Photo and Video Chronology - Kīlauea - December 17, 2015

Release Date:

November 25 breakout advances; New vent opens on northeast flank of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō

 

November 25 breakout advances; New vent opens on northeast flank of...

The breakout that began as a rupture from the tube supplying the June 27th lava flow continues to advance slowly to the northeast and has reached the forest. While the front of the flow is about 3 km (1.9 miles) from Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō, it has a long way to go to catch up to the surface flows that have persisted for the last several weeks about 3 km (1.9 miles) farther to the northeast.

(Public domain.)

A new vent opened on the northeast flank of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō during the fi...

A new vent opened on the northeast flank of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō during the first week of December. This is the incandescent, fuming trio of holes just below and to the left of center in the accompanying image. While this spot happens to coincide with the trend of a tube that was last active in early 2014, aerial views into the opening suggest lava is welling up from below and not "flowing" like lava in a tube (there is no apparent lava reappearing downslope). Thus, our current interpretation is that this is a new vent that happened to open into the area of this abandoned tube as lava worked its way to the surface. Our interpretation may change, however, as our view into the vent improves, assuming that the opening continues to widen.

(Public domain.)

This is a view of the new vent from the ground, showing the thin ro...

This is a view of the new vent from the ground, showing the thin roof that caps the brightly incandescent cavity below. Views from the air show the cavity to be much larger than the current opening, probably extending at least as far as the sulfur staining in the foreground and back under the mound to the right.

(Public domain.)

A bubbling lava surface could be seen about 5 m (16 ft) below the o...

A bubbling lava surface could be seen about 5 m (16 ft) below the opening of the new vent when viewed from the air. The size of the opening will likely grow with time, as the narrow septa between the individual holes collapse.

(Public domain.)