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Lava Breakouts Remain Active Around Ground Crack System and Well Site

The farthest downslope breakouts today are still situated around the ground crack system, near the abandoned well site. The front of these breakouts was about 500 m (0.3 miles) northeast of the well site, and about 1.9 km (1.2 miles) west of Kaohe Homesteads.

These breakouts were covering the existing flow and burning forest on its margins.  (Click to enlarge)

These breakouts were covering the existing flow and burning forest on its margins. (Click to enlarge)

Much of the active lava was covering the existing flow around the ground crack system, with small portions entering the forest at the flow margins.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The activity in the forest triggered brush fires and frequent methane explosions.

An HVO geologist examines a ground crack into which lava was pouring near the flow margin, producing large amounts of steam.  Click to enlarge

An HVO geologist examines a ground crack into which lava was pouring near the flow margin, producing large amounts of steam. Click to enlarge

Satellite Image Shows Active Lava Breakouts on Flow Field

This image was captured on Wednesday, February 13, by the Advanced Land Imager sensor aboard NASA’s Earth Observing 1 satellite.

Satellite image courtesy of Hawaii Volcano Observatory

Satellite image courtesy of Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Although this is a false-color image, the color map has been chosen to mimic what the human eye would expect to see. Bright red pixels depict areas of very high temperatures, and show active or very recently active lava flows. The image shows three general areas of active breakouts.

  • First, flows have been active for several weeks northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and have reached about 2 km (1.2 miles) from the Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater rim.
  • Second, breakouts have been active above the pali, about 5 km (3.1 miles) southeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.
  • Third, several scattered breakouts have been active on the coastal plain, with several patches very close to the shoreline above the active ocean entry. Satellite images such as this help fill in observational gaps between field visits.