Weather

Steady lowering of lava lake of Kilauea increases potential for explosive eruptions

HONOLULU (KHON2) - The steady lowering of the lava lake within Halemaumau at the summit of Kilauea Volcano has increased the potential for explosive eruptions in the coming weeks.

USGS says if the lava level drops to the level of groundwater beneath Kilauea Caldera, water rushing into the conduit could cause steam-driven explosions.

This type of steam-driven explosions causes risk for the area around Halemaumau and the Kilauea summit.

At this time, USGS cannot say with certainty that explosive activity will occur, how large the explosions could be, or how long such explosive activity could continue. 

Primary hazards of concern should steam-driven eruptions occur are ballistic projectiles and ashfall. 

Pebble-size rocks could be sent miles from Halemaumau, mostly in a downwind direction. Minor ashfall could occur over much wider areas, even up to several tens of miles from Halemaumau.

Steam-driven explosions typically provide very little warning.

Once the lava level reaches the groundwater elevation, onset of continuous ashy plumes or a sequence of violent steam-driven explosions may be the first sign that activity of concern has commenced.

Residents that live around the Kilauea summit should beware of the risk of ashfall, stay informed of the status of the volcano and area closures and review family and business emergency plans.

The explosion at around 8:30 a.m. on May 9, 2018 was triggered by a rockfall from the steep walls of Overlook crater, and not caused by the interaction of the lava lake with the water table. The lava lake surface is still above the water table.


Georgia News

Alabama News

  • Alabama sues over undocumented residents in Census counts
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

    Alabama sues over undocumented residents in Census counts

    Alabama has filed a lawsuit against the federal government, challenging the practice of counting undocumented residents in U.S. Census counts used for congressional reapportionment.

    Read More »
  • Alabama governor opposes release in slaying of Georgia teen
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

    Alabama governor opposes release in slaying of Georgia teen

    Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey is opposing parole for a woman convicted of killing a Georgia teenager more than 35 years ago.

    Read More »
  • Hightower runs for governor on flat tax, term limits
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

    Hightower runs for governor on flat tax, term limits

    State Sen. Bill Hightower is stressing his background as a businessman as he runs for governor on a sweeping platform of government overhauls that includes term limits for legislators and replacing the state income tax code with a flat tax.

    Read More »

Latest Stories

Video Center