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Kamokuna Lava Ocean Entry Continues – Delta Forming

The Kamokuna ocean entry continues, and is approximately 250 m (820 ft) wide. Pāhoehoe activity on the coastal plain continues to widen the flow upslope of the emergency access road.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Photo comparison of the emergency access road from July 25, the day the lava first crossed (left), and today August 5 (right).

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The flow is now approximately 200 m (650 ft) wide on the road and has inflated to a few meters tall (HVO geologist for scale).

USGS is warning about a Delta forming:

As the loose debris builds a foundation forward and upward, small lava flows spread atop the debris to form a lava delta above sea level that may extend tens to hundreds of meters beyond the old shoreline.

Sketch by J. Johnson, 2000

Sketch by J. Johnson, 2000

At the same time, the entire delta can slowly sink as the submarine debris pile shifts under the weight of the overlying lava flows; recent studies of several growing lava deltas showed that they subsided several centimeters per month. This new land is extremely unstable!

More on Deltas here:  http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/hazards/oceanentry/deltacollapse/

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