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Kilauea eruption update:
USGS-HVO/NASA image of active flow areas on November 22, 2014.
Monday, Nov 24, 2014
To present, USGS-HVO and County of Hawai`i report that lava has reoccupied the tube system only as far as the cracks near the old geothermal well site (recognized as a clearing in the thicker forest in photographs). From there, it has spilled out and is forming a new flow lobe farther west from the previous one which stopped just short of Pahoa Village Road and that now appears to be hardening without further advance. The current front is now 5.8km/3.6mi upslope from Apa`a St measured in a straight line, which means Pahoa has escaped its most urgent threat. The county is reopening the Pahoa Village Road today, previously blocked off as the power company reenforced their poles with huge piles of rock, which they have now removed again to allow the flow of traffic. While it's possible that the new flow could turn towards the outskirts of Pahoa again, it took the previous flow 7 weeks to reach Apa`a St and it's reasonable to expect a similar timeline again, keeping in mind that another flow front may develop near the breakout site nearby Pu`u Kahauale`a and divert much of the lava that could otherwise head to Pahoa. The next several days of lava activity should give some hint of an answer to the question. Finally, it may be noteworthy that there has been increased earthquake activity south of the caldera, with a 3.6 and 3.3 felt by area residents in the past 3 days. [more]
Largest breakout point from lava tube near the forested hill Pu`u Kahauale`a, 1.6km/1.0mi from Pu`u  `Ō`ō, on November 17, 2014 (USGS-HVO).
Wednesday, Nov 19, 2014
A new surge of lava over the past 2-3 days is moving through and leaking from lava tubes that until recently were feeding the eruption front in Pahoa village. Prior to the surge, the lava flow's forward progress had stalled once again with the little remaining activity both widening and inflating the flow field. It remains to be seen how far this surge can move through the pre-existing lava tube towards Pahoa, having so far travelled "about 11 km (7 mi) in a straight line distance downslope of Pu`u `Ō`ō" according to the County of Hawai`i and USGS-HVO. [more]
Satellite photo of Kilauea volcano, showing the summit caldera and parts of its east rift zone with the active vent Pu'u 'O'o.
Satellite photo of Kilauea volcano, showing the summit caldera and parts of its east rift zone with the active vent Pu'u 'O'o.
Three-dimesional view of Kilauea volcano based on satellite imagery.
Three-dimesional view of Kilauea volcano based on satellite imagery.

Map of Kilauea volcano, Big Island Hawai'i
Map of Kilauea volcano, Big Island Hawai'i

Kilauea volcano

Shield volcano 1277 m (4,190 ft)
Hawai'i, 19.43°N / -155.29°W
Current status: erupting (4 out of 5)
Kilauea webcams / live data
Kilauea volcano videos
Last update: 24 Nov 2014
Typical eruption style: Dominantly effusive since 1790, but ~60% explosive over past ~2500 years.
Kilauea volcano eruptions: Near-continuous eruptions. Since 1960: 1961 (4x), 1962, 1963 (2x), 1965 (2x), 1967-68, 1968 (2x), 1969, 1969-74, 1971 (2x), 1973 (2x), 1974 (3x), 1975, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1982 (2x), 1983-2014 (ongoing, incl. 1986, 1992, 1997, 2007, 2011 (3x)) Haleamaumau crater in the center of the Kilauea caldera - the heart of Kilauea volcano
TimeMag. / DepthDistanceLocation
Thu, 27 Nov
Thu, 27 Nov 18:16 UTCM 1.9 / 7.9 km10 km15km W of Volcano, Hawaii
Thu, 27 Nov 16:16 UTCM 2.2 / 2 km3 km4km WSW of Volcano, Hawaii
Thu, 27 Nov 15:55 UTCM 2.1 / 11.7 km13 km26km W of Volcano, Hawaii
Thu, 27 Nov 14:06 UTCM 2.7 / 26.4 km10 km29km WNW of Volcano, Hawaii
Thu, 27 Nov 13:22 UTCM 2.8 / 0.1 km20 km16km SE of Volcano, Hawaii
View all recent quakes
Kilauea is the youngest and most active Hawaiian shield volcano, located on the southern part of the Island of Hawai'i, known as Big Island. Hawai'i is the southernmost and largest of the island chain, which owes its existence to the very active Hawaiian hot spot.
Kilauea volcano is near-constantly erupting from vents either on its summit (caldera) or on the rift zones. At present, Kilauea volcano is still having one of the most long-lived eruptions known on earth, which started in 1983 on the eastern rift zone and has mainly been concentrated at the Pu'u 'O'o vent.

Background:

Kilauea volcano, a youthful shield volcano, sitting on the south east flank of the massive Mauna Loa shield volcano, is the youngest volcano (on land) of the Hawaiian hot spot and not only the most active volcano of Hawaii but at the same time also the world's active volcano. It has been in near-constant activity since there is oral or written history and it is having an uninterrupted eruption since 1983 (at present at the Pu'u 'O'o vent on the East rift zone).

Its eruptions are prominent in Hawaiian Polynesian legends and written documentation about its activity go back to only 1820s when it started to attract interested visitor from all over the world and bacame one of volcanology's hot spots.

Kilauea has a large summit caldera with a central crater, Halemaumau, which is according to Hawaiian legends the home of the fire goddess Pele. Until 1924, it contained a lava lake. Kilauea has frequent summit and flank lava flow eruptions that are occurring along two elongated rift zones to the south-west and to the east, which extend to the sea on both sides of the volcano. The 3 x 5 km caldera was formed in several stages about 1500 years ago. About 90% of the surface of the basaltic shield volcano is formed of lava flows less than about 1100 years old; 70% of the volcano's surface is younger than 600 years. The long-term eruption from the East rift zone that began in 1983 has produced lava flows covering more than 100 sq km, destroying nearly 200 houses and adding new coastline to the island.

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