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Kīlauea Eruption 48 Hours In, December 22, 2020

10:32 AM · Dec 23, 2020

The 2020 Kilauea eruption inside Halemaʻumaʻu crater continues at an astonishing rate, as shown by USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory imagery and data. The new lava lake has filled over 470 feet deep (140 m), almost 3x deeper than the now-vaporized water lake reached in the 2 years following the 2018 eruption, and is nearing the elevation of the upper fissure vents, which look likely to be submerged within the next day. We review the monitoring signals, including massive emissions of volcanic gas, share relevant science and analysis, and compare the activity to historical precedents, such as the 1959 Kīlauea Iki eruption which also filled a crater to the point of drowning its eruptive vent. We show topography to anticipate how the lava will fill the crater, and where it would eventually spill over if it would continue to rise unabated. Finally, we discuss viewer questions. #2020kilaueaeruption

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