Dramatic changes that take place in halemaumau crater
The volcanic crater, usually filled with lava, is already leaked.
The summit crater of Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano has grown strongly since the last eruption started in the beginning of May, is so large that it may pose a threat to a museum in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
The U. S. Geological Survey said in a twitter post on Monday that a GPS station location in halemaumau Crater was knocked out of service after prolapse 310 feet as the subsidence continues to grow.
Since the eruption began on 3 May, sending magma spewing out along the cracks in the eastern Puna region of the island and the volcano, the caldera is subsiding. That has led to almost-daily earthquakes, rock falls, and the subsequent explosions at the top.
“The current slumping and rocksliding is a reaction of magma draining from the former top of lava. However, we do not know whether and when the lake might appear,” the agency said on Twitter.
A GPS station on the summit of the Kilauea volcano is no longer able to send data after prolapse 310 metres, according to the USGS.
The USGS said over the weekend that more than 350 earthquakes greater than magnitude 2.5 was reported in a 24-hour period on the top.
It is a very active day at Kilauea’s summit, with more than 350 earthquakes greater than M2.5 in the last 24 hours. pic.twitter.com/slU6Ca63KB
— USGS_Seismic (@usgs_seismic) of 24 June 2018
On Sunday, the USGS conducted a drone flight over the crater area, where the dramatic changes as the lava is drained out. According to the USGS, the deepest part of halemaumau is now more than 1,300 meters below the caldera floor.
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“This thing is getting deeper and deeper as these explosions continue to happen,” Volcanologist and University of Hawaii at Manoa, professor Mike Garcia told KHON, adding that he is not entirely sure what it means. “You would have thought that everything that was going on in the first instance, that the magma would have tapped and gone down to east rift zone. That happened in the early days of May. Since that happened, the explosion did. Means that a deeper reservoir continues to drain?”
Garcia said that it is difficult to predict what will happen, because it’s too dangerous to observe the volcano directly, but that new cracks form to the outside of the old crater.
Kilauea summit subsidence, 5-16 to 6-22, forward/backward, timelapse, 1 picture per day.
Images of @USGSVolcanoes webcam, archived by @paleosurface @SquigglyVolcano @janinekrippner @Volcanoes_NPS @HawaiiNewsNow pic.twitter.com/wgtiaMzF0c
— Christopher Becke (@BeckePhysics) Of 24 June 2018
That affects the surrounding buildings, such as the Thomas A. Jaggar Museum in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Artifacts were removed last week, because the staff of the park saw the building, cracks in the museum, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported.
The building also houses the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, still not structurally evaluated. But there is concern that it could slide into the volcano grows summit crater, park spokeswoman Jessica Ferracane told the newspaper.
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“Every day, we are sustaining damage from this ongoing earthquakes,” Ferracane said. “The cracks and breaks along the look of Jaggar go by rocky cliffs down into the ground.”
Halemaumau Crater continues to grow as new rockfall collapses and hundreds of earthquakes have been reported.
Even if the volcanology museum was spared from destruction, it would not be safe to reuse, Ferracane said.
“It is light as possible can be reused,” Ferracane said. “I’m not sure if we want to reuse it due to the close proximity of a very unstable rock.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Travis Fedschun is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @travfed