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Latest USGS Eruption Photos

April 4, 2015

Breakouts remain active in three general areas near Puʻu ʻŌʻō: 1) at the northern base of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, 2) just north of Kahaualeʻa, and 3) the most distal breakout, about 6 km (4 miles) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. This photograph shows much of the most distal breakout, a portion of which was burning forest. Puʻu ʻŌʻō can be seen near the top of the photograph. (USGS)

The following images were released by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (USGS) (Dated April 3, 2015). Note: the 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)

The breakout north of Kahaualeʻa has one lobe that has traveled along the west side of the perched lava channel that was active in late 2007. This breakout consists of blue glassy pāhoehoe, which is easily visible in the photograph on the left. The white box shows the rough extent of the thermal image on the right. Active (flowing) portions of the breakout are shown by yellow and white colors, while the red and purple areas show hot, but solidified, portions of the surface crust. (USGS)

In the time since our last overflight (March 24), a new collapse pit has formed in the western portion of Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater. This circular pit can be seen in the lower left portion of the photograph, and measures about 27 m (roughly 90 ft) in diameter. Numerous hot cracks were observed in this general area during previous visits on foot. (USGS)

A closer look at the new pit in the western portion of Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater. Views inside the crater with the naked eye were obscured by thick fume, but the thermal images (right) revealed two areas of ponded lava, separated by a pile of collapse rubble, deep within the pit. Measurements using the thermal camera images indicated that the lava pond surface was roughly 24 m (about 80 ft) below the rim of the pit. (USGS)

A closer look at the lava flow field near Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is in the upper left portion of the photograph. Slightly above and to the right of the center of the photograph, the light colored area of lava is the active breakout (which started on February 21) on the north flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. The small forested cone of Kahaualeʻa is just to the left of the center of the photograph. (USGS)

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field. The area of the flow on March 24 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as of April 3 is shown in red. (USGS)

his map overlays georegistered mosaics of thermal images collected during a helicopter overflight of the three areas of breakouts near Puʻu ʻŌʻō on April 3. The perimeter of the flow at the time the imagery was acquired is outlined in yellow. Temperature in the thermal mosaics is displayed as gray-scale values, with the brightest pixels indicating the hottest areas (white areas are active breakouts). (USGS)

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