Volcano Update from Archive

Report prepared by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO):

News Release
July 21, 2007 2:00 p.m. Jim Kauahikaua (808) 967-7328 jimk@usgs.gov

New Fissure eruption east of Pu'u 'Ō'ō Crater

For the first time since February 7, 1992, lava is erupting east of Pu'u 'Ō'ō crater. Just before midnight, activity at Pu'u 'Ō'ō crater slowed down and the crater floor began to sink. However, instruments on the cone and nearby indicated that activity may have shifted to the east. Tropical Storm Cosme has shrouded the area in rain and fog so further investigation by scientists from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) had to wait.

After day break, HVO crews were able to confirm that an eruption was in progress along a set of fissures that extended 1.7 km (1 mile) eastward from a point about 150 m east of the east rim of Pu'u 'Ō'ō crater. The fissures were located in an area bounded by the east rift zone features of Pu'u Halulu, Pu'u Kahauale'a, Pu'u 'Ō'ō, and Kupaianaha. The lava flows have been confined to this same area with the exception of a long narrow flow that is advancing southeastward within an older channel emplaced in 1991.

This event is in the same area as a three-week eruption in November, 1991, just before Kupaianaha vent shut down in February of the following year. The 1991 activity produced a lava flow that advanced 5.8 km (3.6 miles) southeast toward the Royal Gardens subdivision.

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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