Thursday, August 4, 2011

New lava flow breaks out on Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano - 3rd Aug 2011

Hawaii Island’s east rift zone has an active lava flow once again, according to Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists.

The following media release was just issued:

HAWAI‘I ISLAND, Hawaii — At 2:05 p.m., HST, this afternoon, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) monitoring network detected the onset of rapid deflation of the Pu‘u ‘O‘o crater floor. Soon thereafter, at 2:20 p.m., lava broke out at the base of the west flank of the Pu‘u ‘O‘o cone.

According to Jim Kauahikaua, HVO’s Scientist-in-Charge, the breakout points are 0.7 km (0.4 mi) east of the eastern end of the Kamoamoa fissure that erupted earlier this year, in March 2011, or about half way between Pu‘u ‘O‘o Crater and the eastern end of the Kamoamoa fissure.

“Interestingly, as the crater floor deflated, lava in the perched lake within Pu‘u ‘O‘o Crater continued to circulate, just as it had over the past several weeks,” Kauahikaua noted, “but, by 3:15 p.m., the crater floor and lava lake began to collapse.”

HVO scientists at the eruption site reported a branched lava flow moving down Kilauea’s south flank. The weaker northwest arm was pushing into kipuka and forest, while the higher volume, larger south arm had advanced at least 3 km (1.8 mi) downslope as of 3:50 p.m. The lava flow is entirely within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and poses no hazard to residents at this time.

The east rift zone activity has not caused significant changes within Kilauea’s summit vent in Halema‘uma‘u Crater. Read More