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Volcano Watch: Kilauea activity update for May 10, 2012

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This movie shows spattering that is typical at the margins of the lava lake in Halemaumau crater. The slow migration of the lava lake surface is normally towards the area of spattering, where the lava sinks back into the magmatic system. Spatter in this clip is being thrown about 5-10 meters (yards) in height. Views like this are fleeting, however, with the thick gas plume shifting with the winds.

(Activity updates are written by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.)

Pele's hair covers much of the ground in the area immediately downwind of the vent at Halemaumau crater. Accumulations about a meter (yard) wide are found on the windward sides of the curbs in the Halemaumau parking lot, which is closed to the public because of the ongoing volcanic hazard. USGS Photo by Matthew Patrick

Pele's hair covers much of the ground in the area immediately downwind of the vent at Halemaumau crater. Accumulations about a meter (yard) wide are found on the windward sides of the curbs in the Halemaumau parking lot, which is closed to the public because of the ongoing volcanic hazard. USGS Photo by Matthew Patrick

A lava lake present within the Halema`uma`u Overlook vent during the past week resulted in night-time glow that was visible from the Jaggar Museum overlook. The lake, which is normally about 80–115 m (260–380 ft) below the floor of Halema`uma`u Crater and visible by HVO`s Webcam, rose and fell slightly during the week in response to a series of deflation-inflation cycles.

On Kilauea`s east rift zone, surface lava flows were active on the pali and coastal plain over the past week. The flow front that was advancing towards the ocean last week stalled early this week, shortly after a new breakout near the base of the pali began on Sunday, May 6. This new breakout has advanced towards the ocean and, as of Thursday, May 10, was still more than 1 km (0.6 miles) from the water.

One earthquake was reported felt beneath Hawai`i Island this past week. A magnitude 3.0 earthquake occurred on Sunday, May 6, at 4:40 p.m. HST, and was located 7 km (4 mi) southwest of Kilauea summit at a depth of 29 km (18 mi).

Visit the HVO Web site (hvo.wr.usgs.gov) for detailed Kilauea and Mauna Loa activity updates, recent volcano photos, recent earthquakes, and more; call (808) 967-8862 for a Kilauea summary; email questions to askHVO@usgs.gov

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Time-lapse thermal image movie of Halemaumau Overlook Vent

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Time-lapse movie of lava flows on the coastal plain.

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