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Saturday, December 03, 2022

Hawaii Volcano Stable After Lava Flow Starts and Stops

HONOLULU ( Associated Press) — Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano is now erupting a steady stream of lava after a period of intermittent pulsation.

The Honolulu Star-advertiser reported Monday that the latest eruption began in September, but until recently stopped and started every few days.

Now the pulsating nature of the eruption is over and a steady flow of lava is once again filling the crater of the volcano in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The flow has been nonstop for more than two weeks.

US Geological Survey scientists said the volcano is ultimately unpredictable, with current activity showing no signs of slowing and that some historic eruptions have lasted for decades.

“It could go on for a long time,” said Ken Mann, the scientist in charge of the Hawaii Volcano Observatory. “For now it is reestablishing its groove in the summit area.”

A lava lake more than 300 feet deep (91.44 m) has formed in Halemaumau Crater since the start of the latest eruption.

Another brief eruption occurred in the crater that began in 2020 and lasted several months. It was the first since a major 2018 eruption that caused parts of the summit to collapse and massive lava flowed into the Big Island neighborhood.

Halemaumau Crater has long been home to massive eruptions. The 2018 eruption shed all the lava from Shikhar Lake that had been active there for years.

“This is an exciting time for volcano watchers,” said Ken Rubin, a professor of earth sciences at the University of Hawaii.

Rubin said, “It is interesting to watch the pulse of a volcano, because although much of it is predictable or understandable by us after the fact, it does not mean that we are able to fully explain every aspect of what happens there.” . time.”

The eruption is within view of some areas of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, but officials say weather and time of day may alter visibility.

“There are more visitors, and active volcanism is one of the reasons,” said Jody Anastasio, acting public information officer for Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

To avoid the crowds, Anastasio suggests visiting during the late night or early morning hours when the lava lake glow can be seen from afar and there are fewer people in the park.

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