HVO/USGS Volcanic Activity Notice…Lowers Warning Level

HVO/USGS Volcanic Activity Notice

Volcano: Kilauea (VNUM #332010)

Current Volcano Alert Level: WATCH
Previous Volcano Alert Level: WARNING

Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE
Previous Aviation Color Code: RED

Issued: Monday, October 4, 2021, 4:52 PM HST
Source: Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
Notice Number: 2021/H273
Location: N 19 deg 25 min W 155 deg 17 min
Elevation: 4091 ft (1247 m)
Area: Hawaii

Volcanic Activity Summary: Kīlauea volcano is erupting. At approximately 3:21 p.m. HST on September 29, 2021, an eruption began within Halemaʻumaʻu crater, within Kīlauea’s summit caldera in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) elevated Kīlauea’s volcano alert level to WARNING and its aviation color code to RED to assess the intensity of eruptive activity and identify associated hazards.

Vigorous fountaining—with bursts up to 50–60 meters (164–197 ft)—produced significant amounts of pumice, Peleʻs hair, and fragments of volcanic glass that were deposited in areas downwind along the rim and beyond Halemaʻumaʻu crater. Over the past several days, a thick layer (approximately 27 meters or 89 ft) of molten lava has accumulated as a lava lake at the base of the crater, partially drowning the vents resulting in subdued fountaining. During the same time, the amount of sulfur dioxide (SO2) emitted has dropped from 85,000 tons per day (one metric ton equals 2,200 pounds) to 12,000 tons a day. Although the amount of gas and volcanic particle production has decreased since the eruption onset, they both remain significant local hazards within the plume. Concentrations of SO2 at the vents remain high (likely over 100 parts per million or ppm) and significantly elevated (5-10 ppm) at stations a few kilometers (a couple of miles) southwest of Halemaʻumaʻu.

The eruption is currently confined to Halemaʻumaʻu crater, within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.  HVO does not see any indication of activity migrating elsewhere on Kīlauea volcano  and expects the eruption to remain confined to the summit region.

HVO is lowering Kīlauea’s volcano alert level to WATCH and its aviation color code to ORANGE, reflecting the less-hazardous nature of the ongoing eruption.

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