Eruption pause, reduced lava supply at Kīlauea results in lowered Volcano Alert Level
Scientists with the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory lowered the Volcano Alert Level at Kīlauea from Watch to Advisory, and the Aviation Color Code from Orange to Yellow today. The action comes following the pause in eruptive activity declared earlier this month on June 19.
Based upon lava lake levels and behavior of the crater floor, HVO scientists say lava supply to the Kīlauea’s Halemaʻumaʻu lava lake has ceased. The agency also reports that sulfur dioxide emissions have decreased to near pre-eruption background levels.
The HVO reports that seismic activity—including eruptive tremor—in the summit region has been low since the eruption ceased. “Over that period, gradual inflation has been recorded at summit tiltmeters. Overnight webcam views showed some incandescence from previously erupted lava as the lava proceeds to cool,” the agency notes.
The HVO says there remains the potential for eruptive activity to resume in the near future at or near the summit of Kīlauea with little or no warning.
Hazards are still present on Kīlauea including:
- Levels of volcanic gas (sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide) can remain locally hazardous even though Kīlauea is no longer erupting. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas emissions have greatly decreased; however, local concentrations of sulfur dioxide (SO2) or hydrogen sulfide (H2S) may persist in downwind areas, and residents may notice odors of these gases occasionally.
- Significant hazards also remain around Halemaʻumaʻu from crater wall instability, ground cracking, and rockfalls that can be enhanced by earthquakes within the area closed to the public.
See the Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park website for visitor information: https://www.nps.gov/havo/index.htm.