Saturday, November 28, 2015         

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Volcanic energy remains high

Lava from Kilauea is still on the move as the eruption continues

By Star-Advertiser staff


Kilauea Volcano continues to exhibit the energy of a teenager as the current eruption approaches its 28th birthday.

Lava has been flowing from the so-called 2007 Thanksgiving Eve breakout vent at Kilauea Volcano's east rift zone, feeding surface flows to the sea west of Kalapana, and from an eruptive vent deep within the east wall of Halemaumau Crater.

The latter produces a glow visible at night from the Jaggar Museum.

Meanwhile, U.S. Geological Survey tiltmeter sensors tracked the transition from deflation to inflation at the volcano's summit.

During inflation, the volcano's surface rises slightly, likely the result of changes in the shallow magma pool beneath Kilauea. Periods of inflation are associated with increased volcanic activity.

According to the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, the deflation-inflation switch occurred about 9 p.m. Friday. The deflation phase had lasted three days, according to the observatory.

The observatory recorded five earthquakes beneath the volcano Friday and yesterday -- all on the south flank faults. Seismic activity remained elevated and variable throughout the day, with abrupt drops during lava high stands followed by a strong tremor burst as the lava returned to its previous level.

Since June, lava within the Halemaumau Overlook has periodically risen 20 to 40 meters. The high stands last for several hours, then quickly drain back to previous levels. Many of the high lava stands are initiated by rock falls.

Lava continues to enter the sea at the Puhi o Kalaikini delta west of the Kalapana Gardens subdivision.

The current eruption began in January 1983.

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