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Observatory releases new lava lake photos

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 5:08 a.m. HST, Aug 31, 2011

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has released new pictures of a lava lake that's formed in Puu Oo crater, since the Aug. 3 breakout that caused the crater floor to collapse and a created a new lava flow on the volcano's flank.

Since then, lava has filled much of the collapsed area and a new lava lake, perched above the floor is visible. The crater floor dropped about 245 feet below the crater's east rim on Aug. 3. Lava poured out of a new vent on the west side of Puu Oo, until the flow slowed a few days later.

Lava flowed from east to west within the perched lake and another lava source opened within the crater Monday night, scientists said.

The photos, released over the weekend, show the elevated lake, which looks  similar to Puu Oo crater before the Aug 3 floor collapse.

Lava lake levels are also rising at Halemaumau Crater at the summit of Kilauea.

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