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6 April 2002

Upsurge in activity at Pu`u `O`o

Looking down on southwestern part of Pu`u `O`o, showing active lava lakes in the main crater (upper left), the Episode 55 pit (nearest camera), and Puka Nui, just above and right of Episode 55 pit. The small West Gap Pit along left edge of view is inactive.

Overview of west part of Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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Lava lake in Puka Nui, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Dark `a`a that spilled from Puka Nui, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Puka Nui. Left. Active lava lake and spillover from crater of Puka Nui. View looks east. Right. Dark `a`a flow, about 1 km long, from spill out of Puka Nui crater. Fuming cone of Pu`u `O`o looms above Puka Nui, which has been eating into the cone for several years.
Active January and East Pond vents, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Overturning sweeping counterclockwise across Pu`u `O`o's lava lake, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Active vents on floor of Pu`u `O`o, viewed from north rim. Left. January cone, in center of photo, is the most active today, but East Pond Vent, near left edge, is putting out a healthy amount of lava, too. Short flows from the two vents have built a high-standing mound. Smooth crust in foreground is on a lava lake that nearly encircles the mound. The "rippled" surface of the lake crust attests to a previous episode of overturning (see photo below). Right. Crust on the lava lake is overturning, sweeping toward camera in a counterclockwise direction. East Pond Vent is actively spattering and supplying lava into the lake. Crater rim is about 17 m above the black "bathtub ring" marking the high stand of the lake.
South Wall complex and drainback hole in Pu`u `O`o's lava lake, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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January vent feeding lava into Pu`u `O`o's lava lake, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Left. A drainback hole in the lake roars and spits spatter, while in the distance, above and left of the hole, a cone at the South Wall Complex tosses out spatter from its incandescent top. These features are between the January cone and the Beehive vent, which today is inactive. Right. Nearly continuous gush of lava from the January vent; this lava flows down the mound around the vent and enters the lava lake.

18 April 2002

Scenes around Pu`u `O`o and Puka Nui

Aerial view of crater of Pu`u `O`o looking west, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Floor of Pu`u `O`o's crater viewed from east rim, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Left. Aerial view looking west-southwest over the cone and crater of Pu`u `O`o. Right. Floor of crater, viewed from east rim, showing East Pond Vent (nearest camera), January 2002 Vent (directly behind East Pond Vent), and South Wall Complex (with fan of flows spilling onto floor directly behind January 2002 Vent). Note the dark mantle of spatter coating East Pond Vent. Puka Nui is outside the crater but along a projection of the line of vents inside the crater. The inactive Beehive Vent fumes in upper right.
Ground view of part of Puka Nui, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Close-up of active vent in Puka Nui, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Left. Ground view of southeastern part of Puka Nui, the large crater biting into the southwestern part of Pu`u `O`o. Large view shows spattering from the vent shown in the photo to right. Right. Closer view of this part of Puka Nui, showing one of the active vents in the crater and a small, shelly pahoehoe flow. The larger flow shown below right was extruded from this vent a couple of hours after this photo was taken.
Flow from Puka Nui, possibly of April 5-6, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Active flow from Puka Nui, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Aerial views of southeastern part of Puka Nui. Left. View taken in the morning, before an active flow had covered much of the dark flow of April 5-6. Right. Shiny active flow later in the day, covering the older flow and extending to a small, unnamed crater in lower left. Volcanologists' trail indents the tephra low on Pu`u `O`o.

25 April 2002

Activity in crater of Pu`u `O`o

Aerial view of crater of Pu`u `O`o looking southwest, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Aerial view of active lava lake looking east, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Left. Aerial view looking southwest across the eastern part of the floor of Pu`u `O`o's crater. East Pond Vent stands tall, January 2002 Cone is toward center of floor, and South Wall Complex fumes in background. Shiny crust caps active lava flows. Ground photos below were taken from the nearest rim of the crater. Right. Aerial oblique view of east end of the crater, showing East Pond Vent with its incandescent top, January 2002 Cone near right edge, and overturning crust on lava lake between east crater wall and East Pond Vent.
East Pond Vent and January Cone in Pu`u `O`o's crater, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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East Pond Vent and January Cone in Pu`u `O`o's crater, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Views from east crater rim of eruptive activity in late afternoon. Left. Lava gushes from January 2002 Cone into growing lake as the tall East Pond Vent spits out spatter. Right. Lava flows onto crater floor from a vent in the South Wall Complex, behind the January 2002 Cone and the East Pond Vent.
East crater wall and adjacent lava lake, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Crustal overturning near East Pond vent, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Left. Person on east crater rim, with thinly crusted lava lake below. The crust has been freshly renewed after an episode of overturning. The wall is about 12 m high. Right. Crustal overturning in front of East Pond Vent. The widest swath of liquid is overriding the crust to the right, weighting it and causing it to sink a few seconds later. For some reason, the overturns in the lake have consistently progressed counter-clockwise across the surface.
Crustal overturning on lava lake at Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Close-up of crustal overturning on crater lake at Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Left. Note how the crust breaks into plates as it is starting to sink into the lighter, bubbly lava. Right. Yes, Virginia, there is lava beneath that rock, oozing up and to the right.

Maps of lava-flow field, Kilauea Volcano

Map of flows from Pu`u `O`o: 25 February 2002

Map of lava flows on south coastal part of Kilauea Volcano as of 25 February 2002

Map shows lava flows erupted during the 1983-present activity of Pu`u `O`o and Kupaianaha (see large map). The flows in January and February 2002 are shown in dark red; they were fed by several rootless shields located directly above the lava tube at elevations between 2,200 and 2,050 feet. In addition, narrow streams of lava, mainly within tubes, have been descending Pulama pali along the west side of the Dec. 2000-Jan. 2002 flow field; this lava, which comes from a breakout just above the pali, is heading for the 1999 shatter ring. The most recent ocean entries at East Kupapa`u and Kamoamoa stopped in mid January and late January respectively.

Most of the recent flows between December 2000 and December 2002 were fed from breakout points at 2300-1700 feet, above the Pulama pali.


Eruption-viewing opportunities change constantly, so refer to this page often. Those readers planning a visit to Kilauea or Mauna Loa volcanoes can get much useful information from Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park; be sure to click on the IN-DEPTH button.


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The URL of this page is http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/multimedia/archive/2002/Apr/
Contact: hvowebmaster@usgs.gov
Updated: 4 May 2002 (DAS)