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Lava reaches ocean? Maybe not, scientists now say

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 10:24 a.m. HST, Nov 22, 2012

Lava from Puu Oo Crater is close, but may not have reached the ocean just yet, scientists at the Hawaii Volcanos Observatory said this morning.

Earlier in the morning the observatory reported that lava had reached the ocean Wednesday night. Scientists observed plumes of white steam rising from the lava flow at first light.

But when the plumes dissipated later in the morning, observatory scientists said the steam may have been from rain falling on the hot lava flow.

A web camera positioned near the lava flow shows the lava close to the sea. The webcam can be seen at

There are two active lava flow branches on the coastal plain. The eastern flow is closest to the ocean.

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