Kilauea volcano’s summit eruption persisted for a fifth day Sunday with lava continuing to erupt from multiple vents within Halema‘uma‘u crater.
Scientists with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported Sunday morning that the summit lava lake had rose over 3.3 feet between Saturday and Sunday. Since the eruption started at 3:20 p.m. Wednesday, the lava lake surface has risen approximately 89 feet.
The west vent continues to be the most vigorous source, with sustained lava fountain heights of 33 feet to 49 feet, and a cone forming. Other vents include a 115-foot fissure in the central and southern parts of the lake with lava fountain heights up to 33 feet.
The observatory noted the lava lake was not level across its surface due to the location of the various vents. On Sunday morning, scientists estimated the west end of the lake was between 3 feet and 6 feet higher than the east end, and the south end 3 feet higher than the north end.
Meanwhile, sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission rates remained high, estimated at 14,750 tons per day as of the most recent reading on Saturday. The amount of S02, one of the main components of vog, or volcanic smog, was up from Friday’s 12,900 tons per day, but down from 85,000 tons at the start of the eruption Wednesday afternoon.
Fanned by southerly winds, the vog typically moves southwest across the Ka‘u District, hitting first areas like Pahala, Naalehu and Ocean View, before getting caught up in sea breezes that bring the haze toward West Hawaii and onshore.
In addition to visual impacts, vog also creates the potential for airborne health hazards to residents and visitors, damages agricultural crops and other plants, and affects livestock, according to the state Department of Health. Air quality and other information can be monitored via the Hawaii Interagency Vog Information Dashboard at vog.ivhhn.org.
Seisemicity also remained elevated Sunday, but stable. Summit tiltmeters continued to record deflation.
No unusual activity has been noted in the Kilauea East Rift Zone, the observatory said Sunday morning.