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Lava flows still active, burning forests north of Puu Oo


The northeast spatter cone in Kilauea Volcano’s Puu Oo vent continues to feed the Kahaualea 2 lava flow, which is burning through forests to the north, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports.

On Monday, observatory geologists found active breakouts in the northern half of the flow, with a narrow finger extending northeast into the forest. 

The Kahaualea 2 flow was also burning forest at other contact points along its northern edge, the scientists said Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the so-called Peace Day flow was weakly active above the pali. Geologists on Monday mapped a small breakout consisting of two lobes from the Peace Day tube about 1.9 miles southeast of Puu Oo that had minor pahoehoe activity.

The eruption in Kilauea’s middle east rift zone started with a fissure eruption on Jan. 3, 1983, and has continued with few interruptions at Puu Oo, or temporarily from vents within a few kilometers to the east or west.

A fissure eruption on the upper east flank of Puu Oo on Sept. 21, 2011, drained the lava lakes and fed the Peace Day flow, which advanced southeast through the abandoned Royal Gardens subdivision to the ocean inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Since late December 2011, the flows have remained intermittently active on the pali and the coastal plain and finally re-entered the ocean on Nov. 24.

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, Kahaualea 2, became active in the same area in early May.

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