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Photos: Summit, Spattering Builds Cinder Cone & Ocean Entry

June 16, 2018, 7:56 PM HST
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The U.S. Geological Survey released these photos of the East Rift Zone on Saturday, June 16, 2018.

At Kīlauea Volcano’s summit, inward slumping of the rim and walls of Halema‘uma‘u continues in response to ongoing subsidence.

In this view to the southwest taken after this morning’s event, a section of dark-colored wall rock (center left) has detached and dropped downward into the crater. Click to enlarge.

Lava fountains from the 170 feet-tall Fissure 8 spatter cone pulsed to heights of 185 to 200 feet overnight. Lava continues to flow through the well-established channel to the ocean at Kapoho. Occasionally, lava spills over the channel levees.

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Fissure 8 produces a lava fountain that pulses to heights of 185 to 200 feet. Spattering has built a cinder cone that partially encircles fissure 8, now 170 feet tall at its highest point.

The steam in the foreground is the result of heavy morning rain falling on warm (not hot) tephra (lava fragments). Click to enlarge.

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Lava from fissure 8 travels about 8 miles down a well established channel (visible in the center of the image) to an ocean entry at Kapoho. Lava is building a seaward delta that is approximately 320 acres in size.

The view is to the southwest with the Kapoho area in the lower right. The white plume is the vigorous ocean entry at Vacationland. Click to enlarge.

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View of the active ocean entry in the vicinity of Vacationland.

The interaction of hot lava with the ocean creates “laze”, a corrosive seawater plume laden with hydrochloric acid and fine volcanic particles that can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs, but that dissipates quickly with distance. Click to enlarge.

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The ocean entry remained fairly broad with laze blown onshore. Fissures 16 and 18 continue to ooze lava. Fissure 8, the channel, and the ocean entry are relatively stable with only a small amount of expansion at the southern boundary of the flow near the coast and south of Vacationland.

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Pele’s hair and other lightweight volcanic glass fragments from the lava fountain at Fissure 8 continue to fall downwind of the fissure, dusting the ground within a few hundred yards of the vent. High winds may waft lighter particles to greater distances. Residents are urged to minimize exposure to these volcanic particles, which can cause skin and eye irritation similar to volcanic ash.

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