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    March 2016
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USGS Update – Lava Breakouts and Small Lobe Advancing Through Forest

Breakouts persist northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, with scattered activity along the north margin of the flow field at the forest boundary.


One narrow lobe of lava has pushed through forest over the past few weeks, and is 7.6 km (4.7 miles) northeast of the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. This photo looks southwest, and the front of the narrow lobe is in the foreground, with Puʻu ʻŌʻō near the top of the photo. The breakouts active at the forest boundary along the northern flow margin can be seen by their smoke plumes along the right side of the photo.

Another view, looking west, showing the activity along the forest boundary and northern flow margin.


Scattered breakouts were burning forest in this area. In the upper left portion of the image, Puʻu ʻŌʻō can be seen.

The altered and fractured rim of Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater is prone to small collapses.

hvo326cPortions of the eastern crater rim, shown here, have collapsed onto the crater floor, covering the recent lava flows with rubble.

In the western portion of Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater, there has been a small pit for nearly a year.

hvo326dThe pit is about 60 m (200 feet) wide, and a small circular lava pond resides beneath the overhanging west rim of this pit.


HVO geologists walk along the edge of the inner crater in Puʻu ʻŌʻō, making stops periodically to perform laser rangefinder measurements of crater dimensions.

Halemaʻumaʻu lava lake remains active

Last Saturday, March 19, marked the 8-year anniversary of the start of Kīlauea’s ongoing summit eruption in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater.


Halemaʻumaʻu spans much of the width of this photo, and the small inner crater in the foreground is the Overlook crater, which contains the active lava lake. The gas plume at this time was originating from a spattering area in the southern portion of the lake, obscured by the crater wall from this angle.


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