One of the more vigorous vents, in the lower left, is topped by a 20-foot tall spatter cone. The flow from this vent cascades down several steps, joining the flow from two other nearby vents, before flowing under a small bridge and into the broad area of ponded lava to the west.
Pu`u `O? `o? crater, following the collapse of the crater floor on August 3, has been filled with thick fume. A very tiny flow, visible only with a thermal camera, was active on the crater floor.
This thermal image, looking southwest, shows the very small flow, at the bottom of the image, active in the bottom of Pu`u `O? `o? crater. In the upper right, the active flows on the lower west flank of Pu`u `O? `o? can be seen.
Bright orange pahoehoe lava continues to flow on the west flank of Pu’u ‘O’o crater, feeding an elongated lava pond that, turns into a crumbly ‘a’a lava flow as it moves downslope, a video and photos taken by scientists at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory show.
Lava vents have formed splatter cones and fingers of lava can be seen flowing and pooling before the crust hardens into an ‘a’a flow.
In the crater itself, an ‘a’a flow and lava trickle into Pu’u ‘O’o. But the view inside the crater is mostly obscured by steam and rising gases. The lava can, however, be seen in thermal images.
The latest outbreak of lava from Pu’u ‘O’o began on Aug. 3 and is part of a fill-and-and-drain cycle typical of summit lava lakes, scientists said.
The lava flows are part of a the larger Kilauea eruption that began in 1983. Scientists call the current phase of the eruption the Kamoamoa fissure eruption.
It began on March 5 when lava began fountaining in the Kamoamoa area between Pu’u ‘O’o and Napau craters. When the fountaining stopped, lava began building in Pu’u ‘O’o crater, forming a lava lake which drained in a dramatic collapse on Aug. 3 when the current lava flow began.