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Lava lake continues growing inside Halemaumau Crater on Hawaii island

  • COURTESY U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
                                An early morning view of the ongoing eruption inside the Halemaumau Crater, where fountaining lava continues to feed a rising lava lake.

    COURTESY U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY

    An early morning view of the ongoing eruption inside the Halemaumau Crater, where fountaining lava continues to feed a rising lava lake.

Fountaining lava continues to feed the lake inside Halemaumau Crater, which holds an estimated 4.8 billion gallons of lava as of Christmas morning.

The fountaining is what provides a beautiful light display, but the main northern vent is slowly being inundated by the rising lava lake. The lake rose 20 feet in 24 hours and is now 1,460 feet below the crater rim observation site.

The lake is now 577 feet deep as of 7 a.m. today, the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported.

High amounts of sulfur dioxide continue to spew from Kilauea Volcano, with emission rates estimated at about 35,000 to 40,000 tonnes a day as measured on Monday and revised Wednesday.

A few minor earthquakes and tremor fluctuations continue at the summit.

The eruption at Kilauea Volcano’s summit began Sunday and has attracted visitors to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park to watch as lava continues to fill Halemaumau Crater. Park rangers have been citing people for wandering into closed and unstable areas.

>> RELATED STORY: Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park rangers citing visitors for entering dangerous areas to take photos and videos of Kilauea eruption

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