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Kahaualea 2 lava flow continues to consume forest

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 1:21 a.m. HST, Dec 1, 2013

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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