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USGS HVO Report – Current Configuration of Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater

Puʻu ʻŌʻō has changed dramatically over the years. This map shows the configuration of Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s current crater (outlined in yellow) and vents (marked in red).

hvo167

The base image is a mosaic created from photographs captured during a helicopter overflight on January 19, 2016. The current crater, with a maximum width of about 290 m (317 yd), is nested within a much larger crater that was present in early 2011. The current crater is about 20 m (66 ft) deep and has distinct embayments at its northeast, northwest, and south sides. These embayments were pits when the current crater formed in mid-2014. A short distance west of the current crater is a 50-m- (~165-ft-) wide pit, informallly called the West pit, that contains a 25-m- (~80-ft-) wide lava pond. The source of the currently active June 27th lava flow is a vent on the northeast flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, about 250 m (273 yd) downslope from the crater rim.

This photo looks north-northwest at the northeast embayment at Puʻu ʻŌʻō, showing the vent (a spatter cone) on the floor of the embayment.

hvo168

The heavy fume on the rim of the embayment is another vent.

This photo, also of the northeast embayment at Puʻu ʻŌʻō, is interesting because it shows the lava tube for the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow, active during 2013 and 2014, exposed high on the crater wall.

hvo169

The Kahaualeʻa 2 flow is the lava flow that preceded the currently active June 27th lava flow, which began June 27, 2014.

This photo, looking to the west, shows the two spatter cones that mark vents on the floor of the southern embayment in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater.

This photo, looking to the west, shows the two spatter cones that mark vents on the floor of the southern embayment in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater.

This photo looks north into the northwest embayment at Puʻu ʻŌʻō. The spatter cone on edge of the embayment (the dark object nearly surrounded by white staining) has not fed lava flows for several months, but incandescent holes on the spatter cone (not visible in this photo) show that lava still resides beneath it.

hvo171

The fume in the distance at upper right is from the June 27th flow lava tube.

This photo looks west toward the West pit on Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

This photo looks west toward the West pit on Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

The West pit, as seen in this photo looking west, contains a small lava pond that is tucked partly back under the pit’s overhanging southwest wall.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The walls are, in fact, overhanging most of the pit’s circumference, making the pit wider at the bottom than at the top.

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