HVO Photos & Video

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March 24, 2015 — Kīlauea


Active breakouts near Puʻu ʻŌʻō; Northeast pit in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater

Left: Breakouts are active in three general areas near Puʻu ʻŌʻō: at the northern base of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, north Kahaualeʻa, and about 6 km (4 mi) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. The distal breakout and the breakout north of Kahaualeʻa are both burning forest. There is no eruptive activity downslope from the distal breakout (nothing active near Pāhoa). Right: There are several incandescent and outgassing hornitos on the floor of Puʻu ʻŌʻō's crater, including the one shown here, which is at the northeast edge of the crater. Recent flows from the hornito appear black.

March 17, 2015 — Kīlauea


Re-establishing VLF eruption rate monitor

Left: After establishing an appropriate location to resume VLF measurements over the June 27th lava tube to estimate the cross-sectional area of lava within the tube, HVO geologists make the measurements, sometimes requiring walking through volcanic gases. Right: The VLF radio wave, transmitted from the Lualualei Naval Base on Oʻahu, is received by the handheld device. The numbers are read and recorded. These data will allow the estimation of the cross-sectional area of lava within the tube.

HVO geologists still sample lava

HVO geologists get fresh lava samples as close to the vent as possible. Once the sample is scooped from the pāhoehoe lobe, it is quickly quenched in a bucket of water to stop the growth of any crystals and to preserve the composition of the liquid lava. Once cooled, the sample is sent first to UH Hilo for quick analysis of a few components and prepared for a fuller analysis of its chemical components by a lab on the mainland. These data are used, with HVO's geophysical monitoring data, as another way to assess any changes that may be occurring within Kīlauea volcano.

Blue-glass pāhoehoe

First recognized in Kalapana in 1990, these pāhoehoe flows appear bluish with dense, glassy crusts. These lavas are generally observed later in the life of an inflated pāhoehoe flow. The degassed nature of the lava promotes the formation of solid glass, rather than bubbly, crusts. The bluish color may be the result of the natural iron and magnesium in the lava.

The upper end of the June 27th lava tube

Left: Most of the ground work today was to establish the location and estimated size of the two lava tubes coming out of the June 27th vent area on the north flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone. The area in this image is between the cone's north flank and a perched pond that formed last summer (arc-shaped feature on the right side of the image). The visual image shows the general location of the main tube before it splits downslope. Right: This infrared view of the area in Fig. 4a shows that the area is still quite hot and the tube location is possibly obscured although the few hotter strands may be indicators of the tube's location.

March 09 breakout has reached the north tree line

The March 09 breakouts, which issued from the vicinity of Puʻu Kahaualeʻa, has advanced northward (to the left) and reached the forest at the north edge of the Kahaualeʻa flows and was burning vegetation along its edges. The most recent active pāhoehoe lobes from the February 21st breakout are visible in the foreground.

Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater

Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater again hosts a small lava lake near its southern edge (lower left) in addition to a hornito in the northeast corner (near right edge of image) with several glowing holes at its top.

Active portion of the February 21st breakout

Pāhoehoe lobes continue to be active at the leading edge of the February 21st breakout.

The leading edge is completely inactive

As reported since March 12, the leading edge just upslope of the Pahoa Marketplace, is inactive. The active breakouts noted today were more than 14 km (8.7 mi) straight-line distance from the Marketplace.

March 10, 2015 — Kīlauea


Upper Tube Breakouts

Left: There were two breakouts from the upper tube system on and at the foot of Puʻu ʻŌʻō Cone (right center). The largest and most active was the breakout nearest Puʻu Kahaualeʻa in the left center of the photograph. Right: Closeup of the new breakout near Puʻu Kahaualeʻa.

The Leading Edge

The leading edge of the lobe nearest Pahoa Marketplace is still stalled but, for the past few days, a new breakout has been advancing along its southern margin and is approaching the Apaʻa St. firebreak.

Still Plenty of Breakouts

Several breakouts were active upslope of the stalled front. This breakout issued from an inflated tumulus along the north margin of the June 27th flow.

