PUNA, Hawaii – Geologists are keeping an eye on the Kahauale`a 2 lava flow, which is slowly burning through forest 3.9 miles northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater.
The lava flow has been active for months, and is still quite a distance from any Puna makai subdivisions. Still, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has begun to show the subdivisions on its “Broad scope map of Kīlauea’s ERZ flow field“, showing the creeping lava’s proximity to the nearest neighborhoods. There have been no alerts issued by scientists or emergency authorities in regards to this lava flow.
The first Kahauale`a flow to head in the same northeast direction emerged in mid-January from a spatter cone on the edge of the Pu`u `O`o crater floor. It was dead by late April, but a new flow – called Kahauale`a 2 – became active in the same general area in early May. Scientists say in general, activity waxes with inflation and wanes with deflation of the Kilauea volcano.
In Saturday’s USGS HVO Kilauea update, geologists said the new breakout from the upper Kahauale`a 2 lava tube “appeared stalled but inclement weather has prevented many webcam views of this area. When weather permits, distant views of the flow front from the PNcam and R3cam (working intermittently) showed small breakouts and burning forest in several spots.”