HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK, Hawaii: Geologists with the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory have captured some of the first images of the new lava breakout to the west of Pu’u O’o.
Around 2:20 p.m., HST, on August 3, lava broke out from a vent (center) low on the west flank of the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō cone. Lava erupting from the flank vent is entirely within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, and pose no hazard to residents.
Lava flowing from vents on the west flank of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō formed two branches. A weak north arm advanced northward into forested kipuka (upper right). A higher-volume south arm quickly advanced down Kīlauea’s south flank along the edge of flows erupted in 2002-2004 (upper left). Both flows are entirely within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, and pose no hazard to residents. The Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater is shown in the foreground.
At 2:02 p.m., HST, on August 3, the floor of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater, which had risen significantly over the past month, forming a dome beneath the perched lava lake, started to subside. By 3:15 p.m., the crater floor and perched lava lake began to collapse. Within a couple of hours, the lava lake was no longer visible, and the crater floor was covered in rubble.