HVO: Kilauea lava lake continues to grow

  • The lava lake within Halemaʻumaʻu crater is seen about 6:30 a.m. Thursday. (USGS)

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported reported “no signifant change” to the ongoing eruption within Kilauea’s Halemaʻumaʻu crater.

Lava activity remained confined to Halemaʻumaʻu from two vents on the north and northwest sides of the crater as of Thursday morning, the observatory said. The northwest vent, which is located on the lowest down-dropped block within Halemaʻumaʻu crater, was intermittently active while the north vent remained the most vigorous.

As of 7 a.m., the growing crater lake was 554 feet deep, an increase of 39 feet from the day prior, according to the observatory. The approximate surface area was 69 acres and the lake shape was still roughly oval with an east-west length of 780 yards and a north-south width of 500 yards.

An island of cooler, solidified lava within the lava lake has been getting smaller and drifting eastward in the lake. It appeared to be about 150 yards in diameter as of Thursday mroning.

Meanwhile, the volcano continues to pump out high levels of sulfur dioxide (SO2). Sulfur dioxide emission rates are estimated at around 35,000 to 40,000 tons per day. Those emissions make up “vog,” or volcanic smog that’s typically fanned by southerly winds across the Ka‘u District, hitting first areas like Pahala, Naalehu and Ocean View, before getting caught up in sea breezes that bring it toward West Hawaii and onshore. Get the latest vog forecast here.

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