December 1, 2022 — Branching lava channels on Mauna Loa
Fissure 3 on Mauna Loa's Northeast Rift Zone has produced several lava channels that are winding their way down the northeast slopes of the volcano. These channels are surrounded by levees that insulate the lava and keep it fluid and moving at a brisk pace downslope. As it cools it can form a black crust on top of it in places. In this photo, the lava channels branch and rejoin each other to immediately branch again. USGS image by D. Downs.