Volcano Watch — Lava still flowing and isle keeps growing...

Release Date:

The long-standing eruption of Kīlauea Volcano continues unabated this week as lava tubes spill 14 million cubic feet of lava per day into the ocean at Kamoamoa on Hawaii's southeast coastline. Flows have inundated the area almost continuously since 1992.

The long-standing eruption of Kīlauea Volcano continues unabated this week as lava tubes spill 14 million cubic feet of lava per day into the ocean at Kamoamoa on Hawaii's southeast coastline. Flows have inundated the area almost continuously since 1992. Initially, slow moving lobes oozed over the sea cliffs near the ancient canoe landing and spread out over Kamoamoa's spectacular black sand beach. The molten river of red solidified as it met the ocean and instantaneously shattered into fragments of shiny, black glass. Gradually, these loose fragments built a steep debris slope offshore of Kamoamoa. Subsequent lava flows built out on this submarine slope and created a new lava delta that extends more than 1,400 feet seaward. As of this writing, the Kamoamoa lava delta has added 220 acres of new land to the Island of Hawaii.

This act of creation can be witnessed first hand from safe viewing areas at the end of Chain of Craters Road in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Visitors are cautioned to stay within the areas designated, however, as submarine landslides can cause the delta to collapse without warning. Such collapses often produce great explosions of steam that spew hot rock several hundreds of feet in the air. The delta has collapsed twice this year. On May 16, 5 acres of the delta slid into the ocean, and on June 22, 3 acres disappeared. The Visitor Center in the National Park provides daily information on lava viewing conditions.

Volcano Activity Update

There was one felt earthquake this week on June 29 at 12:32 pm. It registered as a Magnitude 4.1, located 11 miles south of Kīlauea's summit at a depth of 18.4 miles. The quake caused no damage, but was felt from Naalehu to Waimea.