Geologists in Hawaii are closely watching a growing lake on the Kilauea volcano for any potential signs it could blow its top again

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The Kīlauea summit crater lake continues to grow at the bottom of Halemaʻumaʻu.

Definitely, in the past 200 years, we haven’t seen activity like this. So we’re keeping a close eye on this and really looking for any kind of signs that might be potential precursors for larger scale activity in the future.

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From a pond to a lake: The Kīlauea summit crater lake continues to grow at the bottom of Halemaʻumaʻu. Picture USGS / HVO by M. Patrick

The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory recently released an updated set of images taken by geologist Matt Patrick, showing the steaming, yellow-green pond at various distances.

On October 19, the water level was measured as being 608 meters, or 1,995 feet, below the observation site.

A timelapse video recorded by Patrick on October 20 shows the motion of the water surface at the crater lake.

Along the shoreline, areas of apparent water influx are visible, often with a slightly greener color,” USGS HVO wrote in a caption for the video. “Shifting steam on the surface attests to the high temperature of the water and the winds at the bottom of the crater. The contrast has been enhanced to highlight the surface motion.

Definitely, in the past 200 years, we haven’t seen activity like this,” Patrick said in a recent USGS video about the water. “So we’re keeping a close eye on this and really looking for any kind of signs that might be potential precursors for larger scale activity in the future.

Inflation that would indicate magma rising, or seismic activity that would indicate unrest in the deeper magmatic system. It is possible – and this has happened at other volcanic lakes – that small explosions have occurred with little or no warning. But again, those are most likely events that would just impact the immediate caldera area.

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The new lake is growing in the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii. Picture from October 19 by M.Patrick – USGS/HVO

Kīlauea Volcano is currently not erupting. USGS HVO says “monitoring data continue to show steady rates of seismicity and ground deformation, low rates of sulfur dioxide emission, and only minor geologic changes since the end of eruptive activity in September 2018.

Do you think this growing crater lake at Kilauea is an omnious sign? [BigIslandVideoNews]

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