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Halemaumau lava lake rises to within 10 feet of crater floor

  • USGS
    This is a view of spattering at the east corner of the lava lake Sunday morning.
  • U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
    The Overlook crater lava lake
  • U.S. Geological Survey
    The lava level at the Overlook crater lake within Kilauea’s Halemaumau crater was high enough Friday that bits of lava spatter reached the Halemaumau crater floor during a small explosive event.
  • continues to rise. Friday's levels reached as high as 46 feet below the Overlook crater rim.
  • COURTESY HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY
    The lava lake at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, when it was about 23 feet below the Halema?uma?u Crater floor.
  • USGS
    This is a view of spattering at the east corner of the lava lake Sunday morning.
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The lava lake at Kilauea came within 10 feet of overflowing onto the Halemaumau Crater floor Sunday morning.

Scientists at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and tourists have been able to view the lava lake from the Jaggar Museum Observatory, since it began rising earlier this week.

Geologist say the rise in the lake coincides with inflation at the summit, which continued Sunday.

Pieces of crater wall falling into the rising lava lake in Halemaumau crater triggered two explosions early Saturday morning, sending gobs of lava to the crater rim and dusting the Jaggar Museum area with sand-sized ash.

The lava lake is at its highest point since the lake formed in 2008.

Observatory scientists released new pictures this weekend and a video taken Friday, when the lava level was about 46 feet below its crater rim.

The two explosions generated by crater wall collapses happened at about 2 a.m. Saturday.

Since the lava lake formed, it has widened as more piece of crater wall fall into  the lake. The elliptical crater is about 520 feet wide and 690 feet wide and  the lava level rises and falls with inflation and deflation periods at Kilauea, from its current level to about 650 below the floor of Halemaumau.

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