One of the most frequently asked questions of USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) scientists over the last several months has been, “Is the eruption over?”
It’s no surprise that Hawaiʻi Island residents would like to see Kīlauea’s activity behind them, given its toll on lower Puna communities this summer. The lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) erupted a volume of 1 cubic kilometer of lava and destroyed over 700 structures. Two-thirds of the erupted lava flowed into the ocean through the vigorous channelized flow from fissure 8.
The question was first asked in early August 2018, when summit collapses stopped and the volume of LERZ fissure 8 lava diminished. But fissure 8 wasn’t quite done. During September 1-4, one more appearance of lava occurred inside the cone before draining away completely.