lava in Leilani Estates
Leilani Estates eruption. View of Fissure 17 looking makai (southward) from Hwy 132. (Photo credit: U.S. Geological Survey)

On April 30, 2018, along the East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano on Hawaiʻi Island, Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater began to collapse, followed by increased seismicity and ground motion down-rift. Small ground cracks opened near Leilani Estates on May 1–2. As of May 18, there have been 21 fissure eruptions, with some still spattering lava.

The Kīlauea eruption has generated extensive news coverage and University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) geology and geophysics volcanologists and atmospheric science fog experts have been sought by local, national and international media to provide background and information.

Elevated earthquake activity continues and volcanic gas emissions remain elevated throughout the area downwind of the fissures. Magma continues to be supplied to the lower East Rift Zone as indicated by the continued northwest displacement of a GPS monitoring station.

For more on the story and a list of selected media appearances, go to the SOEST website.

—By Marcie Grabowski