(BIVN) – It has been several days since the start of the new eruption at Kīlauea volcano, and the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has just published several videos showing the dynamic start of the activity at the summit.
One video, recorded by the KW-cam on the northwest rim of the caldera on the early morning of June 7th, shows the opening phase of the summit eruption. Lava bursts from a vent in the central part of the crater floor and floods the surrounding area. Scientists say these initial fountains reached at least 60 meters, or 200 feet high.
The Observatory also posted some closer views of the opening hours of the eruption, showing with an increase in vigor at vents in the western portion of the crater floor. In just a few hours, about 10 meters – or 33 feet – of new lava depth was added to the crater floor.
The opening phases of eruptions are usually the most dynamic, and as a result the US GS raised the volcano alert level for Kīlauea to Warning, until the activity stabilized.
A timelapse video showing the first three days of the new eruption was also just made public. This timelapse sequence, from June 7th to June 97h – shows daylight hours only. The Observatory noted that as the eruption stabilized and the vigor declined, the area of active lava on the surface was reduced.
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory also uploaded some other interested isolations, like a view of the new vent that formed on the crater wall, sending a cascade of lava down into the growing lava lake. This vent opened a few hours after the other vents emerged in the central part of the crater.
The next day scientists recorded a look at a series of small fountains in the southern portion of the crater floor.
Another new video upload shows a closer look at a wind vortex, seen during the first day of the new eruption. Scientists say these vortexes form due to extreme heat. The rapidly swirling air can entrain hot lava, flinging pieces of crust. Eventually, the vortex leaves the lava lake, and begins to swirl its way up the wall of the caldera. The Observatory team captured this video from a safe distance on the rim of the crater, using a telephoto lens.
But other cameras, like the unmanned B1 webcam, have been put in danger by the eruption. New video shows a helicopter mission to move the B1-cam and its solar power system farther east on the caldera floor, away from the intense heat that it was exposed to. The glimpse of the helicopter and the scientist in the foreground offer a sense of scale for the size of the eruption.
All lava remains confined to the Kilauea summit area, with no unusual
activity noted along the rift-zones.