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With Rain Comes Rainbows Over Halema'uma'u

10:37 PM · Mar 1, 2021

USGS-HVO photograph looking from the western edge of the Kīlauea Caldera across the lava lake inside Halema'uma'u, with a faint rainbow stretched over the crater. The latest update from USGS on Kīlauea: "KILAUEA VOLCANO (VNUM #332010) 19°25'16" N 155°17'13" W, Summit Elevation 4091 ft (1247 m) Current Volcano Alert Level: WATCH Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE Activity Summary: Kīlauea Volcano is erupting. Lava activity is confined to Halemaʻumaʻu with lava erupting from a vent on the northwest side of the crater. Laser rangefinder measurements as of this morning, March 1 (correction to observation date), indicate the lava in the western (active) portion of the lake in Halema‘uma‘u is 219 m (718 ft) deep. Webcams show intermittent crustal foundering. The eastern portion of the lava lake has a stagnant and solidified surface crust. SO2 emission rates remain elevated; measurements on February 26 were 700 t/day. Summit Observations: The most recent sulfur dioxide emission rate measurements from February 26 are about 700 t/d — this rate is lower than the emission rates from the pre-2018 lava lake (around 5,000 t/d). The summit tiltmeters now show the inflationary trend of the recent DI event which changed from a deflationary trend yesterday morning. Seismicity remains stable, with elevated tremor and one minor earthquake. East Rift Zone Observations: Geodetic monitors indicate that the upper portion of the East Rift Zone (between the summit and Puʻu ʻŌʻō) contracted while the summit deflated at the onset of this eruption, but is currently stable. There is no seismic or deformation data to indicate that additional magma is currently moving into either of Kīlauea’s rift zones. SO2 and H2S emissions from Puʻu ʻŌʻō were below instrumental detection levels when measured on January 7. Halemaʻumaʻu lava lake Observations: Lava from the west vent continues to supply the lava lake within Halema‘uma‘u crater. The active western half of the lava lake was approximately 219 m (718 ft) deep as measured by remote laser rangefinder on the morning of March 1, 2021 (correction to observation date). The increase in lava lake depth coincides with the recent inflationary part of a DI event. Over the past day, lava effusion continues at the western fissure. The lava rapidly develops a thin crust while flowing outwards towards the east with occasional crustal foundering between the vent and main island, but not beyond the island. Stagnant (i.e. solidified) lake crust covers the eastern half of the lake and is slowly growing westward around the main island. The position and dimensions of the main island and smaller islands have not changed due to the solidified crust. Some minor talus debris is accumulating on the lava surface around one or two of the islands as their edges cool, crack, and begin to crumble."

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