Logo link to homepage

Report on Kilauea (United States) — December 2018

Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 43, no. 12 (December 2018)
Managing Editor: Edward Venzke. Report research and preparation by: Liz Crafford.

Kilauea (United States) Lava fountains on the Lower East Rift Zone build 50-m-high pyroclastic cone and 13-km-long lava flow that engulfs Kapoho Bay during June 2018; 533 homes destroyed since 1 May

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2018. Report on Kilauea (United States). In: Crafford, A.E., and Venzke, E. (eds.), Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 43:12. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN201812-332010.

Volcano Profile |  Complete Bulletin


Kilauea

United States

19.421°N, 155.287°W; summit elev. 1222 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


Kilauea's East Rift Zone (ERZ) has been intermittently active for at least two thousand years. Open lava lakes and flows from the summit caldera and East Rift Zone have been almost continuously active since the current eruption began in 1983. A marked increase in seismicity and ground deformation at Pu'u 'O'o Cone on the upper East Rift Zone on 30 April 2018 and the subsequent collapse of its crater floor marked the beginning of the largest lower East Rift Zone eruptive episode in at least 200 years.

During the month of May 2018 there were 24 fissures that opened along a 6-km-long NE-trending fracture zone on the lower East Rift Zone spawning lava flows in multiple directions, including several that traveled about 5 km SE to the coast; at least 94 structures were destroyed in the Leilani Estates subdivision and adjacent areas (BGVN 43:10). As lava emerged from the fissures, the lava lake at Halema'uma'u drained and explosions produced plumes that spread minor amounts of ash to downwind communities. At the end of May eruptive activity refocused around fissure 8, which began fountaining lava tens of meters into the air and creating a voluminous incandescent flow that headed downslope to the NE. The eruptive events of June 2018 (figure 386), the second month of this episode, are described below with information provided primarily from the US Geological Survey's (USGS) Hawaii Volcano Observatory (HVO) in the form of daily reports, volcanic activity notices, and abundant photo, map, and video data.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 386. A timeline of events at Kilauea for 28 May-30 June 2018. Blue shaded region denotes activity at Halema'uma'u crater at the summit. Green shaded area describes activity on the lower East Rift Zone (LERZ). HST is Hawaii Standard Time. Black summit symbols indicate earthquakes (diamonds) and ash plumes (stars); red LERZ symbols indicate lava fountains (stars), lava flows (triangles) and lava ocean entry.

Summary of events during June 2018. Lava fountains from fissure 8 were reaching 60 m in height on 29 May 2018 and producing a vigorous stream of lava that traveled rapidly downslope. Several lobes of lava advanced ENE, some at rates of several hundred meters per hour. Fissure 18 was also generating a narrow flow that headed SE for 3 km before stopping. A spatter cone began growing at fissure 8 and reached 30 m in height in just a few days. On the morning of 2 June the fissure 8 flow covered the Four Corners Intersection of Highways 132 and 137, and continued E and then SE around Kapoho Crater; lava flowed into the crater and evaporated the fresh water lake inside. Traveling at a rate of about 75 m per hour, the flow moved towards the shore and reached Kapoho Bay late on 3 June, where it began building a delta. In just a few days the delta was a kilometer in width, and lava was entering the ocean in many streams along the flow front, generating dense plumes of steam and laze.

By 15 June the fissure 8 cone had reached just over 50 m in height. Fissure 8 lava fountains persisted at 40-70 m high for all of June, feeding the 13-km-long channel to Kapoho Bay. Periodic overflows along the channel built up the levees on either side of the fast-moving river of lava; they were short-lived and traveled only a few meters. Flow speeds slowed as the lava spread out over the delta, which reached 150 hectares (380 acres) in size by 20 June. The ocean-entry points migrated north and south along the delta over the course of the month, expanding the width of the ocean entry area to over 3 km. Towards the end of June, lava was crusted over in the delta up to 1 km back from the ocean, and molten material was traveling within the interior of the earlier flows to the ocean. Minor oozing of lava was reported from a few other fissures during the month, but no other significant flow activity was observed.

Within Halema`uma`u crater at the summit a near-daily pattern of collapse explosion events was due to the subsidence caused by the magma withdrawal. As the crater subsided, its rim and walls slumped inward and large blocks dropped down along growing fractures around the caldera with seismic energy releases greater than M 5.0 almost every day. The deepest part of the crater had reached 400 m below the caldera floor by late June.

