of predicting that. But my gut feeling goes for another VEI4.

    • I hope Iceland stays calm for a little longer, as I am taking my family (9 of us) there the first week in August.:)

      • Nine, I thought traveling with 5 was hard enough! Good Luck, this would be a trip that I would love to do.

    • There was quite a swarm of mini quakes at Oraefajokull yesterday. On the map, they are located southeast of the icecap, near the coast, and they are very shallow. I am not sure how to interpret them.

  9. As usual, HVO obliges. The new thermal image shows that the lava river has broadened out downstream from four corners in the last few days. Presumably it will crust over in this area. There are quite a few areas where the lava river has overflown a bit, but never very far. The main change is below four corners.

    • HVO also added new pictures showing the river being blocked near for corners causing big overflows. The damn blockage broke and the river continued like before.

      • I have been thinking about the possibility of dams in the more fingered places in the river. They could be much like ice dams. If you have ever seen an ice dam…better have an avenue of escape. The water comes up at an amazing rate upstream, and when it lets go you better be on high ground if you are downstream. The difference here is after the spring melt the water goes away and you just have a mess to clean up, but there, this is molten rock and everything is buried forever.

        • Of course none of the rivers or streams around here run in perched channels…. Lets all hope it does not dam up….

    • Albert,

      Just thinking out loud, maybe Volcano Cafe could send a virtual thank you card to the HVO? I was thinking of offering to take something from us and present it to them on our trip, but I am not sure they want to deal with anyone that is not directly involved with their task at hand (and their families) at this time. So that is why I thought of a Internet type of card.


  10. I like to monitor the seismo at PLAD, as it seems to have a good sensitivity to regional activity. For the past few weeks, it has consistently shown a pattern of 12 or so hours of activity before an event at the crater and then a period of 12 or so hours of quiet. It just changed. There was no event after the 12 hours of activity and it has gone quiet.

    • This effect it not seen on other seismographs. I am wondering about instrumental effects.

      The last M5.1 happened ahead of schedule. It was both smaller than usual and about 6 hours before it was expected. The next one should be shortly but it will be interesting to see whether it also deviates from ‘normality’.

  11. CRIM has finally started to stop subsiding, I guess now that a definite fault has formed around the collapsing part of the caldera all of the subsidence happens through that and the instrument is on the outside edge and so is no longer falling.

  12. All,
    Found a person that like to do time lapse photography of Agung. This is from today the 4th. There is music added but its not too bad, relaxing actually. She has one posted from the second but might not have captured the eruption since she splices some video from one of the live cam into her other stuff. Shows how active it has been over the last few days.

  13. The halemaumau crater just had a subsidence event (10:19 local time). On the livevideo you can see the event is triggered on the far south-east side, which makes the whole crater area subside in one piece. right after that, the subsidence suddenly stops, which throws dust and crumbles of the crater walls everywhere.

    • Really spectacular subsidence, this is the first one I have watched at the live stream and I think now on I will try not to miss any of them. A lot of what we are seeing during this eruption is probably unique and we wont see other volcanoes do something similar and this is because of the singularities of the East Rift Zone (Its own magma storage, active slumping of the south flank, complex connection with the summit reservoir…)

      • That was impressive, Dusty, and they are not all that good and many of them have been at night….. i just watch USGS earthquakes on the big map for 5’s in Hawaii and then scroll back. But sometimes i just like to watch the birds fly around too. Love being old and doing what ever little thing i want (don’t worry; i just want good things) Best!motsfo

    • Great catch! I have the live feed on a second monitor on the PC but I was cooking dinner so I missed it.

  14. Just went to the store for last minute hot dogs and rootbeer…. (( That’s me… fine dining)) and talked to a man from Big Island but slightly up the coast toward Hilo. Told him we had been watching since forever and also told him about the harmonics from volcanoes that You can’t hear but still effect Your moods. (From my own observations) and he said that is probably the case with people some distance from the volcano. Was asked about Yellowstone from both the checker and the visitor and reassured both in loud tones for surrounding listeners…. NOT going to erupt…. news mongers just want to sell fear and articles. Did what i could… Best!motsfo

    • I smoked a brisket. Told a store clerk to pack sand, and now am watching for the Pekinese to come fleeing to me since the fire-works are going off.

  15. The lava river seems to be self destructing near kapoho crater, it also has much more of the a’a texture so the rate might be slowing down?

    • youtube.com/watch?v=3lSisPqfEu4

      The ApauHawaii tours gentleman has a good video to show the decrease at the time he was there, posted 13 hours ago, but I think it may have surged back up again, looking at later videos.

