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Hawaiian Volcano Update: Kīlauea Eruption Paused

3:01 AM · Mar 10, 2023

Within the last week, lava flows in Kīlauea's lone remaining lava lake came to almost a full halt, pausing or perhaps ending its 2023 eruption after 2 months. Activity has been weakening over the past month following the drop in the eastern lake fountain and shift to the central vent, which itself only lasted another week. The western basin openly circulated lava for a further few days until its inlet began to pulse and slow, and its surface began a cycle of stagnation and overturning with fresh lava. This past week, the lake's active footprint shrunk even further and all surface activity ceased for a full 48 hours before another small, brief breakout. However, monitoring signals show the volcano's summit continues to inflate as magma collects underground, with the caldera extending in GPS data over the past two weeks and ground tilt showing its largest inflation signal over the past month. If lava output resumes through the same conduits within the next three months, the current break will be considered a pause, but if the building pressure releases through new openings that would be considered a new eruption. There are no signs of magma movement in the rift zones, and no increased threat to people from these changes at the surface. With the drop in activity comes a drop in gas emissions, but variable winds have enabled even these lower levels to be a nuisance for residents. We review the recent changes using webcam timelapses and reports courtesy of the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, annotate the presentation on-screen, and discuss live viewer questions. Maunaloa's recent lava flows continue to cool, with no further monitoring changes to report.