Activity at the Lower East Rift Zone during 29 May-4 June 2018. By 29 May, activity on Kilauea's lower East Rift Zone was focused on the vigorous eruption of lava from fissure 8 advancing rapidly downslope towards Highway 132. Lava fountains from fissure 8 reached 60 m in height on 29 May, feeding a flow that advanced NE over a flow from a few days earlier. The first lobe of the flow crossed Highway 132 just before 1400 that afternoon and continued NE. Most of the flow remained on the S side of the highway as it moved downslope. Visual observations in the early afternoon also confirmed continued weak activity at fissures 18 and 16. Fissure 18 had produced channelized flows which advanced about 2.6 km toward the coast during the previous day. At the ocean entry on the SE coast, only a few small channels of lava were still entering the ocean. Fissure 8 maintained high fountains throughout the day and into the overnight of 29-30 May with sustained heights exceeding 60 m and multiple secondary fountains that reached 20 m. As the flow moved downslope along the highway, the advance rates accelerated overnight, reaching approximately 550 m/hour. Overnight, sporadic bursts of activity were also observed from fissures 7 and 15.

Fissure 8 maintained fountains that rose 60-75 m high on 30 May. The flow split into three lobes; the two easternmost lobes advanced in a more ENE direction while the westernmost lobe advanced in a NE direction (figure 387). The flow rate had dropped to around 90 m/hour by late afternoon and slowed further to 45 m/hour by late evening. The fissure 18 flow also remained active, moving downslope toward Highway 137 at rates of less than 90 m/hour. By late afternoon, the front of the fissure 18 flow was about 1 km from Highway 137 and was spreading and slowing (figure 388). In the late afternoon, a new flow lobe began branching from the S side of the fissure 18 flow approximately 2 km upslope from the flow front. Throughout the day, sporadic bursts of activity were also observed from fissures 22, 6, and 13.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 387. A major lava flow that first emerged from Kilauea's fissure 8 on 28 May was moving rapidly downslope to the NE when photographed during HVO's early morning overflight on 30 May 2018. The lava channel was estimated to be about 35 m wide; 60-m-high fountains from the fissure are visible in the upper right. Courtesy of HVO.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 388. Kilauea's Lower East Rift Zone had many active flow fronts as of 1500 HST on 30 May 2018. Active fissures and flows are shown in dark red. Shaded purple areas indicate lava flows erupted in 1840, 1955, and 1960. Courtesy of HVO.

Four lobes of the fissure 8 flow advanced on 31 May (figure 389), fed by persistent fountaining that reached heights up to 80 m. A spatter cone was forming on the downwind side of the fountain and was approximately 30 m high. The fountains were feeding the flow to the NE, and minor overflows from the growing fissure 8 channel were occurring along its length, covering several of the remaining roads in Leilani Estates. The front of the flow advanced at about 90 m/hour through agricultural lands and was within 1.7 km of the Four Corners area (the intersection of Highways 132 and 137) by the evening. The fissure 18 flow that had advanced to within 1 km of Highway 137 had stalled. The new flow that branched from the fissure 18 channel 2 km upslope appeared to have captured most of the lava output from fissure 18. It descended downslope just to the S of the previous flow. Lava was pooling around the vent of fissure 22 throughout the day.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 389. Four advancing lobes from Kilauea's LERZ fissure 8 were moving 75 m per hour to the NE on the morning of 31 May 2018 in this view to the E. The flow moved north of Highway 132 in the vicinity of Noni Farms and Halekamahina roads, from which the two easternmost lobes advanced in a more ENE direction while the westernmost lobe advanced in a NE direction. Courtesy of HVO.

The advance rates of the distal part of the fissure 8 flow were low overnight on 31 May-1 June as lava ponded in a flat area, but flow continued throughout the day to within 0.5 km of the Four Corners intersection of Highways 132 and 137 by evening; fissures 18 and 22 were inactive. By 0645 on 2 June it was about 100 m from the intersection (figure 390). Around 0930 on 2 June a broad front over 275 m in width extending both north and south of Highway 132 (figures 391) crossed the intersection and continued advancing into Kapoho Crater (sometimes called Green Lake Crater) and Kapoho Beach Lots. It entered Green Lake within the crater, creating a large steam plume that was visible until 1330. The Hawaii County Fire Department reported around 1500, after an overflight, that lava had filled the lake and apparently boiled away all the water.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 390. This thermal map of Kilauea's LERZ fissure 8 flow shows the location of the lava front as of 0645 on 2 June 2018 shortly before it reached the Four Corners intersection. At that point it was roughly 10 km from the vent. The black and white area is the extent of the thermal map. Temperature is displayed as gray-scale values, with the brightest pixels indicating the hottest areas. The map was constructed by stitching many overlapping oblique images collected by a handheld thermal camera during a helicopter overflight of the flow field. The base is a copyrighted color satellite image (used with permission) provided by Digital Globe. Courtesy of HVO.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 391. Around 0715 on 2 June 2018 Kilauea's LERZ fissure 8 flow was a 275-m-wide lava front advancing on both sides of Highway 132 (left); the flow front was approximately 90 m west of the Four Corners Intersection when USGS scientists on HVO's morning overflight captured this image. Note trees and highway for scale. Courtesy of HVO.