      • If the eruption is becoming less stable then things could get interesting. It could become completely episodic and alternate between no eruption at all and a high fountain. This would produce fast and thick a’a flows that could basically flow anywhere now with how filled in the terrain is. At the spot where pu’u kaliu flows enter the sea there is apparently evidence of this so things could go for a while.

  16. This is the largest Kilauea eruption with this high substained eruptive rate for a very long time Indeed.
    100 cubic meters a second for 4 weeks and its not slowing down.

      • No that number is probably a typo, the eruption rate has been at least 100 m3/s basically every day since May 18…

        • interesting – so is this not pahoehoe ? this link http://volcano.oregonstate.edu/flow-rates says “A sustained volumetric flow rate above ~10 cubic meters per second will cause almost any Hawaiian lava to form ‘a’a so that if you find an ‘a’a flow you can be pretty sure that it was emplaced at a high volumetric flow rate. A pahoehoe flow, on the other hand, tells you that the eruption took place at a low volumetric flow rate.”

          • Pahoehoe and a’a are used to describe the surface of cooled lava. Both are basically interchangeable when the lava is still active. It is very obvious at the kapoho ocean entry that the part actually flowing into the ocean is pahoehoe, even though it is fed from an open channel and flows out of cracks in an a’a flow. basucally the temperature is more important than the flow rate, the lava in Hawaii is very hot (might be the hottest on earth even) abd in particular right now pretty much all of the magma in kilauea is new and hot as a result of constant refilling to fuel pu’u o’o, and so it has to cool a lot to become viscous. The lava on mt etna is not as hot usually so it has the a’a texture even when it is erupted slowly. There are exceptions in both of those cases, fissure 17 was entirely a’a and andesitic (the only andesite south of mauna kea), while the 1971? eruption of etna was a high volume effusive eruption with fluid lava of comparable properties to kilauea lava (and which was also pahoehoe), but generally the idea applies.

            There is also a picture from around 2005 of a lava tube skylight in an a’a flow on the pulama pali, and HVO said basically the same thing I just said.

            Basically a’a is formed when more viscous lava moves quickly, while pahoehoe is when fluid lava moves slowly or is kept hot by a lava tube or channel.

    • This eruption rate is still completely insignificant compared to what happened on new years eve in 1974 though.
      That eruption was 15 million m3 in volume, or about 3 days of what fissure 8 is doing now. The thing is though, the eruption only lasted 6 hours and the eruption rate was 700 m3/s on average but probably a lot higher at the peak… If the eruption lasted even half a day the lava would have reached the sea on the southwest coast, as the flow managed to get up to 13 km away from the vent in only 6 hours, that is basically as fast as you can walk. usually mauna loa is the one doing the high eruption rate while kilauea tends to do long lived eruptions, but even the highest estimates I have seen for the 1950 eruption fall short of 700 m3/s by quite alot. The eruption was also very sudden too, there was only 9 hours of warning, there was an earthquake swarm earlier in the week but the eruption seemed to have started out of a declining event.

      The last eruption on kilauea similar to the current one might be the pu’u kaliu eruption about 700 years ago.

  17. https://www.flickr.com/photos/141970887@N04/42470773794/

    Here is a good view of the eruption from the other day. In the second half you can see the fissure 22 cone and it is actually a lot bigger than I thought, maybe 40 meters tall. If the update is correct then that means some of the lava erupted from it is going about 120 meters into the air, which should be visible from quite a long way away.

  18. Its amazing How fluid the lava is thats flowing from fissure 8 .. true river of gushing basalt.
    Hawaiian basalts are famous for their smoothness and fluidity. 0,4km3 been erupted now?

  19. Very Very fluid! standing waves and currents
    Always fun to watch
    The air quickly cools the surface .. forming that thin fast moving flexible glass skinn that covers that raging river.
    Thats why open fast moving lava rivers may appear silvery grey in daylight

  20. I found this great video of what is done with the molten slag after metal refinery. For anyone (somehow) in doubt of how powerful steam explosions can be in contact with magma, watch the end of this video, all it took was a tiny bit of snow…


    Picrite basalt is very similar to this when it is fresh from the mantle, so if there is a very big surge of new lava into kilauea after the current episode as per my theory (and what the deep quakes suggest is happening…) then it will mix with the existing lava in the chamber and if there is enough pressure it will not only erupt as a massive fountain in halemaumau (think 1959 and beyond), but will also probably erupt out of every weak spot it can find in the surrounding caldera and upper rifts too. Not a lot of sources know this but there were fairly significant lava eruptions out of upper southwest rift faults alongside the 1790 VEI 4, so in a similar sized event today basically anywhere between kilauea iki, keanakako’i, HVO and the upper southwest rift/koae fault is a potential eruption zone.

Leave a Reply