Summit lava lake overflows, spills onto crater floor

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The lava lake at Kilauea Volcano’s summit is once again spilling lava onto the floor of Halemaumau Crater.

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The lava lake at Kilauea Volcano’s summit is once again spilling lava onto the floor of Halemaumau Crater.

Lava spilled over the rim of Overlook Crater at 10 p.m. Wednesday and 4:30 a.m. Thursday, the scientists said, noting that flows were still spreading onto the floor of Halemaumau shortly before 8 a.m. The lava lake itself remains close to the Overlook Crater rim, which overflows have built up several yards from the original floor of Halemaumau.

Scientists said there was a slight inflationary tilt at the summit of Kilauea Volcano during the past day, however, the trend may have ended early Thursday morning. During inflation, magma rises into the summit reservoir, according to the observatory. The summit reservoir enters the deflation portion of the cycle when the magma moves laterally into a rift zone and either erupts or is stored there.

Seismicity is also elevated beneath Kilauea’s summit, as well as along the East and Southwest Rift Zones, scientists said.

At the East Rift Zone eruption site, a deflationary tilt continued at Puu Oo as lava spread onto the crater floor.

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Surface flows remained active within about 5 miles of the vent. Most of the flows are located within 2 miles of the vent and being fed by a breakout that occurred Feb. 21, they added.

The U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory on March 25 downgraded its alert level for Kilauea Volcano from a “warning” to a “watch.”

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