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Hawai‘i Volcano Overflight: Eastern Wall of Puʻu ʻŌʻō Shows Signs of Weakening

April 23, 2018, 2:37 PM HST
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A perched pond was observed within the very inflated Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater on the morning of Thursday, April 19, 2018, according to Paradise Helicopters’ crew members.

Volcanic activity continues on Kilauea’s east rift zone, primarily at Puʻu ʻŌʻō and the upper flow field, within 1.5 miles of the vent.

Most significant is the change observed at the lava lake, as its surface has risen substantially over the past couple months, especially within the last few weeks.

Due to this recent activity, U.S. Geological Survey scientists are working on a forecast of what may be a major change in the eruption on Kīlauea’s east rift zone.


A new flow that broke out a couple nights ago on the eastern flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō was still active, albeit marginally, but it may be an indication of a weakness in that eastern wall of the vent, as it is in the same general vicinity of the 61g source, Paradise Helicopters reported.


The area of recent breakouts, roughly .5 miles to the east, again hosted a large flow, and although much of it had cooled by the time the crew arrived, its leading edge and periphery gave them a lot to shoot.

Nearly all the surface flow activity was found within a mile of the vent. Only two small pahoehoe toes about a half-mile above the Pali were visible and nothing was seen downslope from there whatsoever.

The steamy flow field added to the volcanic appearance of the 61g flow with plenty of picturesque pahoehoe available for the crew’s early morning overflight.

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