(BIVN) – Scientists with the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory are capturing the new eruption of Kilauea, and sharing the photos online.
The summit eruption began on Wednesday afternoon. Animated thermal webcam images taken between 2:45 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. recorded the start of the eruption. Vigorous lava fountains formed in the middle part of the solidified lava lake at Halemaʻumaʻu crater, filling the floor with new molten lava.
By 4:43 p.m., vents had opened on the west wall of the crater. Telephoto images taken by scientists show the vent area and lava fountain through volcanic gas. By 5:09 p.m., the west wall vents had grown.
The new eruption is already generating a vigorous plume of volcanic gas. Sulfur dioxide interacts in the atmosphere with oxygen, moisture, dust, and sunlight to eventually form the volcanic smog – known in Hawaii as vog – which can be transported downwind.
The USGS published this map, showing the location of the new fissures at the summit.
With the new eruption comes a new Special Weather Statement from the National Weather Service in Honolulu:
Areas of volcanic glass or Pele`s hair have been observed near the Halemaumau summit this evening, as reported by several pilots in the vicinity. The Pele`s hair will remain possible in the immediate area around the Halemaumau crater during eruptions throughout the night. Residents and visitors are urged to minimize exposure to volcanic emissions. Those with respiratory sensitivities should take extra precaution to minimize exposure.