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Over 6,000 Acres Covered by Lava from Hawaii’s Kilauea

  • The USGS noted that, though Fissure 8 is the only active channel, there was weak activity is detected from fissure 22.

    The USGS noted that, though Fissure 8 is the only active channel, there was weak activity is detected from fissure 22. | Photo: Reuters

Published 26 June 2018
Opinion

Two dozen fissures have surfaced since the volcano first erupted.

Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano has now covered some 9.6 square miles or 6,144 acres of ground with lava since the eruptions began in early May.

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A recent United States Geological Survey (USGS) map shows that lava is actively flowing from a fissure in Leilani Estates. Two dozen fissures have surfaced since the volcano first erupted.

“Given the dynamic nature of Kilauea's lower East Rift Zone eruption, with changing vent locations, fissures starting and stopping, and varying rates of lava effusion, map details shown here are accurate as of the date and time noted,” the USGS states.

“Fountains from Fissure 8 spatter cone continue to supply lava to the open channel with only small, short-lived overflows. The spatter cone is now 180 ft tall at its highest point, and fountains only occasionally rise above that point.”

The USGS noted that, though Fissure 8 is the only active channel, there was weak activity is detected from fissure 22. On Monday, activity equivalent to a magnitude-5.3 earthquake shook the volcano's summit. Plumes of steam and ash shot 2,000 feet into the sky, on Saturday, as well as gas emissions and acid rain.

“The lava flow front at the coast broadened southward and is now nearly 2 miles in width. Lava is entering the sea this morning on the southern side of the flow front primarily through the open channel, but also along a one-kilometer (0.6 miles) wide area marked by billowing laze plumes.

“Shaded purple areas indicate lava flows erupted in 1840, 1955, 1960, and 2014 to 2015.”

The volcano, located on the Big Island, continues to erupt for the eighth-straight week, authorities say. Kilauea is, so far, responsible for the destruction of some 650 homes in the Leilani Estates subdivision of Puna.

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