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Kīlauea Report: Lava Lake Bulging Near Vents

12:35 AM · Oct 5, 2021

According to USGS updates, “the lava lake is not level across its surface; areas closer to the vents are higher in elevation. Yesterday evening, the west end of the lake was approximately 1-2 meters (3.3-6.6 ft) higher than the east end, and the south end was approximately 2-3 meters (6.6-9.8 ft) higher than the north end. The north and east boundaries of the lava lake are separated from Halemaʻumaʻu crater wall by narrow ledges, approximately 20-meters wide (66 ft), that are lower in elevation than the active portion of the lava lake surface; the north, east, and south sides of the lava lake are perched several meters (approximately 10 ft) above this surrounding ledge.” Gas emission rates, often linked to rate of lava output, have been marginally decreasing after a large initial drop, from 85,000 tonnes per day of sulfur dioxide within minutes of the start of the eruption, to 20,000 tonnes per day the following day, and ranging roughly between 12,000 to 16,000 tonnes per day in the four days since. Even still, enough pressure remains to erupt multiple lava fountains through the lake itself, “including a 35-42-meter-long (115-138 ft) fissure” that “continue to be active in the central and southern parts of the lake, with sustained lava fountain heights of 5-10 meters (16-33 ft).” But those fountains remain smaller and less vigorous than those emitting from the New West Vent, which exhibits “sustained lava fountain heights of 10-15 meters (33-49 ft), but [with peaks] up to 20 meters (66 ft).” The lava lake has risen approximately 2 meters (7 ft) within the last 24 hours, or 5 meters (16 ft) within the last 3 days for a total of 29 meters (95 ft) since the eruption started, putting its eastern edge into view from northeast of the former Jaggar Museum on Uēkahuna Bluff within Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. -- Join our special live video review of Kīlauea’s ongoing eruption at 5pm Hawaiʻi time tonight (and weekly on Thursdays)! To support our productions please like, share and subscribe! Mahalo! #Kilauea2021 [USGS Images by L. DeSmither on October 2, 2021: 1. Wide view of Halemaʻumaʻu with the active lava lake, silvery in appearance during daytime. 2. The eastern edge of the lake showing its perched margin. 3. The vent erupting through the center of the lava lake near the large island. 4. Close-up of the New West Vent, with lava lake at its base.]

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