Geologists: Decades-long Pu‘u ‘O‘o eruption considered over

Geologists: Decades-long Pu‘u ‘O‘o eruption considered over
(Image: USGS)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Last year marked one of the most dramatic events to happen to the Pu‘u ‘O’o Crater: The crater floor collapsed some 1,600 feet, completely transforming the landmark into something almost unrecognizable.

That collapse changed everything — so much so that geologists are now saying that the decades-long eruption at Pu‘u ‘O’o Crater could be considered over.

For more than 35 years, lava had erupted almost continuously in the middle east rift zone region — until the collapse of the crater on April 30, 2018.

The Hawaii Volcano Observatory said the collapse left the Pu‘u ‘O’o Crater and surrounding lava flow fields devoid of lava through the rest of the year.

But Dec. 30 marked seven months since the lack of lava activity, geologists said. Historically, pauses in rift zone eruptions lasting more than three-and-a-half months meant the end. And statistically, after a 210-day gap in activity, “it is extremely unlikely that lava will resume activity within Pu‘u ‘O’o.”

The longest pause recorded at Pu‘u ‘O’o Crater prior to the recent pause was 24 days back in 1997.

This does not mean that Kilauea Volcano is dead as new eruptions had previously begun elsewhere following months of quiet.

It’s important to note that Kilauea is still an active volcano and geologists are continuing to monitor it closely.

There has been no definitive end regarding the eruption in Kilauea’s lower east rift zone yet.

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