The flow continued to advance overnight on 2-3 June along an 800-m-wide front towards the ocean at Kapoho Bay between Kapoho Beach Road and Kapoho Kai Drive. As of 0700 on 3 June, the lava flow was around 450 m from the ocean (figures 392 and 393) traveling at a rate of about 75 m/hour. By 1745 it had advanced to within 225 m of the ocean at its closest approach point. The other branches of the fissure 8 lava flow were inactive, and all other fissures were inactive, although observers on the late afternoon overflight noted abundant gas emission from fissures 9 and 10 and incandescence without fountaining at fissures 16 and 18.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 392. At 0700 HST on 3 June 2018 Kilauea's LERZ fissure 8 flow front was about 450 m from the ocean, advancing at about 75 m/hour. View is to the W looking up the flow front. Nearly all of the front was active and advancing. Courtesy of HVO.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 393. The flow front of Kilauea's LERZ fissure 8 on the morning of 3 June 2018 was advancing around 75 m/hour along a broad front towards Kapoho Bay. Dark red areas are active flow expansion, shaded purple areas indicate lava flows erupted in 1840, 1955, and 1960. Courtesy of HVO.

Fountaining lava 45-75 m high at fissure 8 continued overnight on 3-4 June, feeding the growing lava channel flowing NE along Highway 132 to the Kapoho area. Throughout 30 May-3 June tephra landing downwind from the fountaining produced a growing pyroclastic cone at fissure 8 (figure 394). Local videographers reported that lava entered the ocean at Kapoho Bay at about 2230 HST on 3 June and began constructing a delta (figure 395); by late afternoon the next day the delta extended about 640 m into the bay. A laze plume (a corrosive seawater steam plume laden with hydrochloric acid and fine volcanic particles) was blowing inland from the ocean entry but dissipating quickly. The lava flow front was about 800 m wide. A lava breakout was also occurring upslope (N) of the Kapoho cone cinder pit. A lava breakout from the S margin of the flow near the intersection of Highway 132 and Railroad Avenue had completely encircled Kapoho Cone by the end of the day.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 394. A comparison of thermal images of the fountains and fast-growing pyroclastic cone at Kilauea's LERZ fissure 8 from 30 May to 3 June 2018 indicated the increase in height of the lava fountains from 45 to over 75 m, as well as the growth of a cone (pu'u) downwind to about 30 m height. HVO reported the lava fountain temperatures were reaching up to about 1,115°C (2,040°F). The composition of the lava erupted had high MgO (magnesium oxide) values, which came from olivine crystals that were being pulled from deep within the rift zone. Courtesy of HVO.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 395. The flow front of Kilauea's LERZ fissure 8 flow reached the ocean at Kapoho Bay late in the evening of 3 June; by 0613 HST on 4 June 2018 when this image was taken during an HVO overflight, the lava was creating a large laze plume and beginning to form a delta into the bay. Courtesy of HVO.

