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VIDEO: New Kilauea volcano vent opens with 80-foot lava spatter as Puu Oo crater floor collapses

CLICK ON IMAGE FOR VIDEO. Spattering lava near the front of the new fissure on Saturday. Video: USGS

Lava spatters from the now extended fissure on Sunday morning. (Click to enlarge.) Photo: USGS

CLICK ON IMAGE FOR VIDEO. Lava spatters from the most persistent vent in the fissure on Sunday. Video: USGS

CLICK ON IMAGE FOR VIDEO. Lava pouring from the fissure into a crack in the earth on Sunday. Video: USGS

Activity at Puu Oo crater received much attention in recent weeks as lava from multiple vents regularly began sending out small flows virtually covering the crater floor. The Puu Oo vent has been erupting continuously since January 1983, over the years producing much of the lava flows that have blanketed areas downslope of the eruption site, including the residential area of Kalapana and Royal Gardens, and vast sections of the Puna coastline.

Activity at Kilauea volcano’s summit Halemaumau crater, meanwhile, drew attention in February for a series of rock collapses, earthquakes and a rising lava lake below the surface of that crater’s floor. HVO geologists reported lava levels at the lake receding rapidly on Saturday afternoon and evening as the summit continued to deflate, possibly due to increased activity at Puu Oo.

Halemaumau crater has been producing a steam and ash plume from an ever-expanding vent in its floor since March 2008. Six months later, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologists discovered a lava lake roiling within the vent, deep below the surface of the Halemaumau crater floor.

The new active fissure between Puu Oo and Napau craters is located in a remote area of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, now closed to the public.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologists on Sunday set up a webcam offering live views of the new fissure eruption, refreshed every five minutes.

Access to Puu Oo is off limits to hikers. But activity at Halemaumau crater is visible to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park visitors from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory’s Thomas A. Jaggar Museum overlook, which is open 24 hours daily. Daily updates on Kilauea volcano activity are available at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory website.

HawaiiMagazine.com has reported regularly on lava activity at Kilauea volcano and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Click here to catch up with all of our Volcano News posts. You can also follow our updates on our Twitter and Facebook pages. 
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Check out these related HawaiiMagazine.com posts:
Lava ejected at Kilauea on Sunday, say scientists
Lava lake revealed roiling below Kilauea volcano
VIDEO: Kilauea volcano lava lake rising, falling
VIDEO: Lava flows! Explosions! Rockfalls at Hawaii's Kilauea volcano!

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