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Kīlauea Eruption Update, Day 149: Lava Lake Almost Fully Crusted, May 18, 2021

3:29 AM · May 19, 2021

Kīlauea’s lava lake is almost entirely crusted over and appears to have stopped filling, just shy of its 5-month eruption milestone. The eruption officially continues even as the two small remaining lava ponds close in, with red lava within only observed intermittently by USGS-HVO scientists as the crust founders and overturns. Volcanic gas emissions remain very low, within the non-eruptive background range for over a week now. It is unclear if lava is still erupting beneath the crusted surface, or if the remnant heat of 11 billion gallons of just-erupted lava is solely responsible for the foundering within the remaining open ponds. Latest on Kīlauea, Eruption Day 149, Week 21: -Submerged lava effusion into the crater no longer apparent from surface flow patterns -Lava lake surface crusting almost complete: 2 small ponds remain, intermittently foundering to replace their forming crust -No pond overflows in past 5 days, and no “ooze-up” flows along crater perimeter in over 1 month -Gas emissions remain low, within background range, though continue visibility effusing from West Vent complex -Ground tilt continues small Deflation-Inflation cycles in first half of week, slowly inflating over past 2 days now -GPS measures of slow caldera spreading slowly continue, while seismic activity also continues within background levels primarily under the summit and south flank. We review the latest imagery and monitoring data courtesy of the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory detailing the apparent end-game of another eruptive chapter on ever-changing Kīlauea. We contribute original time-lapse productions sourced from HVO webcam captures, add context and annotation to the photos, graphs and reports, and discuss live viewer questions as usual!

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