Lava on Puna Geothermal Property Has Not Impacted Wells

May 27, 2018, 2:11 PM HST · Updated May 27, 2:11 PM
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Sunday, May 27, 2018. Pāhoehoe lava advancing west from fissure 7 (lava fountain in background) on Leilani Avenue. Fissure 7 activity increased overnight, with lava fountains reaching 50 to 60 m (164 to 197 ft) high. PC: US Geological Survey.

(12 p.m. update 5.27.18)

The Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation reports they are lowering the speed limit on Highway 130, between Leilani Estates and Kamaili Road, to 25 miles per hour.

This is a safety measure for everyone who drives over the steel plates installed over cracks caused by volcanic activity.

A lava flow crossed into the Puna Geothermal Venture property overnight but has not impacted any wells, according to scientists with the US Geological Survey. A special task force continues to work to make the wells on property safe and to prevent any threats to the public from developing. There is no hydrogen sulfide detected at this time.

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Volcanic gases and vog emissions may increase in areas down wind of the vents in the lower east rift zone.

Due to the volcanic activity and increasing vog, the following policies are in effect:

  • Take action to limit further exposure to volcanic gases and be prepared to leave the area with little to no notice.
  • Due to southerly winds and heavy output of vog from the summit on Monday night, be prepared for a possible increase in vog and volcanic gas levels in the Hamakua area, lower Hilo and Puna.

Kīlauea Volcano Lower East Rift Zone
(6:51 a.m. 5.27.18 update)

Vigorous eruption of lava continues from the lower East Rift Zone fissure system in the area of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens.

Fissures 22 and 13 continue to feed lava flows extending south to the lava ocean entry. Signals recorded on stations in the LERZ indicate that the lava ocean entry remained active overnight.

Fissure 21 is feeding an ‘a’ā flow that has continued to advance to the northeast on PGV property. However, the rate of advance has slowed overnight coincident with an observed decline in the vigor of fountaining at Fissure 21. Fissure 7 activity has increased overnight, producing a large spatter rampart over 100 feet tall from fountains reaching 150-200 feet. The fountains fed a perched pāhoehoe flow 20-40 feet thick, and ultimately a flow that had turned south toward the coast last night.

Large cracks were observed overnight on Kupono St. about 360 yards north of Malama St, near Fissure 9. Fissure 8 had three vents active overnight that were spattering and flaming, and have doubled in size over the past 24 hours. Fissure 6 was inactive overnight.

The most recent map of lava flows can be found here: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_maps.html

HVO field crews are on site tracking the fountains, lava flows, and spattering from multiple fissures as conditions allow and reporting information to Hawaii County Civil Defense. Crews are also checking on the status of ground cracks on Highway 130.

Volcanic gas emissions remain very high from the fissure eruptions. Trade winds are expected to diminish Sunday evening, which could expand the area impacted by vog.

Magma continues to be supplied to the lower East Rift Zone. Earthquake locations have not moved farther downrift in the past few days and the number of located earthquakes remains low.

Additional ground cracking and outbreaks of lava in the area of the active fissures are possible. Residents downslope of the region of fissures should heed all Hawaii County Civil Defense messages and warnings.

USGS/HVO continues to monitor the lower East Rift Zone activity 24/7 in coordination with Hawaii County Civil Defense.

Kīlauea Volcano Summit

Ash continued to erupt intermittently from the Overlook crater at the Kīlauea summit. Observations from the ground and by UAV during the past week have documented retreat of the Overlook crater wall due to collapse of the steep enclosing walls and rim. Trade winds took the ash clouds primarily to the southwest. Trade winds are expected to diminish Sunday evening and communities around the summit area could see ashfall.

Earthquakes in the summit region continue as the summit area subsides and adjusts to the withdrawal of magma.

Additional explosive events that could produce minor amounts of ashfall downwind are possible at any time. Volcanic gas emissions at the summit remain high.

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