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Lava subsides at Kamoamoa fissure on Kilauea

By Gregg K. Kakesako

LAST UPDATED: 12:37 p.m. HST, Mar 10, 2011

The fountaining and surface lava activity at the Kamoamoa fissure on Kilauea volcano's east rift zone stopped by 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported this morning.

Lava started to recede after 5 p.m. Wednesday and spattering stopped by 10:30 p.m., signaling a pause in the eruption, officials said.

The amount of sulfur dioxide coming from the volcano decreased to about 5,000 tons a day, but that is still a significantly higher amount of emissions than before the latest eruption began on Saturday.

Seismic activity, an indication of lava movement, also remains high in the east rift zone, but not around Pu'u O'o Crater, which has been mostly quiet since the crater floor collapsed and the Kamoamoa fissure eruption began on Saturday.

At the summit, the lava lake remained deep — estimated at 720 feet — below the rim of the vent within the east wall of Halemaumau Crater.

On Tuesday, geologists estimated that more than 2.5 million cubic meters of lava a day was pouring out of Kamoamoa fissure near the Pu'u 'O'o Crater, covering more than 120 acres.

The U.S. Geological Survey also released new pictures of the eruption yesterday on the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory website, including thermal images of the fountaining and lava flow.


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