Geologists spot new lava flow at Kilauea


Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologists reported Monday that a small amount of molten lava had erupted from a vent below the Halemauma Overlook on the summit of Kilauea Volcano.

While the amount of lava was small -- the largest fragments, described as "blobs," were four inches in size -- it represented the first lava flow from anywhere in the volcano's Halemaumau Crater since 1982. Last Wednesday, the crater exploded for the first time in nearly a century and scattered boulders and rock debris, but no lava.

The park reported no injuries due to the eruptions.

According to the latest report from the observatory, the continuous emission of ash from a new gas vent in Halemaumau Crater has turned a formerly white cloud of fume a dusty brown. Hawaii aviation agencies have been notified of the potential hazard to aircraft.

No additional closures in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park have been reported (see related story for closures). Tradewinds are blowing most of the gas fumes away from the park, keeping levels within safe limits in the areas that remain open. The observatory, which is located within the park, has geologists who are monitoring the situation.

To contact reporter Margaret Myre, send e-mail to [email protected].


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