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Latest volcano update, images and lava flow map for March 22, 2014

March 22, 2014 Volcano Activity Update

Kilauea Volcano Activity Summary: The eruption continued at the summit and within the east rift zone. The summit tiltmeter network recorded weak Deflation-Inflation (DI) inflationary tilt overnight while the summit lava-lake remained stable. At the middle east rift zone, the Pu‘u ‘O‘o vent continued feeding the Kahauale‘a 2 lava flow whose distal end remained active and advancing very slowly to the northeast while burning forest. Gas emissions remained elevated.

Recent Observations of the Kahauale‘a 2 flow: The northeast spatter cone complex continued to feed the Kahauale‘a 2 lava flow. HVO geologists on a March 21st overflight mapped the most distant active breakout at 8.2 km (5.1 mi) northeast from Pu‘u ‘O‘o; this is the farthest advance of the Kahauale‘a 2 lava flow since mid-January when the flow extended 7.8 km (4.8 mi) northeast of Pu‘u ‘O‘o before stalling. PNcam and R3cam views showed several clear views of burning forest and nighttime activity at the flow front through this morning.

In general, this slow-moving lava flow has made erratic progress over the past few months. Disruption of the flow front has occurred during strong DI deflation events when the lava supply abruptly decreased causing the flow front to stagnate. DI inflation and resumption of lava supply usually follow a few days later. Breakouts reappear well behind the stalled flow front and take some time to reach the front again. In this way, the flow front has not advanced more than 600 m (2,000 ft) since the first time it stalled in early November, 2013.

Map showing the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow in relation to the eastern part of the Big Island as of March 21, 2014. The front of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow was 8.2 km (5.1 miles) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō and advancing very slowly through thick forest. The area of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow as of March 7 is shown in pink, while widening of the flow since then is shown in red. Older lava flows are distinguished by color: episodes 1–48b flows (1983–1986) are shown in gray; episodes 48c–49 flows (1986–1992) are pale yellow; episodes 50–55 flows (1992–2007) are tan; episodes 58–60 flows (2007–2011) are pale orange, and episode 61 flows (2011–2013) are reddish orange. The active lava tube is shown with a yellow line (dashed where its position is poorly known).

Map showing the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow in relation to the eastern part of the Big Island as of March 21, 2014. The front of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow was 8.2 km (5.1 miles) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō and advancing very slowly through thick forest. The area of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow as of March 7 is shown in pink, while widening of the flow since then is shown in red. Older lava flows are distinguished by color: episodes 1–48b flows (1983–1986) are shown in gray; episodes 48c–49 flows (1986–1992) are pale yellow; episodes 50–55 flows (1992–2007) are tan; episodes 58–60 flows (2007–2011) are pale orange, and episode 61 flows (2011–2013) are reddish orange. The active lava tube is shown with a yellow line (dashed where its position is poorly known).

Visit the HVO Web site (hvo.wr.usgs.gov) for Volcano Awareness Month details and Kilauea, Mauna Loa, and Hualalai activity updates, recent volcano photos, recent earthquakes, and more; call (808) 967-8862 for a Kilauea summary; email questions to askHVO@usgs.gov

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