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Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano may be disrupting life in paradise with its bursts of ash and bright-orange lava, but it also has scientists wide-eyed, eager to advance what’s known about volcanoes.
The good news is: Volcanoes reveal secrets when they’re rumbling, which means Kilauea is producing a bonanza of information.
While scientists monitored Big Island lava flows in 1955 and 1960, equipment then was far less sophisticated. Given new technology, they can now gather and study an unprecedented volume of data.
Kīlauea Volcano Lower East Rift Zone
Vigorous eruption of lava continues from the lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) fissure system in the area of Leilani Estates.
Overnight, lava fountaining from Fissure 8 reached 130-180 feet. This morning’s overflight reported no significant changes in the fountaining and the channels carrying lava to the ocean; however, the ocean entry plumes were much smaller and the areas of upwelling offshore were less distinct. The diminished plumes are probably due to a change in atmospheric conditions rather than a change in Fissure 8 output.