Activity at the Lower East Rift Zone during 5-12 June 2018. The intensity of the fountaining at fissure 8 declined overnight on 4-5 June to between 40-50 m in height, not far above the top of the cone formed during the previous several days (figure 396). By the early morning of 5 June the fissure 8 flow had completely filled Kapoho Bay, extending 1.1 km from the former coastline (figure 397). On the south side of the ocean entry, lava was entering the water at the Vacationland tidepools, having inundated most of that subdivision. To the north, lava had covered all but the northern part of Kapoho Beach Lots. The northernmost lobe of the fissure 8 flow, in the Noni Farms Road area, advanced downslope about 180 m overnight (figure 398) and continued to slowly advance during the day on 5 June.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 396. Lava fountains continued at Kilauea's LERZ fissure 8, although overnight on 4-5 June 2018 USGS field crews reported reduced fountain heights. The lava fountain had built a 35 m (115 ft) high spatter cone, and an actively-growing spatter rampart on its eastern side. The lava channel leading from the cone was filled to the top of its levees at the time of this photo. The white objects in the upper left are the roofs of houses adjacent to the edge of the flow levee. Courtesy of HVO.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 397. Kapoho Bay was filled with lava from Kilauea's LERZ fissure 8 flow by the morning of 5 June 2018, as seen in this view looking S during the morning HVO overflight. Hundreds of homes around the bay were buried within the lava flow. Courtesy of HVO.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 398. By 1000 HST on 5 June 2018 there were two growing areas of active ocean entry on the delta at the front of Kilauea's LERZ fissure 8 lava flow. Dark red areas are active flows and shaded purple areas indicate lava flows erupted in 1840, 1955, 1960, and 2014-2015. Courtesy of HVO.

By the morning of 6 June 2018, the lava fountaining at fissure 8 continued to reach heights of 45-55 m and feed a stable channel to the NE and E (figure 399) to the ocean entry in the Kapoho Bay area. The lava delta that formed at the bay had also extended slightly outward overnight; during the day on 6 June a lateral lobe of the flow pushed slowly N through what remained of the Kapaho Beach Lots subdivision. Overnight on 6-7 June and throughout the following day the fountain heights from fissure 8 fluctuated between 58 and 70 m feeding the channel with vigorous flow (figure 400). The delta was about 1.9 km wide in the Vacationland/Waopae area and the flow was expanding northward (figure 401). By the late afternoon overflight on 8 June, two vigorous steam plumes were rising from the ocean flow front and being blown inland. Strong thermal upwelling was noted in the ocean extending up to 900 m out to sea from the visible lava front. Heavy gas and steam emissions were noted at fissures 9 and 10, but lava emission was occurring only at fissure 8.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 399. HVO used drones, referred to as Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), to gather high-resolution video and images throughout the eruption on Kilauea's lower East Rift Zone. On 6 June 2018 a UAS flight collected video of flowing lava in the upper lava channel of fissure 8. The view is to the S towards the fissure 8 cone in the upper left. The houses on the right provide a sense of scale for the fissure 8 flow. Scientists used the video to assess lava flow velocities, which are measured by tracking surface features in the stationary video view. This still image was taken from video captured by the U.S. Geological Survey and Office of Aviation Services, Department of the Interior, with support from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Courtesy of HVO.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 400. In this early morning view to the E on 7 June 2018, fountains of lava rise 50 m from Kilauea's LERZ fissure 8 and the lava channel travels NE to the ocean, a distance of about 12.5 km. Steam plumes in the distance rise from inactive fissures that opened during May. Courtesy of HVO.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 401. By 8 June 2018, Kilauea's LERZ fissure 8 flow had created a lava delta approximately 77 hectares (190 acres) in size, filling Kapoho Bay and shallow reefs along the nearby coastline. Dark red areas are active flows, shaded purple areas indicate lava flows erupted in 1840, 1955, 1960, and 2014-2015. Courtesy of HVO.

Overnight on 8-9 July the fountains at fissure 8 were slightly lower, reaching heights of 40-55 m. Fissure 22 was incandescent and there was minor lava activity at fissures 16/18 while the fuming from fissures 24, 9, and 10 had decreased from the previous day. The fissure 8 flow had created a lava delta approximately 80 hectares (200 acres) in size by the morning of 9 June, filling Kapoho Bay and covering shallow reefs along the nearby coastline (figure 402); observers that night also noted vigorous convection taking place up to 1.5 km offshore from the entry points. Minor levee overflows along the upper part of the channel occurred on 10 June from the strong channelized flow (figure 403). Near the Four Corners region the channel was incandescent and flowing vigorously.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 402. A view from offshore of the Kapoho ocean entry of Kilauea's LERZ fissure 8 flow as of 0630 HST on 9 June 2018 shows the extent of the lava delta, about 80 hectares (200 acres) in size, that formed over the previous six days. Across the front of the delta plumes of laze, created by molten lava interacting with seawater, appeared diminished that morning, but this was probably due to a change in atmospheric conditions rather than a change in the amount of fissure 8 lava reaching the ocean. Courtesy of HVO.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 403. Overflows of the upper channel at Kilauea's LERZ fissure 8 lava flow on 10 June 2018 sent small flows of lava down the levee walls. These overflows did not extend far from the channel, so they posed no immediate threat to nearby areas. Channel overflows, like the ones shown here, add layers of lava to the channel levees, increasing their height and thickness. In the lower right of the photo, a paved road and power lines provide a scale for the size of the flow channel and levees. Courtesy of HVO.