Halemaʻumaʻu

The thin crust over the lava lake within the Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook crater was moving slowly to the southeast. During our overflight, there was no spattering and wispy gas emissions allowed clear views.

March 6, 2015 — Kīlauea


Breakouts persist upslope of stalled flow front, with recent reduction in activity

The leading tip of the June 27th flow remains stalled, but breakouts persist upslope of the stalled tip. Over the past few days, summit deflation has led to a reduction in overall surface activity on the June 27th flow, particularly in the upslope portion of the flow field near Puʻu ʻŌʻō. In this photo, a recent small breakout (light colored area) has reached the flow boundary, triggering a small brush fire.

Another small breakout upslope of the stalled flow front, triggering a small brush fire. Low clouds and rain prevented wider views of the flow activity today.

Summit lava lake level has dropped with recent deflation

Summit deflation over the past few days has been associated with a steadily dropping lava lake level. This morning, the lake was 72 m (240 ft) below the rim of the Overlook crater.

February 27, 2015 — Kīlauea


Active breakouts persist upslope of stalled flow front

The leading tip of the June 27th flow remains stalled about 500 meters (550 yards) from Highway 130, but scattered breakouts remain active upslope of the stalled tip.

This comparison of a normal photograph and a thermal image shows the leading portion of the June 27th flow. The white box shows the rough extent of the thermal image. In the thermal image, the active breakouts are visible as yellow and white pixels, and these areas are scattered upslope of the stalled tip of the flow.

Left: Another view of the leading tip of the June 27th flow, looking downslope towards Highway 130. Right: This photograph looks southeast at the fork in the June 27th flow that is just west of Kaohe Homesteads. The east branch (top portion of photo) crossed Apaʻa St. and entered Pāhoa in late October, and this branch is now inactive. The west branch (lower portion of photo) has headed towards areas at the north end of Pāhoa, and remains active.

Breakout on Puʻu ʻŌʻō remains active

The breakout on the north flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō that began last weekend remains active, but has advanced only a minor distance over the past four days. The new breakout is visible as the light-colored area just to the right of the center of the photograph. Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater is in the upper left portion of the photograph.

Left: A closer look at some of the activity at the breakout on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Right: An HVO geologist sets up a time-lapse camera to monitor the breakout on Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

Clear views in Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater

This view looks north and shows Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Much of the original cone has been covered by subsequent lava flows, many of which poured out of the crater. Within the crater, a depression holds a number of smaller pits, some of which contain active lava ponds.

Left: This view looks west and shows the depression within Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater. This depression formed following the start of the June 27th lava flow. Right: A closer look at a glowing hole in the northeast pit in Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater. Recent overflows from the opening created the dark flows filling the bottom of the pit.

Left: This lava pond was active in the southern pit in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater. The diameter of the lava pond was roughly 18 m (60 ft). Weak spattering was active on the pond margin. Right: A closer look at the hole in the northeast pit. An active, bubbling lava surface could be seen a couple meters (yards) below the rim.

February 23, 2015 — Kīlauea


Breakouts persist upslope of stalled flow front; new breakout at Puʻu ʻŌʻō

The leading tip of the June 27th lava flow remains stalled, but breakouts persist upslope of the stalled tip. Today, one of these breakouts (marked by the arrow) had advanced a short distance towards the north, reaching one of the fire break roads.

This comparison of a normal photograph and a thermal image shows the position of active breakouts relative to the inactive flow tip. The white box shows the rough extent of the thermal image on the right. In the thermal image, active breakouts are visible as white and yellow areas. Although active breakouts are absent at the inactive tip of the flow, breakouts are present roughly 450 m (490 yards) behind the tip, and are also scattered further upslope.

New breakout at Puʻu ʻŌʻō

This photograph looks east, and shows the breakout on the north flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō that began over the weekend. The breakout, visible as the lighter colored region in the center of the photograph, occurred from the area of the June 27th vent (upper right portion of photograph).

