Volcano Update from Archive

Wednesday, November 21, 2007 18:12 HST (Thursday, November 22, 2007 04:12 UTC)

19.43°N 155.29°W, Summit Elevation 4009 ft (1222 m)
Volcano Alert Level: WATCH
Aviation Color Code: ORANGE

Report prepared by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO):

News Release
November 21, 2007 6:00 p.m. Jim Kauahikaua (808) 967-7328 jimk@usgs.gov

Lava bypasses July 21 channel and erupts from channel flank

At approximately 6 am this morning, lava began erupting from the south flank of the perched channel nearly directly over fissure D, the original July 21 eruption vent. In the past several months, lava has been supplied from fissure D into the perched channel system. This change in the eruption has caused most of the lava to bypass the channel and move from fissure D directly to the surface.

The bypass caused lava levels within the existing channel to drop an estimated 10 m (30 feet) or more, but there is a greatly diminished amount of lava still flowing in the channel. No lava was entering the east tube, but two pahoehoe flows east and southeast of Pu`u Kia`i continued to advance through the day - the lowest had reached the 1500 foot elevation before stalling. Without lava entering the east tube, these flows will probably stagnate over the next few days.

The Hawai`i County Fire Department provided HVO geologists with two overflights today. By 9:30 am, one of the new flows had advanced a few hundred meters (yards) north - the other had advanced nearly 900 m (0.6 miles) southeast. A second Hawai'i County Fire Department overflight at 5:30 pm found that the southeast-going lava flow had only advanced another 100 m (300 ft) beyond the morning location. Instead of advancing, the lava flow had become wider and started to pond near fissure D.

Based on this information, there is no immediate threat directly from lava flows. However, residents of Royal Gardens subdivision are advised to keep informed about the progress of this flow over the next few days.

The eruption is within the Kahauale`a Natural Area Reserve. HVO will continue to monitor the situation closely and will post updates at http://volcano.wr.usgs.gov/hvostatus.php.

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