The Kilauea eruption that started one week ago today is pau. To translate that from Hawaiian to English… Done.
The eruption had notably waned over the last couple days, comments on social media and webcam video indicating sluggish spatter within the small cones that had built up over the last week around the fissures. Last night numerous small bits of glow were visible all across the crater floor, but no fountaining was in evidence.
Today’s USGS Volcano Observatory report is clear… “The Kīlauea summit eruption that began on September 10th stopped yesterday, September 16th, and is unlikely to restart.”
So we wait for the next one, any bets?
My Facebook post describing a last moment mission to the volcano caught the attention of one of our local reporters. Result? An interview and a little piece about volcano viewing carried on several of the local media outlets. Nothing serious, they are just trying to capture the event of the moment and the local response. Perhaps something positive in the face of all the tragic fallout from the Lahaina disaster that fills the local news. Not my first time in the news, but the first time in a while, it is always fun…
Watching the recent and repeated eruptions in the Kilauea caldera has made an interesting bit of info clear… The first few hours are the most spectacular.
Months of inflation Kilauea had stored large quanities of gas and built up a considerable amount of pressure, enough pressure to lift the megatons of rock above the magma chamber and cause the entire summit region to swell outwards.
Beween eruptions USGS geologists and armchair vulcanologists like myself keep an eye on the tiltmeters as the pressure in the volcano builds, awaiting the time that accumulating magma and increased pressure bursts through the overlying rock to begin a new eruptive cycle.
At 15:13 HST Sunday afternoon that moment came.Continue reading “The First Few Hours”
With my folks on island it was time for another volcano run. We executed a plan I have used a few times before… Booking a night or two in Kilauea Military Camp right on the caldera rim. Two nights this time.
The drive from Hilo was wet, heavy rain much of the way. The park was much the same as we ran from the car to the visitor center in another downpour.
Photographic conditions were just bad, high winds had a constant blowing mist over the caldera. I never set up the little telescope this time, not wanting to subject it to the damp abuse it stayed safely in the case. Instead I simply used a long telephoto on the camera, something I could tuck into my jacket when the mist swept over.Continue reading “Volcano Nights”
The question of the week… Is it over?
Eruptive activity began to wane at the end of last week,with the lava fountains diminishing, then disappearing over the weekend. Views in the webcams showed a steady decrease in activity at fissure 3 over the course of several days.
At this point no lava appears to be emerging onto the surface, with only a few dribbles left in the lava flow to be seen as minor glows across the flank of the mauna.
Oddly Kilauea, after erupting continuously for over a year seems also to have paused. There is no longer any visible lava or even a glow within the Halemauʻmauʻu crater.Continue reading “Is it over already?”
On the way home in the eve the red glow dominates the horizon. Going to work the next morning it is the plume on the skyline. The eruption is ever present.
When moving to the island fifteen years ago I had looked at the mauna and thought to myself… One day you will erupt, will it be during my time on the island? This though has occured to me many times in the intervening years… When hiking the lava flows in the saddle, when driving up and down Mauna Kea to work looking across at the many flows streaking the flanks of Mauna Loa. How many times have I looked up and wondered when? One day.
That day was Sunday, November 27th, 2022.Continue reading “Mauna Loa Awakens”