East Rift Zone Photos, July 3

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The U.S. Geological Survey released these photos of the East Rift Zone on Tuesday, July 3, 2018.

Lava continues to flow from fissure 8, in Kīlauea’s lower East Rift Zone

During the overnight hours, the UAS (Unoccupied Aircraft Systems) team flew sections of the lower East Rift Zone, monitoring Fissure 8 activity and reports of small overflows from the lava channel.

This view of Fissure 8 and the upper lava channel shows roiling lava fountains remaining within the cinder cone and a flowing incandescent channel. July 3, 2018. PC: USGS

The black jigsaw-like features in the lower center, are pieces of cooled lava crust flowing on the surface of the channel.


Fissure 8 and the upper lava channel, viewed from the early morning helicopter overflight of the lower East Rift Zone.

Fissure 8: Recent heavy rains have soaked into the still-warm tephra and the moisture rises as steam (right side of lava channel). July 3, 2018. PC: USGS

Evolution of a blocked channel

A blockage of rafted material within the lava channel causes lava to flow over its banks near the Kapoho cone.

In this section of the lava channel a cold lava flow from the 1960 eruption forms a barrier on the north side, which initially directed the channel to the southeast. July 3, 2018. PC: USGS


A constriction in the channel formed at the bend where chunks of cooled rafted lava were able to accumulate and block the flow.

While observing this area of the fissure 8 lava channel near Kapoho cone during the morning overflight, geologists witnesed an “apartment-building-sized” blockage within the channel give way and be pushed down stream by the pressurized lava behind.

The dark portion within the red channel is the freed blockage July 3, 2018. PC: USGS

Lava continues to overflow behind the bend and form a cooled black crust. The more quickly flowing lava at the bend has very little crust.


Sunrise at Halema‘uma‘u illuminates steep crater walls and piles of rock rubble

Inward slumping of Halema‘uma‘u continues in response to ongoing subsidence at Kīlauea Volcano’s summit.

Halema‘uma‘u on July 3, 2018. PC: USGS

This image, taken from a temporary observation post located at Volcano House, shows steep walls on the western side of the crater and sloping piles of rubble from rockfall events.

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