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Overflight Video: Kīlauea continues eruption

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A routine helicopter overflight on March 17, 2022, provided aerial views of the summit eruption in Halema‘uma‘u crater, at the summit of Kīlauea. At the start of the video, the helicopter flies over the edge of the large collapse depression formed during the 2018 eruption. The black lava filling the deepest portion of the crater has been erupted during the current eruption which began in September 2021. USGS Video by Matt Patrick, Geologist, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

The Kīlauea volcano on Hawaiʻi Island continues erupting. Over the past week, lava has continued to intermittently erupt from the western vent within Halemaʻumaʻu crater, according to the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

The current eruption began in September 2021.

All lava is confined within Halemaʻumaʻu crater in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Sulfur dioxide emission rates remain elevated and were last measured at approximately 1,900 tonnes per day on March 10, 2022, during eruptive activity, according to the HVO.

The agency reports that seismicity is elevated but stable, with few earthquakes, and summit tiltmeters show several deflation and inflation patterns over the past week.

A photograph taken during a helicopter overflight on the morning of March 17, 2022, shows an overview of Halema‘uma‘u and a diffuse plume rising above Kīlauea caldera. A closer look on the western side of the caldera (the foreground of the image, just to the south of the 1982 fissure) shows HVO staff members dressed in orange flight suits performing mission critical work. USGS image by L. Gallant.

Meanwhile, Hawaiʻi Islandʻs Mauna Loa, is not erupting and remains at an ‘advisory’ level. This alert level does not mean that an eruption is imminent or that progression to an eruption from the current level of unrest is certain, the HVO reports.

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“This past week, about 44 small-magnitude earthquakes were recorded below the summit and upper elevation flanks of Mauna Loa—the majority of these occurred at shallow depths less than 10 kilometers (6 miles) below sea level,” according to HVO scientists.

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Webcams show no changes to the landscape and the HVO continues to closely monitor both sites for any signs of increased activity.  

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