USGS HVO Press Release - Lava Bypasses July 21 Channel and Erupts from Channel Flank

Release Date:

At approximately 6 am this morning, lava began erupting from the south flank of the perched channel nearly directly over fissure D, the original July 21 eruption vent.

In the past several months, lava has been supplied from fissure D into the perched channel system. This change in the eruption has caused most of the lava to bypass the channel and move from fissure D directly to the surface.

The bypass caused lava levels within the existing channel to drop an estimated 10 m (30 feet) or more, but there is a greatly diminished amount of lava still flowing in the channel. No lava was entering the east tube, but two pāhoehoe flows east and southeast of Pu‘u Kia‘i continued to advance through the day—the lowest had reached the 1500 foot elevation before stalling. Without lava entering the east tube, these flows will probably stagnate over the next few days.

The Hawai‘i County Fire Department provided HVO geologists with two overflights today. By 9:30 am, one of the new flows had advanced a few hundred meters (yards) north—the other had advanced nearly 900 m (0.6 miles) southeast. A second Hawai‘i County Fire Department overflight at 5:30 pm found that the southeast-going lava flow had only advanced another 100 m (300 ft) beyond the morning location. Instead of advancing, the lava flow had become wider and started to pond near fissure D.

Based on this information, there is no immediate threat directly from lava flows. However, residents of Royal Gardens subdivision are advised to keep informed about the progress of this flow over the next few days.

For eruption updates and information on recent earthquakes in Hawai‘i, visit the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory website at

The eruption is within the Kahauale‘a Natural Area Reserve. HVO will continue to monitor the situation closely and will post updates at

Daily updates about ongoing eruptions, recent images and videos of summit and East Rift Zone volcanic activity, maps, and data about recent earthquakes in Hawaii are posted on the HVO website at

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