The current eruption at Kilauea is unprecedented in scope and size in the past 200 years, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory deputy scientist-in-charge Steve Brantley said Tuesday, July 16, 2018.
"What we are observing now is unprecedented in the past 200 years in terms of size and scale, but not in terms of process," Brantley said. "This has occurred before, particularly during the 19th century when there were multiple collapses of the summit area and eruptions down in the East Rift Zone. At least one large in 1840."
"This is also the largest sequence of collapse events that we've observed in the past 200 years," he said.
In the middle East Rift Zone, Puʻu ʻŌʻō erupted for 35 years. That was the longest eruption in the whole East Rift Zone in over 500 years and it probably set up the conditions that were ripe for lava or magma to be able to travel underground all the way from the summit to this area.
Sunrise above Kīlauea's lower East Rift Zone on July 17, 2017. Credit: USGS/HVO
In the lower East Rift zone, this is the most voluminous eruption in the past 200 years. "It is the highest eruption rate that we've measured for Kilauea and is many many times larger or higher than the eruption rate for Puʻu ʻŌʻō and that's why there is so much darn lava pouring across the ground every day, every week."
In addition, the emission rates of SO2 are highest ever measured at Kilauea.
See the rest of what Brantley had to say in the video below:
Video courtesy Big Island Video News
Featured image credit: USGS/HVO
If you value what we do here, create your ad-free account and support our journalism.
Your support makes a difference
Dear valued reader,
We hope that our website has been a valuable resource for you.
The reality is that it takes a lot of time, effort, and resources to maintain and grow this website. We rely on the support of readers like you to keep providing high-quality content.
If you have found our website to be helpful, please consider making a contribution to help us continue to bring you the information you need. Your support means the world to us and helps us to keep doing what we love.
Support us by choosing your support level – Silver, Gold or Platinum.
Other support options include Patreon pledges, one-off payments using PayPal and purchasing products from our webshop.
Thank you for your consideration. Your support is greatly appreciated.