Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island began a new eruptive phase on May 4 this year, coating the island in thick orange lava over the past three months as eruptions continue.
A continuous stream of the viscous igneous flow had been pouring out of the volcano summit and associated fissures.
The volcano was also creating a deadly toxic gas and laze plumes which polluted the area, but all this activity now seems to bve waning.
Kilauea’s new activity has been described as ‘diminishing’ which suggests the Big Island volcano could now be ready to stop erupting.
Will Kilauea volcano stop erupting?
Teams from the United Stated Geological Survey (USGS) have been monitoring the volcano since the eruption in early May.
With lava flow slowing and the production of laze decreasing, it could be assumed the erruptions will now stop but the experts say it is not clear what the activity might mean.
An excerpt from a USGS report reads: “The significance of this change is not yet clear and hazardous conditions remain in the area”.
There are additional observations that the lava flow has ceased moving towards the Pohiki boat ramp, where previously it was quickly advancing.
Crews investigating the volcano are remaining vigilant as the activity slows, as reports suggest the volcano could rocket into eruption again at any given time.
The Kilauea volcano has been spewing lava into the ocean at Kapoho Bay, which has now slowed, meaning there is less gas rising as lava meets the water.
As lava currents slow, a lake has developed at the now diminishing fissure 8 cone, where much of the activity has taken place.
The lake gathered about five to 10 metres next to the spillway where lava was emerging.
Is Kilauea still dangerous?
Kilauea’s activity has slowed down, but authorities remain on alert as an increase in activity could easily return.
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has however not downgraded the aviation or alert levels, which remain on warning and orange status respectively.
Hawaii County Civil Defence has also advised residents on the island to remain vigilant and steer clear of the area as activity could return.
A luminous yellow streak is visible in the darkness of dawn
Hawaii Civil Defence said: “Do not access the flow field due to extreme hazard. Lava eruption could resume at any time.
“Motorists on Highway 11 between the 28 and 32 mile marker are advised to stay on the pavement, be alert for changes in road conditions, and drive with caution.”
While the volcano has shown a significant drop in activity, its eruptions were a peak in a 35-year eruptive history.
Since 1983 Kilauea has been erupting, beginning alongside Big Island’s biggest volcano Mauna Loa.
With such a longstanding eruption phase, scientists estimate it is unlikely the volcano will cease activity for good any time soon.