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Hawaiian Volcano Update: Kīlauea Crater Floor Bulges & Oozes

3:03 AM · Jan 26, 2023

In the third week of Kīlauea's 2023 eruption, its lava lakes remained steadily active and its crusted crater floor continued to bulge, oozing up at its western margin for the first time. At the same time, underground pressure cycles led to minor changes in the eastern lava lake, with the lava level dropping and lake edges sagging or cracking during deflationary phases, sometimes leading to the creation of new floating islets. During inflationary phases, the eastern lake was more likely to overflow onto the surrounding crusted crater floor, itself still rising above more magma being injected below. All the while, the small central pit and the older western pit continue to circulate active lava, while the last eruption's West Vent continues to glow. A single low fountain remains visible breaching the surface of the eastern lake. Gas emissions remain stable around the typical long-term eruptive levels around 3,000 tonnes per day, still the primary hazard of concern for this eruption with widespread vog still affecting island communities. Within Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, lava viewing continues to impress and draw crowds. All lava activity remains contained within Kīlauea's summit crater of Halemaʻumaʻu, with no indications of unusual activity in either rift zone, and thus no added threat to people. As usual, we review the recent changes in the eruption using webcam timelapses, videos, and reports courtesy of the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, annotating the presentation on-screen as we go, and discuss live viewer questions as usual. Maunaloa continues to be unaffected by Kīlauea's activity, and its recent lava flows continue to cool, with no further monitoring changes to report.

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