Volcano Watch — New ocean entry for lava

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The latest development in Kīlauea's ongoing eruption is a new ocean entry near Lae`apuki inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

The latest development in Kīlauea's ongoing eruption is a new ocean entry near Lae`apuki inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The new entry is good news for those who drive down to the end of Chain of Craters Road for a view of the lava. Lae`apuki is about a mile closer to the overlook near the end of the road than Kamokuna, where the lava has been entering the ocean since last September.

The new entry is fed by surface flows that originate from a leaky spot in the lava tube at about the 550-foot elevation on the slope of Pulama Pali. Over the last few weeks, pahoehoe flows from this breakout point have fanned out across the flow field down to the ocean. The eastern arm of this fan fed some of the entries at Kamokuna; the western arm slowly advanced toward Lae`apuki. On April 8, the western flow cascaded over the sea cliff into the ocean.

The new flows are conspicuous in the daytime by their shiny silver color against the darker shades of the older flows. At night, numerous red breakouts are visible from the end of Chain of Craters Road. At the end of the week, both the new entry at Lae`apuki and the old one at Kamokuna were active.

Volcano Activity Update

We have had one report of a felt earthquake on the Big Island since we wrote last week's column. The magnitude-2.7 quake was felt at Pa`auilo, Pohakuloa, Waimea, and Pepe`ekeo at 10:09 p.m. on April 5. It was located at a depth of 12 miles beneath the upper slopes of Mauna Kea, approximately 6 miles east-southeast of the summit.