By the evening on 10 June, three closely spaced lava fountains at fissure 8 were erupting with maximum heights reaching 35-40 m (figure 404), feeding the fast moving channelized and braided flow that now traveled 13 km to the ocean at Kapoho Bay (figure 405). A strong steam plume was observed on the S end of the ocean entry with frequent steam explosions at the flow front. Weak lava activity continued during 10-12 June at fissures 16/18 as it had for the previous several days (figure 406). Incandescence was noted at fissures 15 and 22 on 12 June. Lava was entering the ocean over a broader area than before with several minor incandescent points and small plumes, and two larger entries and corresponding plumes. The fissure 8 cinder cone had reached about 43 m in height by the evening of 12 June.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 404. The three closely spaced lava fountains at Kilauea's LERZ fissure 8 reached maximum heights of 35-40 m overnight 10-11 June 2018. Lava fragments falling from the fountains were building a substantial cinder-and-spatter cone around the erupting vent, with the bulk of the fragments falling on the downwind side of the cone. The cone had reached 43 m in height by 12 June. Courtesy of HVO.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 405. Braided channels of lava from Kilauea's LERZ fissure 8 covered a wide swath of the NW side of the LERZ in the morning on 12 June 2018. Incandescence from the fountain feeding the flow is visible several kilometers in the distance in this image looking upstream. The 13-km-long flow traveled NE then E and flowed into Kapho Bay. Courtesy of HVO.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 406. The fountains at Kilauea's LERZ fissure 8 remained active as of 1400 HST on 12 June 2018, with the 13-km-long lava flow entering the ocean at Kapoho Bay along a growing delta. Very small, weak lava flows were also active near the fissure 18 area (center). The black and white area is the extent of the thermal map. Temperature in the thermal image is displayed as gray-scale values, with the brightest pixels indicating the hottest areas. The map was constructed by stitching many overlapping oblique images collected by a handheld thermal camera during a helicopter overflight of the flow field. The base is a copyrighted color satellite image (used with permission) provided by Digital Globe. Courtesy of HVO.

Activity on the Lower East Rift Zone during 13-19 June 2018. Lava fountaining at fissure 8 during 13-19 June generally rose 30-50 m with intermittent bursts as high as 60 m. The growing cone was 52 m at its highest point on 15 June (figure 407). From fissure 8, lava flowed freely over small cascades (rapids) into a well-established channel (figure 408). Near the vent, channel lava was traveling about 24 km/hour; it slowed as it traveled the 13 km-long-channel (figure 409) to about 2 km/hour near the ocean entry at Kapoho Bay. Minor amounts of lava periodically spilled over the channel levees.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 407. Lava fountains were still rising higher than the 52-m-high cone at Kilauea's LERZ fissure 8 on 15 June 2018. Courtesy of HVO.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 408. Cascades of lava from 50-m-high fountains flowed over rapids into the channel of Kilauea's LERZ fissure 8 lava flow on 17 June 2018. Near the vent, lava was traveling about 24 km per hour; lava slowed to about 2 km per hour near the ocean entry at Kapoho.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 409. Lava flowed in an open channel 13 km long to the ocean from Kilauea's LERZ fissure 8 on 18 June 2018. Kapoho Crater, which partly filled with lava on 2 June, is the vegetated hill on the right side of the photograph. The lava evaporated Green Lake inside the crater. The ocean entry plume can be seen in the distance on the left. The small white objects on either side of the flow are large buildings about 75 m long. Highway 137 emerges from underneath the flow and heads S into the distance in the upper center of the image. Courtesy of HVO.

Several laze plumes rose along the ocean entry margin as break outs fed many small and large flows during mid-June. The largest pahoehoe breakout area was on the northern margin of the flow (figure 410). A small amount of expansion continued at the southern boundary of the flow near the coast and south of Vacationland. By 17 June, lava flowing into the ocean had built a delta of flows, rock rubble, and black sand, which was over 121 hectares (320 acres) in size. The flow front at the coast was about 2.4 km wide by 18 June. Limited spattering and small flows were also observed at fissures 16 and 18 during 13-19 June; mild spattering from fissure 15 was observed late in the day on 16 June, and incandescence and mild spattering were observed from fissure 6 on 17 June.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 410. A large breakout of lava created several laze plumes as it entered the ocean along the northern ocean entry margin of Kilauea's LERZ fissure 8 flow delta on 14 June 2018. Courtesy of HVO.

