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Kilauea Volcano continues to burp and gurgle



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Tiltmeters at the Kilauea volcano summit recorded another inflationary swell from Friday to Saturday while the summit lava lake experienced an abrupt but short-lived drop of several yards, according to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

So-called deflation-inflation events are regular, cyclical occurrences marked by an abrupt deflation of up to a few microardians (a measure of angle equivalent to 0.000057 degrees) in magnitude. Weak deflation-inflation events, like the one recorded from Friday to Saturday, last a few hours.

Stronger ones may last two to three days. Such events often occur when lava pulses or pauses in the eruption at the volcano’s Puu Oo and Peace Day vents.

Rises and falls in the lava lake level are also common, episodic events at the volcano. The lake lies within a nearly cylindrical vent cavity within the east wall and floor of Halemaumau Crater.

The lake dropped several yards early Saturday morning but returned to its normal level, roughly 48 to 49 meters below the floor of Halemaumau Crater, within a few hours.

Twenty-three earthquakes were strong enough to be located beneath Kilauea Volcano over the same 24-hour period. Nine were detected along south flank faults, seven within the upper east rift zone and Koae Fault system, and the others scattered around the summit.

Meanwhile, the northeast spatter cone complex continued to feed the Kahaulea 2 lava flow. The most distant active breakout was mapped to 5.1 miles northeast of Puu Oo, the farthest advance of the lava flow since mid-January.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory cameras recorded clear views of burning forest and nighttime activity at the front of the flow.

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