Left: A small lobe of pāhoehoe on the new breakout on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Right: A closer look at some of the activity on the new breakout on the north flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

February 19, 2015 — Kīlauea


Active breakouts persist upslope of stalled flow tip

The leading tip of the June 27th flow has been stalled for several weeks, but scattered breakouts have persisted upslope. On today's overflight, one of these breakouts was active south of the stalled tip and about 650 meters (0.4 miles) northwest of the Pāhoa transfer station.

This comparison of a normal photograph and a thermal image shows the position of active breakouts relative to the inactive flow tip. The white box shows the rough extent of the thermal image on the right. In the thermal image, active breakouts are visible as white and yellow areas. Although active breakouts are absent at the inactive tip of the flow, breakouts are present roughly 500 m (550 yards) behind the tip, and are also scattered further upslope.

Left: Another view of the leading portion of the June 27th flow. Persistent breakouts a short distance upslope of the stalled tip have resulted in widening of this section of the flow. Right: Another view of the leading portion of the June 27th flow, looking upslope. Pahoa Marketplace is in the lower right corner of the photograph. Mauna Loa can be seen near the top of the photograph.

Summit eruption continues

The winds today were carrying the gas plume from Halemaʻumaʻu towards the northeast. Volcano Village is in the bottom portion of the photograph and Mauna Loa is in the upper right.

February 10, 2015 — Kīlauea


Active breakouts continue upslope of stalled flow front

The leading tip of the June 27th flow has been stalled roughly 500 meters (550 yards) upslope of Highway 130 for several weeks, but breakouts have persisted upslope of this stalled tip. Today, the closest active breakout to the flow tip was roughly 300 meters (330 yards) upslope of the tip.

This comparison of a normal photograph and a thermal image shows the position of active breakouts relative to the inactive flow tip. The white box shows the rough extent of the thermal image on the right. In the thermal image, active breakouts are visible as white and yellow areas. Although active breakouts are absent at the inactive tip of the flow, breakouts are present just a short distance behind the tip, and are also scattered further upslope.

Left: Roughly 6 km (4 miles) upslope of the stalled tip of the flow, a small breakout was active at a major fork on the June 27th flow. The lobe extending off the top of the photograph entered Pāhoa in October, and is now inactive. The lobe extending off the left edge of the photograph is the currently active lobe. Right: A breakout was also active farther upslope, closer to Puʻu ʻŌʻō. This breakout, visible as the light gray surface, has reached the forest boundary and triggered several small brush fires.

Summit eruption at Halemaʻumaʻu Crater continues

The summit lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater continues with relatively steady activity. Today, spattering was active along the south margin of the lava lake.

February 5, 2015 — Kīlauea


Active breakouts persist upslope of stalled flow front

Although the leading tip of the flow remains stalled roughly 500 meters (550 yards) upslope of Highway 130, active breakouts persist a short distance upslope of the stalled tip. These active breakouts are evident as small smoke plumes on the flow margin, where lava is burning vegetation.

This comparison of a normal photograph and a thermal image shows the position of active breakouts relative to the inactive flow tip. The white box shows the rough extent of the thermal image on the right. In the thermal image, active breakouts are visible as white and yellow areas. Although active breakouts are absent at the inactive tip of the flow, breakouts are present just a short distance behind the tip, and are also scattered further upslope.

Left: This section of the flow, which has cut through forest west of Kaohe Homesteads, is relatively narrow. In the left portion of the photograph, the flow is slightly more than 100 meters (110 yards) wide. Right: Breakouts were also active in the upper portion of the flow field today. This pāhoehoe lava is flowing over ʻaʻā erupted from Puʻu ʻŌʻō in the 1980s.

A wider view of the breakout in the upslope portion of the June 27th flow. Active surface lava was about 3.5 km (2.2 miles) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, which can be seen in the upper left corner of the photograph.

Left: The pāhoehoe breakout northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō is seen here covering older (1980s) ʻaʻā. Many pieces of the old ʻaʻā clinker were surrounded by the solidifying pāhoehoe, and then lifted by the inflating flow surface. Right: This view looks west at Puʻu ʻŌʻō. In the lower left portion of the photograph, the circular perched lava pond that was active in early July can be seen. Just to the right of this perched lava pond, a line of white fume can be seen extending to the lower right corner of the image. This fume marks the path of the subsurface lava tube for the June 27th lava flow. The vent for the June 27th flow, and the start of the lava tube, is slightly below the center point of the photograph.

