(BIVN) – High lava fountains marked the restart of the Kilauea summit eruption on January 5th, some as high as 164 feet (50 meters).
The fountains decreased in vigor overnight. The initial high effusion rates declined rapidly, as lava stored within the magma system over the past month erupted onto the caldera floor.
With the eruption confined to the summit caldera, and with no indication of activity migrating elsewhere on the volcano, the U.S. Geological Survey on Friday lowered the Kilauea alert level from WARNING to WATCH, and the aviation color code from RED to ORANGE.
Scientists have installed a new webcam to keep an eye on the active caldera. Multiple eruptive vents on the crater floor continue to effuse directly into a lava lake that sits atop them, with the vents sometimes taking the form of dome fountains.
The renewed volcanic activity is drawing thousands of visitors to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, where the eruption is viewable from almost all open areas around the caldera.
Park officials say visitors can expect long waits for parking spaces at popular vantage points, and to be midful of the chilly summit temperatures.