Watch out folks…something seems to be stirring under the big island of Hawaii….
Slump in volcano mystifies scientists
HILO » The summit of Kilauea volcano slumped yesterday. Nobody knows why.
The activity, similar to a balloon slowly losing air, was first noted at 5:45 a.m.
By 4:20 p.m. the process, called deflation, had stopped after a total loss of 4.7 microradians. That’s the thickness of 4.7 dimes viewed from a half mile away — not even visible without instruments, but a “fairly substantial” change to what’s normal at Kilauea, said geologist Don Swanson.
Normally such a change would signal magma moving underground, away from the summit area toward one of the rift zones on the outer edges of the volcano.
But instruments showed no such underground movement yesterday. A video camera perched on Pu’u O’o cone on the east rift showed nothing unusual. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park rangers reported no increase in lava flowing on the park coast.
It’s possible that there could be some kind of delay, and lava flows could increase today, Swanson said. But where would the magma have been during the delay, he wondered.
Another possibility is that the magma moved down, back into the earth. But the movement happened too quickly to make that a likely explanation, Swanson said.