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Kahaualea 2 lava flow continues to consume forest

  • COURTESY HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORYThe front of the Kahaualea 2 flow has cut a narrow swath through forest northeast of Puu Oo, as shown in this photo taken Wednesday. The narrow lobe at the front is now inactive, with the main area of surface flows about 1.2 miles behind the end of this lobe.
    COURTESY HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY
    The front of the Kahaualea 2 flow has cut a narrow swath through forest northeast of Puu Oo, as shown in this photo taken Wednesday. The narrow lobe at the front is now inactive, with the main area of surface flows about 1.2 miles behind the end of this lobe.
  • COURTESY HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORYIn this thermal image, thee vent for the Kahaualea 2 flow is at the northeast spatter cone, and the lava tube supplying the Kahaualea 2 flow is obvious as the line of elevated temperatures extending to the lower right corner.
    COURTESY HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY
    In this thermal image, thee vent for the Kahaualea 2 flow is at the northeast spatter cone, and the lava tube supplying the Kahaualea 2 flow is obvious as the line of elevated temperatures extending to the lower right corner.
  • COURTESY HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORYThis photo, taken Wednesday, looks southwest, and shows Puu Oo. The northeast spatter cone on the east rim of the crater is near the center of the photo, and is the vent area for the Kahaualea 2 flow. The lava tube feeding the Kahaualea 2 flow extends from the northeast spatter cone down the north flank of Puu Oo, in a direct line towards the lower right corner of the photo.
    COURTESY HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY
    This photo, taken Wednesday, looks southwest, and shows Puu Oo. The northeast spatter cone on the east rim of the crater is near the center of the photo, and is the vent area for the Kahaualea 2 flow. The lava tube feeding the Kahaualea 2 flow extends from the northeast spatter cone down the north flank of Puu Oo, in a direct line towards the lower right corner of the photo.
  • COURTESY HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORYThis thermal image of the same area shows the front of the Kahaualea 2 flow. A narrow lobe at the very front is now inactive — evident by the slightly lower surface temperatures, while the main area of active surface flows — shown by white areas —  are farther back from this leading edge.
    COURTESY HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY
    This thermal image of the same area shows the front of the Kahaualea 2 flow. A narrow lobe at the very front is now inactive — evident by the slightly lower surface temperatures, while the main area of active surface flows — shown by white areas — are farther back from this leading edge.

A spatter cone on the floor of Puu Oo crater continued Saturday to feed Kilauea’s Kahaualea 2 lava flow, which extends 4.5 miles to the north.

But the last mile and a half of the flow has stalled, with most activity about 3 miles northeast of Puu Oo, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

Cameras show several spots of burning forest.

Feeding Kahaualea 2 is the northeast spatter cone.

Puu Oo’s northwest spatter cone is merely "dribbling" lava, the agency reports.

A fissure eruption on the upper east flank of Puu Oo on Sept. 21, 2011, drained the lava lakes and fed a lava flow, the so-called Peace Day flow, that advanced southeast through the abandoned Royal Gardens subdivision to the ocean within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in early December 2011.

The flows stalled and re-entered the ocean starting on Nov. 24, 2012, until activity started to decline and the ocean entry halted on Aug. 20. The flow was dead by early November.

The Kahaualea flow, which started from the spatter cone/lava lake at the northeast edge of the Puu Oo crater floor in mid-January, was dead by late April, but a new flow, informally called Kahaualea 2, became active in the same area in early May.

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