It’s been 1 year since the Kilauea eruption ended. But heat and gas are still rising

It’s been 1 year since the Kilauea eruption ended. But heat and gas are still rising
The Kilauea eruption in 2018 has ended, but residual heat, steam and gas are still rising. (Source: USGS/C. Parcheta)

KILAUEA, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - It’s been a year since the Kilauea eruption in lower Puna ended, but Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologists say residual heat and small amounts of gas are still seeping up from the ground, killing vegetation in some cases.

In a recent article by HVO, geologists said although lava is no longer erupting, the magma is cooling roughly 165 to 330 feet below Highway 130.

The magma movement has created cracks and sagging in the road. As the cracks open, that lets groundwater in, releasing steam and other gases, scientists said.

Slightly elevated levels of hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide have been detected, too.

Some of the gases might be coming from the cooling magma, and by decaying or burning organic matter — from burning or smoldering vegetation.

The heating of vegetation can sometimes result in a rotten egg smell, HVO said.

This phenomenon won’t be over anytime soon. Scientists predict the steam and lingering heat could last for many years.

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