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A volcano update is being hosted by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory in collaboration with the Emergency Management Office of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.


Kilauea lava flows entering ocean again

Banana lava ocean entry off Wilipe`a lava delta, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'iLava flows erupting from Kilauea Volcano have once again reached the ocean, and they are slowly building new land on the southeast coast of Hawai`i Island. Lava began spilling into the ocean on May 30-31. Visitors to the Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park interested in viewing the activity along the coast are encouraged to be prepared for potentially hazardous conditions by looking at the fact sheet Viewing Hawai`i's Lava Safely—Common Sense is Not Enough.

Banana lava ocean entry off Wilipe`a lava delta, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'iNearly a year ago, on July 9, 2003, the lava tube system feeding flows to the ocean began breaking down, causing a series of breakouts and numerous surface flows between the Pu`u `O`o vent and the coast. Hundreds of breakouts occurred between July 2003 and May 2004 within about 5 km of the vent. In April 2004, one of these flows, termed the Banana flow, started to advance down Pulama pali, eventually reaching the coastal flat on May 2. It took nearly a month for the Banana flow to creep across the flat and enter the sea. For an overview of the current eruption, see The Pu`u `O`o-Kupaianaha Eruption of Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii, 1983 to 2003.

 
Archive of previous feature stories

  View of lava spattering in crater of Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i
Photograph by C. Heliker
12 September 2003
Top: Within minutes of erupting on the crater floor of Pu`u `O`o, lava drains back into the East Pond Vent and causes vigorous lava spattering as high as 10 m. The flow and drainback lasted only a few minutes. Such activity is probably caused by rising bubbles of gas that lift lava to the surface. The crust breaks, allowing gas to escape vigorously and drive brief spattering or a low fountain. When most of the gas has been lost, lava drains back into the vent. This activity is called gas pistoning. For full sequence of images, see September 2003 archive.

Bottom: Lava spattering from the west vent in West Gap Pit of Pu`u `O`o sails over a hornito on the rim of the pit, now filled with lava. Several flows spilled from the pit down the northwest flank of Pu`u `O`o, adding yet more lava to the west shield. The hornito and West Gap Pit were present before this most recent activity.

Archive of Featured Photographs

  Lava spattering from the West Gap Pit on the west flank of Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea Volcano
Photograph by C. Heliker
3 October 2003

 

More Volcano Information from HVO and Beyond

Earthquake seismogramReport a felt earthquake to HVO using this form.
More USGS Volcano Web sites

Volcano WatchCurrent issue of Volcano Watch essay, written weekly by USGS scientists.
National Park ServiceHawai`i Volcanoes National Park, home to HVO. Find visitor information and resources here. Graphic: Kids DoorVolcanoes for kids, from the Volcano World website.