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Hawaiian Volcano Update: Kīlauea's Outburst Ebbs, Fixates Against Southwest Wall

4:03 AM · Jun 13, 2023

Less than a week into Kīlauea's newest eruption, activity remains vigorous within the western part of Halemaʻumaʻu crater, with the eastern vents becoming nearly stagnant. Fountains in the west and southwest part of the crater floor continue to feed a crescent-shaped lava lake, having receded from its previous horseshoe shape. The Southwest Vent on the crater wall also remains active, and has built an unstable spatter cone which issues a river of lava into the crescent lake below. The cone has occasionally collapsed throughout its variable activity, and occasionally burst forth with magnificent surges of spattering. The western basin lava lake is also still fed by a steady source at its northeast end, and today overflowed several times to form levees, allowing it to fill higher. Gas emissions continue to decrease, but still remain at a high 8,900 tonnes of SO2 per day, posing the eruption's greatest human threat in hazardous air quality, affecting nearby and downwind communities. The reported value at the eruption's start was 65,000 tonnes/day, and as gas emissions are generally proportional to the lava output, it's reasonable to presume that the effusion rate has also decreased substantially, consistent with the decreasing activity across the crater floor. Earthquakes are back to background levels since the start of the eruption, while ground tilt is also decreasing as is typical after each eruption onset. No changes are evident elsewhere on the volcano, including its rift zones, and thus there remains no increase threat to people. Maunaloa remains quiet as magma continues the normal process of refilling its summit reservoir, with no further changes to report. As usual, our live presentation reviews the recent changes using monitoring data, imagery and reports courtesy of the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, today supplemented by media from viewers and other contributors. We annotate the presentation on-screen, and discuss live viewer questions.

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