TOP PHOTO courtesy USGS HVO: A close-up view of the surface of the June 27th lava flow, near the flow front. The pāhoehoe flow is too thin and slow to topple trees as it passes, but instead the lava surrounds the trees and burns through the base. When the trees fall over, the flow surface may have cooled enough that the trunks remain intact. If the surface is hot enough to burn through the fallen trunks, all that remains is a line of ashen residue (see right side of image).
- The lava flow front has not advanced since yesterday.
- The brushfire that started on Saturday is contained.
- The only lava activity noted by Civil Defense is a small breakout further upslope from the leading edge, heading in the northeast direction.
While the lava advance seems to have stalled on the flow front, no one is declaring the June 27 lava flow dead. USGS scientists speculated yesterday that the “drop in advance rate over the past two days may be due to a reduction in lava supply related to ongoing summit deflation,” but warned that the flow could begin moving again in the coming days as the summit resumes inflation.
A Civil Defense overflight this morning found little advancement or activity along the front of the June 27th lava flow. A breakout several meters (yards) upslope, however, was advancing into forest along the north edge of the flow, and moving in a northeasterly direction. With almost no advancement over the past day, the nearly inactive flow front this morning remained 16.4 km (10.2 miles) from the vent, measured in a straight line, and the actual length of the flow, measured along the lava tube axis (so that bends in the flow are considered) was 18.7 km (11.6 miles).
Small breakouts also remain active closer to Puʻu ʻŌʻō, roughly midway along the length of the June 27th flow. None of these breakouts by itself has been very vigorous, but together they compose a significant portion of the total flow volume. Some of these breakouts are also producing smoke plumes as they creep into the adjacent forest.USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory on Sept. 22