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Volcano Updates: Kīlauea, Great Sitkin, and Iceland

9 Jun 2021, 21:18 UTC
Volcano Updates: Kīlauea, Great Sitkin, and Iceland
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CREDIT: A. Lerner/USGS

It seems like we’ve had an uptick in volcanic activity based on all the news reports of late, but in reality, everything is proceeding at a normal pace. While there have been some new eruptions in the past few months, other eruptions are slowing down or ceasing altogether.

Take Kīlauea in Hawai’i. This very active and extremely hazardous volcano had been erupting continuously from 1983 through 2018, and during that time, deposited about 4.4 cubic kilometers of lava, destroyed numerous homes and roads, and added 439 acres of new land to the island. Then, in 2018, after a massive eruption of new fissures on the eastern flank of the volcano, the Pu‘u‘ō‘ō lava lake collapsed, and the volcano quieted… until this past December. At that point, the Halema‘uma‘u lava lake at the summit had refilled and began to erupt again. Now, that activity has also ceased, and the USGS has lowered the Volcano Alert Level from watch to advisory. Halema‘uma‘u no longer has any visible lava in the crater. It’s still hazardous and prone to eruption, so please follow all warnings if you do visit the park.

IMAGE: Eruption plume of Great Sitkin volcano from the ...

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