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Lava flow may be advancing, again

Updated: 
August 29, 2014 - 8:11am

Lava is again advancing beneath the surface along ground cracks toward neighborhoods near Pahoa, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory says.

Steaming was reported Thursday morning east of the small pad of lava that emerged from a ground crack this week. This renewed progression of steaming suggests that lava is again advancing beneath the surface, along these ground cracks, according to the observatory.

During the observatory’s Thursday afternoon flight, the farthest point of steaming was located near an abandoned well site, which serves as a convenient landmark in a broad expanse of forest. The farthest steaming stretched 7.4 miles northeast of the vent on Puu Oo atop Kilauea Volcano, and 1.6 miles from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve.

Direct views into the crack were not possible because of thick vegetation, but close views of the steaming areas with the thermal camera reveal temperatures up to 370 degrees. These high temperatures provide evidence of lava moving through the crack.