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Maunaloa Eruption Summary, Day 9: Channel Branches, Flow Advance Continue

4:06 AM · Dec 7, 2022

Amid cloudy weather and generally bad visibility, the 9th day of Maunaloa's eruption confirmed a new upslope branch whose downslope trajectory rejoins the existing flow area. However, the new branch was unable to flow back into the main channel, deflected by the channel levees, and continues on a separate path downhill. Notably, lava following this pathway and other upslope branches is no longer feeding the main flow front that continues to approach the highway, now approaching 1.5 miles away according to Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense. The flow front advance is averaging roughly twice the rate of recent days, surging over short periods at rates up to 90 ft or 27 m per hour, averaging 68 ft or 21 meters per hour over the past 24 hours according to the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Without further changes, there is little threat to people or property, though the potential closure of the cross-island highway would have significant impacts on transportation travel times. On Kīlauea, the summit lava lake has crusted over though it occasionally overturns with fresh lava, continuing the decreasing pattern of surface activity that began prior to the Maunaloa eruption. If a pause is forthcoming, the surface activity would have 3 months to resume before the eruption would be considered over. We review the most important imagery including the USGS live feed, monitoring signals, reports, and earthquakes, annotating and discussing live viewer questions as usual. LIVE: https://youtu.be/N_j_-pjIoOA

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