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Caldera Changing, Flow Front Advancing

June 1, 2018, 1:22 PM HST (Updated June 1, 2018, 1:22 PM)
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The U.S. Geological Survey released this GIF file and photos on Friday, June 1, 2018.

This animated GIF shows a pair of radar amplitude images that were acquired by the Italian Space Agency’s Cosmo-SkyMed satellite system. The images illustrate changes to the caldera area of Kīlauea Volcano that occurred between May 23 at 6 p.m. and May 31 at 6 p.m.

The satellite transmits a radar signal at the surface and measures the strength of the return, with bright areas indicating a strong return and dark areas a weak return. Strong returns indicate rough surfaces or slopes that point back at the radar, while weak returns come from smooth surfaces or slopes angled away from the radar. The expansion of the summit eruptive vent within Halema‘uma‘u crater is clear, but differences between the images also indicate widening of Halema‘uma‘u itself, especially along the crater’s southeast edge. These changes are a consequence of rockfall into the growing summit eruptive vent, which is floored by rubble.

UAS mission films details of changes occurring within Halema‘uma‘u crater at Kīlauea’s summit

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Photo of the easternmost Fissure 8 lava flow in the vicinity of Kapoho Crater at 6 a.m. on June 1.

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This lava flow field has been advancing at about 80 yards/hour, and at 7 a.m. was about 0.85 miles west of the Four Corners intersection.

Viewed from the intersection of Nohea and Leilani Streets at 10:15 a.m. on June 1, the Fissure 8 lava fountain (to the right) appears to have decreased in height from previous sustained heights of 260 feet.

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To the left, Fissure 7 appears to be showing renewed outgassing.

Fissure 8 flow front advancing to the northeast:

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Fissure 8 continues to feed lava into multiple flow lobes. One lobe is advancing through agricultural lands toward the northeast, as shown in this image taken from a helicopter overflight on June 1, 2018, at 6:21 a.m.

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