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Breakouts Remain Active on Kilauea Volcano’s Kahaualeʻa 2 Flow

June 7, 2014

An HVO geologist shields his face from intense heat as he dips a rock hammer into an active pāhoehoe toe. After scooping out the lava it is placed in the water to quench it. HVO routinely collects lava samples for chemical analysis, which can give insight into changes in the magmatic system. (USGS)

The following photos were released by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory(USGS). Note: these photos were not taken in areas currently accessible to the public. (You can visit the official website of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park for current information on the areas of Kilauea that are open to public). Enjoy the photos!

The lava pond in the northeast portion of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater remains active, and has built up a slightly elevated rim following several overflows over the past week. Today the pond was gently gas pistoning – a process that involves the cyclic rise and fall of the lava level due to gas buildup and release. (USGS)

Gas bubbles rising through the lava pond create small blisters in the thin flexible crust near the pond margin. (USGS)

Summit deflation in May resulted in a decrease in lava supply to the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow, with the flow front becoming inactive and stalling. Breakouts behind the flow front, however, remain active. The thermal image on the right shows these breakouts clearly as the yellow and white regions. The farthest active surface flows today were 6.5 km (4.0 miles) from the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Puʻu ʻŌʻō can be seen in the upper left of the visual photograph. (USGS)

Thin fume allowed good views of the lava lake in the Overlook crater, which is set within Halemaʻumaʻu Crater at the summit of Kīlauea. The lake is roughly 150 meters (490 ft) wide by 200 meters (700 ft) long. Although spattering is commonly present along the margin of the lake, during our overflight no spattering was occurring. (USGS)

A view of the summit lava lake from above, using a thermal camera. The thermal images clearly show the thin crustal plates that make up the surface of the lake. The plates are separated by hot incandescent cracks. The lake surface is constantly moving, normally from north to south (roughly from the upper-right portion of the image towards the lower-left). (USGS)

Map showing the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow in relation to the eastern part of the Island of Hawaiʻi as of June 6, 2014. (USGS)






One Comment leave one →
  1. June 7, 2014 11:34 pm

    Reblogged this on Annelisep's Blog.

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