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Far End of Lava Flow Reactivates, Lava Spills Out of Steaming Crack

August 30, 2014

The steaming ground crack observed yesterday suggested that lava was close to the surface within the crack, and today lava in the crack reached the surface and began spilling out into the thick forest. The leading edge of the lava today was near the abandoned well site (cleared area at left). This farthest lava was about 11.9 km (7.4 miles) from the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō (visible on horizon) and 2.6 km (1.6 miles) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna forest reserve. (USGS)

The following photos were released by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (USGS) (Dated August 29, 2014) . 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).

A closer view of the pad of lava that emerged from the ground crack earlier this week, which had renewed surface flows today. At the east end (upper left in photograph) of the lava pad new breakouts spilled into adjacent ground cracks, and lava was visible within the ground crack extending farther to the east (visible by line of smoke extending towards upper left portion of photo). Heiheiahulu is visible in the upper right. (USGS)

At the site of the isolated pad of lava near the leading edge of the June 27th flow, renewed surface flows today resurfaced the existing lava flow and also spilled into nearby ground cracks. In this photograph, two large streams of lava plunge into a crack that is a couple meters (yards) wide. (USGS)

At the far end of the lava-filled crack, lava spilled out towards the north a very short distance. In this view from a thermal camera, the small lobe of lava moving north is easily visible. The trees surrounding the crack show brighter colors as they are heated by the lava flow, but not to the point of combustion. (USGS)

The vent for the June 27th lava flow is on the upper northeast flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. The vent area is now covered by lava, but the lava tube that carries lava to the flow front is easily visible by the line of blue-colored fume. In the lower right, two skylights can be seen. (USGS)

Map showing the June 27th flow in Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone as of August 28, 2014. The area of the flow as mapped on August 27 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as of August 28 is shown in red. All older lava flows (1983–2014) are shown in gray. The thin yellow line marks a portion of the lava tube feeding the flow. The only place where lava significantly widened the margin was at the most distant surface breakout, which was 8.6 km (5.3 miles) from the vent. The brown line at the far end of the flow marks the ground crack that channeled lava to the east, where it later emerged to form a new pad of lava. Yesterday, there was no surface activity there and no indication that lava was continuing to advance within ground cracks. This morning, however, steam was rising above a crack extending east beyond the end of the lava pad, suggesting that lava was once again advancing within a crack below ground. The most distant steaming area was 11.9 km (7.4 miles) from the vent and 2.6 km (1.6 miles) from east boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve. (USGS)


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