January 29, 2015 — Kīlauea


Active breakouts persist upslope of stalled flow front

The leading tip of the June 27th flow has not advanced significantly over the past week, and remains roughly 500 meters (550 yards) upslope of Highway 130, west of the fire and police station. Breakouts persist upslope, however, and these areas of activity can be spotted in this photograph by small smoke plumes where the lava is burning vegetation on the flow margins.

This comparison of a normal photograph and a thermal image shows the position of active breakouts relative to the inactive flow tip. The white box shows the rough extent of the thermal image on the right. In the thermal image, active breakouts are visible as white and yellow areas. Although active breakouts are absent at the inactive tip of the flow, breakouts are present just a short distance behind the tip, and are also scattered further upslope.

Left: This photograph looks downslope, and shows the proximity of the flow front to the highway. Right: This photograph looks upslope along the ground crack system of Kīlauea's East Rift Zone. A small breakout from the lava tube is burning forest just left of the center of the photograph. In the upper left, thick fume is emitted from Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Near the top of the photograph, the snow-covered peak of Mauna Loa can be seen.

Left: In the upslope portion of the June 27th flow field, a breakout was active north of the forested cone of Kahaualeʻa. Some of this lava was the "blue glassy" type of pāhoehoe, which often represents lava that has been stored within an inflated flow for several days. Right: A closer look at the blue glassy type of pāhoehoe, whose color stands out from the more typical black lava surface on the left side of the photo. For scale the photograph width is about two meters (yards).

January 26, 2015 — Kīlauea


Left: HVO geologist taking a gps waypoint of the leading edge of the June 27th flow, which consisted of a narrow, sluggish breakout during the afternoon. Right: One of many small breakouts on the surface of the June 27th flow immediately upslope of the leading edge. Many inflation features are present on the flow, including the tumulus in upper right.

January 22, 2015 — Kīlauea


Sluggish breakouts persist near leading tip of the June 27th flow

The June 27th flow remains active near its leading tip, with breakouts scattered in the distal portion of the flow. The leading tip has not advanced significantly over the past few days, and remains about 600 meters (0.4 miles) from Highway 130.

Left: This photograph looks north, and shows the position of the leading tip of the flow relative to Highway 130. The brown swaths cut through the forest are fire breaks, and the large brown area at the left side of the image is a recent burn scar. Right: A view looking upslope at the leading tip of the flow.

January 21, 2015 — Kīlauea


Sluggish activity at leading tip of the flow

The leading tip of the most distal active portion of the June 27th lava flow remains active, but consists of small, sluggish breakouts that have not advanced a significant distance during the past two days. The leading tip of the flow remains approximately 600 meters (0.4 miles) from Highway 130.

Left: Only a handful of small breakouts were active along the leading tip of the flow. Right: Looking downslope at the leading tip of the flow, which is surrounded by burned vegetation.

January 13, 2015 — Kīlauea


Active breakouts persist upslope of stalled flow tip

The leading tip of the flow near Pahoa Marketplace remains stalled, but active breakouts persist a short distance upslope. Breakouts were active about 500 meters (0.3 miles) upslope of the stalled tip, and a portion of this activity on the north margin triggered a small brush fire.

This comparison of a normal photograph and a thermal image shows the position of active breakouts relative to the stalled flow tip. In the thermal image, active breakouts are visible as white and yellow areas. About 700 meters (0.4 miles) upslope of the stalled tip, a small lobe is expanding towards the north-northeast, and had triggered a small brush fire this morning. Breakouts were also active farther upslope, with another north-northeast advancing lobe about 2 km (1.2 miles) upslope of the stalled tip.

