NOTE: Photo above, courtesy USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, shows a small lava pond in the western portion of Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater as seen on May 9, 2016.
HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK, Hawaii – Two new lava flows erupted from the flanks of Puʻu ʻŌʻō this morning.
The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that at around 6:50 a.m., in concert with sharp deflationary tilt at Puʻu ʻŌʻō on the East Rift on Kilauea volcano, two lava flows broke out from the flanks of the cone.
The first lava flow is on the northeast flank, approximately 0.15 miles from the rim of the cone, heading toward the northwest. UPDATE: This flow broke out of the June 27th vent, so USGS considers it to be part of the June 27th flow activity, according to Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist Janet Babb.
The other flow is on the east flank of the cone, approximately 0.3 miles from the rim of the cone, heading toward the southeast. UPDATE: This breakout is not a part of the June 27 flow, and Babb says it is more aligned with the Peace Day that broke out in September 2011.
At around 8:30 a.m., during an HVO overflight, the flow on the northeast flank was roughly 0.6 mi long, and the flow on the east flank was around 700 m (0.4 mi) long. Neither has extended beyond the existing flow field, scientists report.
“Typical of new breakouts, the initial flow activity has been vigorous, but neither flow is currently threatening any nearby communities,” wrote USGS HVO in this morning’s update, posted a little later than normal at 11:16 a.m. “The floor of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater has subsided slightly with the new flow activity. Persistent glow from spatter cones within the crater continues. No change in seismic activity has been noted, and remains low and steady.”
In addition to the new lava flows on the flanks of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, USGS HVO says surface flow activity on the June 27th flow field continues, with small breakouts scattered northeast of the vent where they have been occurring for the past several months.
The lava lake within the Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook crater at the summit of Kilauea remained active, scientists said. The lava lake level measured at around 75 ft below the Halema`uma`u crater floor this morning, which is high enough to view intermittent spattering from the Jaggar overlook. The lava lake could be seen on HVO webcams overnight.
We will update this story as more information is made available.