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Lava Flow Continues to Ocean – 2.7 Miles Long Today

The active surface flow from Puʻu ʻŌʻō is still advancing slowly downslope and was 4.4 km (2.7 miles) long when mapped today. Averaged over the past six days, the flow has been advancing at a rate of about 200 m (220 yards) per day.

The coastal plain and ocean are in the far distance. The active flow is creeping across some of the last-exposed ʻAʻā flows erupted from Puʻu ʻŌʻō in the 1980's. (CLICK TO ENLARGE PHOTOS)

The coastal plain and ocean are in the far distance. The active flow is creeping across some of the last-exposed ʻAʻā flows erupted from Puʻu ʻŌʻō in the 1980’s. (CLICK TO ENLARGE PHOTOS)

At that rate, it will take about 10 days to reach the top of Pūlama pali, which is in the middle distance about 2 km (1.2 miles) farther downslope.

This view is of the front of the active lava flow, looking upslope. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is partly obscured in the clouds at upper left. Most surface activity on the advancing flow is actually where the flow widens, upslope of the flow front.

This view is of the front of the active lava flow, looking upslope. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is partly obscured in the clouds at upper left. Most surface activity on the advancing flow is actually where the flow widens, upslope of the flow front.

The uppermost part of the nascent lava tube has several skylights, which reveal the lava stream within the flow, like capillaries beneath the skin

This is the uppermost skylight, just downstream from where the lava broke out from the east flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō on May 24.

This is the uppermost skylight, just downstream from where the lava broke out from the east flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō on May 24.

The lava stream was flowing toward the photographer in this photo. Higher lava levels are preserved in the shelf-like protrusions on the darker orange wall to the left.

The lava stream was flowing toward the photographer in this photo. Higher lava levels are preserved in the shelf-like protrusions on the darker orange wall to the left.

Several vents have opened on Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s northeast flank since last December. A spatter cone grew over one of the vents in mid-May and is visible at the center of the photo emitting bluish fume. In recent weeks, a vent opened upslope from (to the left of) the spatter cone, revealing bright incandescence.

The northeast edge of Puʻu ʻŌʻō's crater, filled with white fume, is to the left of this vent.

The northeast edge of Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s crater, filled with white fume, is to the left of this vent.

Though difficult to photograph, aerial views showed that this open vent was but a small window into a large, hot cavity beneath Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s northeast flank. Inside, streams of lava from an unseen source (or sources) closer to the crater rim (visible at lower right) were cascading toward the upper left into unknown depths.

This view, looking almost straight down, shows the surface of one of these lava streams through the open vent. The ground around this entire area is sunken, corroded, and unstable, and may someday collapse to form a pit.

This view, looking almost straight down, shows the surface of one of these lava streams through the open vent. The ground around this entire area is sunken, corroded, and unstable, and may someday collapse to form a pit.

One Response

  1. I live on the lava in Kalapana- see : norman and
    Heidi-ho on youtube

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