Fissure 8 lava fountains 52-70 m tall showered spatter onto the cone overnight into 19 June (figure 411). Small overflows were observed on the N side of the channel near Pohoiki Road overnight and in the morning, with one breakout spreading slowly beyond the flow boundary. Field crews on the ground near fissure 8 midday on 19 June observed a still-vigorous channelized lava flow being fed by fountains at the vent. Standing waves were visible within the channel and cascades/rapids were visible near the base of the 50-m-high cone. The maximum flow velocity in the channel was measured at 28 km/hour. During the morning overflight, several small overflows could be seen along the channel margins. The flow of lava was faster in the center of the channel and decreased in speed toward the margins where friction with the channel walls increased. A small, sluggish overflow along a section of Luana Street was advancing NW. Fissures 6, 15, 16 were still oozing lava and fuming.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 411. Kilauea's LERZ fissure 8 vigor increased overnight on 18-19 June 2019 with lava fountains reaching up to 60 m. Spatter continued to build up on the E flank of cone and lava flowed into the channel. Courtesy of HVO.

Activity at Halema'uma'u crater during June 2018. Throughout June intermittent explosions and earthquakes continued at Halema'uma'u crater as the summit area subsided and adjusted to the withdrawal of magma from below. Inward slumping of the rim and walls of Halema`uma`u continued in response to the persistent subsidence. A near-daily pattern of explosive events was characterized by seismicity at the summit that would gradually increase to tens of events per hour, culminating with a larger explosion, often with an energy release equivalent magnitude greater than M 5.0. Seismicity would usually then drop significantly before gradually rising until the next explosion. Ash plumes from the explosions often rose to altitudes of 2.4-4.6 km. With each explosion, Halema'uma'u crater subsided, generating fractures and down-dropped blocks within and around the crater floor, dramatically reshaping the morphology of the summit caldera in just a few weeks (figures 412 and 413).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 412. HVO scientists captured this aerial view of a much-changed Halema'uma'u during their overflight of Kilauea's summit on the afternoon of 5 June 2018. Explosions and collapses had enlarged the crater (foreground) that previously hosted a lava lake, and the far rim of Halema'uma'u had also dropped with continued summit deflation. The parking area for the former overlook (closed since early 2008 due to volcanic hazards) is to the left of the crater with small fractures trending across it. Courtesy of HVO.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 413. Explosions and collapses continued throughout June 2018, enlarging Halema'uma'u crater almost daily. In this view on 12 June (one week after the previous image (figure 412)), the scale and rate of change at the summit of Kilauea was clear. The obvious flat surface (center) was the former Halema'uma'u crater floor, which had subsided at least 100 m during the previous two weeks. Large ground cracks circumferential to the crater rim can be seen cutting across the parking lot (left) for the former Halema'uma'u visitor overlook, which is beginning to fall into the crater. The deepest part of Halema'uma'u (foreground) was about 300 m below the crater rim. Courtesy of HVO.

Overnight on 10-11 June there were two explosions at the summit separated by about four hours, followed by a decrease in seismicity. Video recorded during a UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) flight HVO on 24 June 2018 revealed details of the extensive changes occurring within Halema'uma'u crater since explosive eruptions of ash and gas and ongoing wall collapse had begun in mid-May. Clearly visible were the steep crater walls that continued to slump inward and downward with ongoing subsidence. The deepest part of Halema'uma'u had dropped over 400 m below the caldera floor. There were two obvious flat surfaces within the crater that had slumped downward as nearly intact blocks; the shallower one was the former caldera floor and the deeper one was the former Halema'uma'u crater floor. HVO reduced the Aviation Color code from Red to Orange on 24 June, citing the fact that the episodic plumes from the summit rarely exceeded 3 km altitude where the might pose a risk to aviation.

