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Kīlauea's Lava Lake Stabilizes, Levees Overflow & Form Islets

3:03 AM · Jan 19, 2023

During the second week of its newest eruption, Kīlauea's active lava lake has stabilized in size, despite fluctuations in output that appear linked to underground deflation-inflation cycles. The steady perimeter has allowed levees to build up around the lava lake, regularly overflowed by big fans of lava during inflationary phases. Small parts of the levee can be seen to break off and drift into the lake, and eventually submerge. Another longer-lasting islet has also formed, perhaps buoyed by an unseen mass of less-dense lava rock within. A single area of low fountaining persists through the lake surface, feeding the activity. Elsewhere on the crater floor, the central and western pits continue to circulate with lava, while the last eruption's West Vent complex still glows, all fed by pathways enclosed within the hardened rock crust. Dropping gas emissions have also stabilized below 4,000 tonnes per day, which in addition to surface conditions also suggests a steady lava output. The gas output is still the primary hazard of concern for this eruption, and vog has been widespread across the island despite the lower output. Within Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, lava viewing continues to impress and draw crowds. All lava activity remains contained within Kīlauea's summit crater of Halemaʻumaʻu, with no indications of unusual activity in either rift zone, and thus no added threat to people. We review the recent changes in the eruption using webcam timelapses, videos, and reports courtesy of the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, annotating the presentation on-screen as we go, and discuss live viewer questions as usual. Maunaloa has been unaffected by Kīlauea's activity, and its recent lava flows continue to cool, with no further monitoring changes to report. UPDATE:

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