Left: A closer look at the leading edge of the north-northeast advancing lobe that was active about 2 km (1.2 miles) upslope of the stalled flow tip. This lobe has crossed a fire break, and a small brush fire was active along the flow margin. Right: A view of the leading edge of the flow, looking downslope towards Pahoa Marketplace and Highway 130. The brush fire was triggered along the edge of a small north-northeast advancing lobe that was active about 700 meters (0.4 miles) upslope of the stalled flow tip.

Left: This close-up view of an inactive portion of the flow margin shows the irregular surface relief created from pāhoehoe flow inflation. Right: Winds from the south provided a fairly clear view in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater. At the right side of the photograph, a thick fume source is situated on the northeast rim of the crater.

January 6, 2015 — Kīlauea


Kīlauea's East Rift Zone lava flow still active

Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow has not advanced any closer to Pahoa Marketplace, but is still active. Breakouts were also active near the True/Mid-Pacific geothermal well site, and along the distal 3 km (2 miles) of the flow, where a narrow lobe has been advancing toward the north-northeast. The view is to the southwest.

This shows a comparison of a normal photograph with a thermal image of the flow front. The white box shows the rough extent of the thermal image. White and yellow pixels in the thermal image show areas of active breakouts. Although the leading tip of the flow has stalled, the thermal image shows that active breakouts are present a short distance upslope of the stalled tip.

Left: This view, looking northeast, shows the distal part of the flow, with the flow lobe behind Pahoa Marketplace to the right and the newer north-northeast advancing lobe to the left. The north-northeast lobe is following a drainage that leads to the steepest-descent path that crosses Highway 130 about 1 km (0.6 mi) south of the Makuʻu Farmer’s Market. The flow, however, is still 3.5 km (2.2 mi) upslope from that spot and moving slowly. Right: This photo shows a closer view of the narrow north-northeast advancing lobe about 2.5 km (1.6 mi) upslope from the Pahoa Markplace. The view is to the northwest.

December 30, 2014 — Kīlauea


No change in activity at Puʻu ʻŌʻō

Left: A clear view today of Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s summit revealed no significant change during the past week. The cross-sectional area of the active lava stream in the tube on the flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō was the same as measured on December 22, suggesting no change in lava discharge from the vent. The central crater at Puʻu ʻŌʻō formed over several days following the opening of eruptive fissures on June 27; the view is looking toward the west. The distance from the high point on the northwest rim to the south rim (cliff in top middle to lower left in this photo) is about 300 m (~980 ft). Right: Close view of incandescence in spatter cone within a pit at the northeast edge of Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s crater (the smaller pit visible to the right side in the adjacent photograph). Note small flows that cover the floor of this small crater.

Slow-moving breakouts form new flow front

Left: Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow remains active upslope from the Pahoa Marketplace area, visible at lower right. The leading edge stalled on December 22, but breakouts just upslope widened the flow field and then overtook the flow front during the past few days. The new leading edge advanced the flow front about 150 m (165 yd) since December 27. The flow crossed the firebreak road on December 28. The new tip is 530 m (580 yd) upslope of the Pahoa Marketplace, and was itself stalled at the time the photo was taken. The view is to the southwest. Right: The leading part of the flow consisted of several small, active lobes this afternoon. The front of the lobe that crossed the firebreak was stalled, though breakouts were active about 50 m (55 yd) upslope. Another lobe (area of most visible smoke in center) was about 300 m (330 yd) upslope of the tip and 150 m (165 yd) upslope of the firebreak. A third lobe was 350 m (385 yd) upslope of the firebreak. The view is to the northeast.

This compares a normal photograph of the active flow front with a thermal image. The photograph has been cropped and rotated to approximate the perspective of the thermal image. The thermal image shows that small breakouts were present immediately behind the leading tip of the flow and farther upslope, indicated by the white and yellowish pixels.

December 25, 2014 — Kīlauea


Satellite image shows breakouts active upslope of stalled flow front

This satellite image was captured on Thursday, December 25, by the Advanced Land Imager instrument onboard NASA's Earth Observing 1 satellite. Although this is a false-color image, the color map has been chosen to mimic what the human eye would expect to see. Bright red pixels depict areas of very high temperatures and show active lava. White areas are clouds. The yellow outline is the flow margin as mapped on Monday, December 22.