Activity on the Lower East Rift Zone during 20-30 June 2018. For the remainder of June, vigorous fountaining nearly 60 m high from fissure 8 fed the established channel that transported incandescent lava to the ocean at the Kapoho coastline where several entries were active (figure 414). The largest entry area was at the S end of the flow front, but the locations of the ocean entry points migrated back and forth along the delta over time. Periodic overflows from the channel were short-lived and produced sluggish pahoehoe flows that only traveled a few meters (figure 415). Minor effusion of lava was observed from fissures 6, 15, and 16. Activity ceased at fissure 6 by 22 June. During an overflight in the early morning of 23 June, only incandescence was noted at fissure 22.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 414. Lava from Kilauea's LERZ fissure 8 remained incandescent on its 13-km-long journey to the ocean in an open channel during the last part of June 2018. Plumes of steam and laze at the ocean entry were visible in the upper right of the left image on 20 June 2018. Small streams of lava entered the ocean across a broad area the same day, shown by the multiple white steam and laze plumes. Lava had added about 155 hectares (380 acres) of new land by 20 June 2018. Courtesy of HVO.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 415. Sluggish pahoehoe briefly spilled over a section the levee along the well-established channel of Kilauea's LERZ fissure 8 lava flow on 20 June 2018. The overflows generally traveled short distances measured in meters. Geologists tracked the extent of overflows and looked for potential areas of weakness and seepages along the sides of the perched channel in order to assess potential breakouts from the channel. The small blades of grass in the lower left suggest the scale of this photo is about one meter across. Courtesy of HVO.

The spatter cone grew to 55 m tall by 24 June, after which the lava fountains only occasionally rose above its highest point. Geologists measured lava entering the channel traveling as fast as 30 km/hour. By 25 June, most of the lava was entering the sea on the southern side of the flow front along a 1-km wide area marked by billowing laze plumes, although the lava front extended for more than 3 km along the coast (figure 416). Beginning on 27 June geologists observed fresh lava oozing at several points along the northern margin of the flow field in the area of the Kapoho Beach Lots. By then, the lava channel had crusted over about 0.8 km inland of the ocean entry; lava was moving beneath the crust and into the still-molten interior of earlier flows before it entered the sea (figure 417). The same day, small overflows on both sides of the channel occurred in the uppermost part of channel, but none of these overflows extended past the existing flow field (figure 418).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 416. Most of the lava from Kilauea's LERZ fissure 8 flow was entering the ocean at the southern edge of the delta flow field on 25 June 2018, although the whole delta extended for more than 3 km along the coast. Dark red areas were active flows, shaded purple areas indicate lava flows erupted in 1840, 1955, 1960, and 2014-2015. Courtesy of HVO.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 417. At Kilauea's LERZ fissure 8 delta, small breakouts were observed in the morning of 27 June 2018 in the area of Kapoho Beach Lots on the N flank of the flow delta near the ocean. The lava channel had crusted over about 0.8 km inland of the ocean entry; lava was moving beneath the crust and into the still-molten interior of earlier flows before it entered the sea. This thermal map shows the fissure system and lava flows as of 0600 on 27 June 2018. The fountain at fissure 8 remained active, with the lava flow entering the ocean at Kapoho. Very small, short flows were observed near fissure 22. The black and white area is the extent of the thermal map. Temperature in the image is displayed as gray-scale values, with the brightest pixels indicating the hottest areas. The map was constructed by stitching many overlapping oblique images collected by a handheld thermal camera during a helicopter overflight of the flow field. The base is a copyrighted color satellite image (used with permission) provided by Digital Globe. Courtesy of HVO.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 418. A small overflow from the lava channel of Kilauea's LERZ fissure 8 flow, visible on the left, was recorded by an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) flight. Small overflows on both sides of the channel occurred shortly after midnight on 27 June 2018 in the uppermost part of channel. None of these overflows extended past the existing flow field. The 'arm' is likely about 10 m long. Image by the U.S. Geological Survey and Office of Aviation Services, Department of the Interior. Courtesy of HVO.

