Puna News–HVO Lava update, Thurs. 9/18/14

19°25’16” N 155°17’13” W, Summit Elevation 4091 ft (1247 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: WARNING
Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE

Activity Summary: Kilauea continued to erupt at its summit and within the East Rift Zone, and gas emissions remained elevated. Deflation occurred over the past day, with minor fluctuations in lava level. At the middle East Rift Zone, the front of the June 27th flow is advancing through forest in Kaohe Homesteads, and surface breakouts are also present closer to Pu`u O`o.

June 27th Lava Flow Observations: The June 27th lava flow remains active. An HVO overflight yesterday afternoon observed that the flow continues heading in a northeast direction through thick forest in the northwest portion of Kaohe Homesteads. The flow front had advanced at an average rate of 290 m/day (960 ft/day) between Sept. 15 and 17, which is slightly higher than the advance rate of 215 m/day (705 ft/day) between Sept. 12 and 15. The leading tip of the flow has narrowed over the past several days, and was 90-140 m wide (300-460 ft) – this narrowing may be related to its increase in advance rate. The flow front was 16.0 km (10 miles) from the vent, measured in a straight line. The actual length of the flow, measured along the lava tube axis (so that bends in the flow are considered) was 18.3 km (11.4 miles). The flow front yesterday afternoon was 2.7 km (1.7 miles) upslope from Apa`a Road. The flow front is still in thick forest, creating smoke plumes as it engulfs trees and other vegetation, but fires are not spreading away from the flow.

A Civil Defense overflight this morning observed continued advancement of the flow, with the flow front remaining narrow.

Small breakouts also remain active closer to Pu`u O`o, roughly midway along the length of the June 27th flow. None of these breakouts have been very vigorous recently, but are also producing smoke plumes as they creep into the adjacent forest.

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