The image above shows a close-up of the June 27th lava flow in the area of Kaohe Homesteads and Pāhoa. Although the leading tip of the flow stalled earlier this week, active breakouts have persisted a short distance upslope of this stalled front. The image shows active breakouts (red pixels) roughly 150 meters (160 yards) upslope of the stalled tip, with additional breakouts scattered upslope.

This satellite image was captured on Thursday, December 25, by the Advanced Land Imager instrument onboard NASA's Earth Observing 1 satellite. Although this is a false-color image, the color map has been chosen to mimic what the human eye would expect to see. Bright red pixels depict areas of very high temperatures and show active lava. White areas are clouds. The yellow outline is the flow margin as mapped on Monday, December 22.

The image above shows the extent of the entire June 27th lava flow, from its vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō to the flow front near Pāhoa, and provides an overview of the distribution of active breakouts on the flow. Near the vent, an area of active breakouts is present about 3 km (2 miles) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Farther downslope, breakouts are active in the area of ground cracks. Closer to the flow front, breakouts are scattered just uplslope of the stalled tip of the flow.

December 22, 2014 — Kīlauea


Scattered surface activity continues near flow front and farther upslope

Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow remains active upslope from the Pahoa Marketplace area, visible at upper left, though activity has waned over the past week. The flow was very close to a firebreak road cut several months ago. The Pahoa Transfer Station is at upper right. The view is to the southeast.

This compares a normal photograph of the active flow front with a thermal image. The white box shows the rough extent of the thermal image. In the thermal image, white and yellow pixels show areas of active breakouts. The thermal image shows that small breakouts are present near the leading tip of the flow, and that many other breakouts are active upslope.

Left: A small, but fairly vigorous, breakout was active this afternoon about 1 km (0.6 miles) behind the tip of the flow. This is the narrowest part of the flow, with a width of about 30 m (33 yards). The smoke in the distance is from surface lava near the front of the flow. The view is to the northeast. Right: This photo shows a closer view of the picturesque breakout at the narrow section of the flow.

Left: Breakouts were also active much farther upslope. Leaks from the lava tube near the True/Mid-Pacific geothermal well site (at left) have been active for a couple of weeks, and are slowly invading forest to the north. View is to the west-southwest. Right: A breakout from the lava tube has also been active on the upper part of the flow field near Puʻu ʻŌʻō since December 5. The smoke is from a narrow finger of lava burning lichen on an older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flow. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is at upper right. The view is to the south-southwest.

December 21, 2014 — Kīlauea


Satellite image shows distribution of active breakouts on June 27th lava flow

This satellite image was captured on Friday, December 19, by the Advanced Land Imager instrument onboard NASA's Earth Observing 1 satellite. Although this is a false-color image, the color map has been chosen to mimic what the human eye would expect to see. Bright red pixels depict areas of very high temperatures and show active lava. White areas are clouds.

The upslope portion of the June 27th flow, near Puʻu ʻŌʻō, is obscured by clouds, but the downslope portion of the flow near Pāhoa is relatively cloud free. The image provides a clear view of the distribution of active breakouts on this downslope portion of the flow. Surface lava is active around the leading tip of the flow, marked as "active flow front", but a short distance upslope of the leading tip there is an absence of surface breakouts. About 1.5-2 km (0.9-1.2 miles) upslope of the leading tip of the flow, many scattered breakouts are present. This image emphasizes that activity on the June 27th flow is not limited to the flow front.

December 19, 2014 — Kīlauea


Leading tip of flow has slowed, but remains active

Left: Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow continues to advance downslope toward the Pahoa Marketplace. This photo is of a small breakout from the edge of the inflated flow several hundred meters (yards) back from the active front. Right: This photo gives the general appearance of the surface of the flow, looking upslope, where the flow is narrower on slightly steeper terrain. It is normal for trees within the flow path to not burn after they topple. By the time the trees fall over, the surface crust of the flow has cooled below their ignition temperature. The photo was taken about 350 m (380 yards) behind the tip of the flow. The flow was already inflated 2 to 3 meters (yards) at this location.

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