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Kīlauea Volcano Overflight: Hawai‘i Island Lava Delta Persists

August 29, 2017, 7:54 AM HST (Updated August 29, 2017, 7:54 AM)
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Many picturesque surface flows continue—mostly above the Pali, said Tropical Visions Video photographer and videographer Mick Kalber about last week’s Paradise Helicopters overflight of Kīlauea Volcano and the surrounding area on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017.

Rainy weather rendered the Puʻu ʻŌʻō vent inaccessible on Thursday.

“The lava delta at Kamokuna continues to resist collapse—at all odds,” Kalber added.

The Kamokuna ocean entry continues to create new land, adding mass to the growing delta.

Stress fractures in the bench continue to increase in width, indicating the growing likelihood of a collapse occurring in the near future.

Two weeks ago, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated the bench at nearly seven acres.

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“Our guess is that it’s possibly two acres larger now and remarkably, still intact,” said Kalber.

Collapse is inevitable as the bench continues to slump, but exactly when is anybody’s guess.

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