(Photo Credit: USGS) Left: Kilauea Summit on April 13, 2018. Right: Summit as on July 13, 2018

Over the past several days there have been some significant changes in the eruption at Kilauea Volcano. At the lower east rift zone activity at Fissure 8 has decreased, and as of the morning of August 6, 2018 there is only some weak to moderate activity. At Fissure 8, the bubbling lava lake (with a weak plume) and the main lava channel appear to be crusting over.

Additionally, there is a plume present at Puu Oo which has been observed over the last several weeks. USGS measured the gas emission rate at over 1,000 tons/day of SO2, which is a rate higher than has been seen in several years. There doesn’t appear to be an increase in temperature and no active lava has been observed.

The summit is also experiencing a change in activity. The most recent collapse was on August 4th at 11:55am HST. This length of time between events is a change from the regular collapse events over the last several months. Deformation and tilt at the summit has basically stopped; the seismicity remains low.

What this change means for the eruption is not currently known, but it is common for eruptions to wax and wane though time