The northern margin of the ocean entry flow field was the most active during the last few days of the month with lava entering the sea over a broad area (figure 419). A few burning areas were also observed on the S side of the flow and W of Highway 137. Field crews were able to make rough estimates of the velocity of the flow in the channel by timing the large blocks in the flow as they passed by islands within the channel and known points along the edges (figure 420). Volcanic gas emissions were very high from fissure 8 eruptions throughout June 2018 causing trade winds to bring Vog (volcanic air pollution, a hazy mixture of SO2 gas and aerosols) to the central, south, and western parts of the Island of Hawaii on many occasions. Substantial SO2 plumes were recorded daily (figure 421).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 419. At the Kapoho coast, lava from Kilauea's LERZ fissure 8 entered the ocean over a broad area along the northern margin of the flow field on 30 June 2018. Courtesy of HVO.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 420. Lava flowed rapidly around islands in the lava channel of Kilauea's LERZ fissure 8 flow on 30 June 2018. The direction of flow was from the upper right to lower left. Field crews were able to make a rough calculation of velocity by timing large blocks as they passed between two landmarks that were a known distance apart. Courtesy of HVO.
Figure (see Caption) Figure 421. Volcanic gas emissions were very high from Kilauea's LERZ fissure 8 eruptions throughout June 2018 causing trade winds to bring VOG to the central, south, and western parts of the Island of Hawaii on many occasions. Large plumes of SO2 were identified with satellite instruments on numerous days of the month; 4, 13, 20, and 22 June, shown here, were just a few of the days where large SO2 plumes drifted SW on trade winds across the southern and western margins of the island of Hawaii. The island of Hawaii is 150 km from the N tip to the S tip. Courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Thermal observations during May-June 2018. The MODVOLC thermal alert system captures infrared data from satellite instruments (MODIS) that indicate the location of hot-spots around the planet. The data collected for Kilauea for May and June 2018 clearly indicated the size and scope of the eruptive episode (figures 422 and 423). At the end of April, infrared data indicated strong activity at Halema'uma'u and weak activity from the episode 61g flow that originated on the flank of Pu'u 'O'o (figure 422). The first MODVOLC thermal alert of activity on the LERZ appeared 6 May; even though the lava lake had begun to drop, there was still a strong thermal signal at Halema'uma'u that day as well. As the eruption progressed during May, the increasing size of the effusive activity that included lava flows reaching the SE coast was apparent.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 422. Selected maps showing MODVOLC thermal alert pixels at Kilauea for May 2018. An overflowing lava lake at Halema'uma'u and the episode 61g flow that originated on the flank of Pu'u 'O'o were captured in the infrared data in late April. The first MODVOLC alert on the LERZ appeared in the first week of May, and continued to grow throughout the month; the signal at Halema'uma'u was gone by mid-May. Courtesy of MODVOLC.

By early June, just a few days after the flow-volume increase on the LERZ from the channel emerging from fissure 8, the new pattern of heat flow to the N and NE around Kapoho Cone was recorded in the satellite data. The growing delta filling Kapoho Bay generated a strong infrared signal throughout the month. Although the fissure 8 flow was essentially unchanged in its thermal output on 22 and 23 June based on ground observations, the infrared data for those two days was significantly different, likely reflecting atmospheric conditions that blocked satellite views. In spite of this, the general nature of the flow activity is still clear in the data. By the end of June, the extent of the MODVOLC thermal alert pixels clearly indicated the robust nature of the continuing eruption.

Figure (see Caption) Figure 423. In early June 2018 the new pattern of heat flow to the N and NE around Kapoho Cone was recorded in satellite thermal data. The growing delta filling Kapoho Bay generated a strong infrared signal throughout the month. A change in meteoric conditions, not a change in flow activity, was likely responsible for the change in signal on 22 and 23 June. By the end of June, the extent of the MODVOLC thermal alert pixels clearly indicated the robust nature of the continuing eruption.

Geologic Background. Kilauea, which overlaps the E flank of the massive Mauna Loa shield volcano, has been Hawaii's most active volcano during historical time. Eruptions are prominent in Polynesian legends; written documentation extending back to only 1820 records frequent summit and flank lava flow eruptions that were interspersed with periods of long-term lava lake activity that lasted until 1924 at Halemaumau crater, within the summit caldera. The 3 x 5 km caldera was formed in several stages about 1500 years ago and during the 18th century; eruptions have also originated from the lengthy East and SW rift zones, which extend to the sea on both sides of the volcano. About 90% of the surface of the basaltic shield volcano is formed of lava flows less than about 1100 years old; 70% of the volcano's surface is younger than 600 years. A long-term eruption from the East rift zone that began in 1983 has produced lava flows covering more than 100 km2, destroying nearly 200 houses and adding new coastline to the island.

Information Contacts: Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO), U.S. Geological Survey, PO Box 51, Hawai'i National Park, HI 96718, USA (URL: http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/); NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC), Global Sulfur Dioxide Monitoring Page, Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics Laboratory, 8800 Greenbelt Road, Goddard, Maryland, USA (URL: https://so2.gsfc.nasa.gov/); Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) - MODVOLC Thermal Alerts System, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), Univ. of Hawai'i, 2525 Correa Road, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA (URL: http://modis.higp.hawaii.edu/).