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Photos 7, page 24
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Eruption
March 5, 2011
CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE
HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY DAILY UPDATE
Saturday, March 5, 2011 7:50 AM HST (Saturday, March 5, 2011 17:50 UTC)

Activity Summary for past 24 hours: Kilauea volcano continued to erupt at two locations: On the east rift zone, lava from a
source within
Pu`u `O`o Crater flowed across the western floor and scattered lava breakouts continued from the Nov. 29 flow
near
Kalapana. At the summit, the lava lake level was well below the vent rim inset within the east wall of Halema`uma`u
Crater
; seismicity within the upper east rift zone was elevated. Sulfur dioxide emission rates from the summit and east rift zone
vents also remained elevated.
HVO/USGS Volcanic Activity Notice

Volcano: Kilauea (CAVW #1302-01-)

Current Volcano Alert Level: WARNING
Previous Volcano Alert Level: WATCH

Current Aviation Color Code: RED
Previous Aviation Color Code: ORANGE

Issued:
Saturday, March 5, 2011, 5:39 PM HST (20110306/0339Z) (my underline)
Source: Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
Notice Number: 2011/H1
Location: N 19 deg 25 min W 155 deg 17 min
Elevation: 4091 ft (1247 m)
Area: HI Hawaii and Pacific Ocean

Volcanic Activity Summary: At 1:42 p.m. this afternoon, HVO instruments indicated the onset of rapid deflation at
Pu'u 'O'o and
increased tremor along
Kilauea's middle east rift zone. At 2:00 p.m., Kilauea's summit began to deflate.

Between 2:16 and 2:21 p.m., the floor of the
Pu'u 'O'o crater began to collapse, and within 10 minutes, incandescent ring
fractures opened on the crater floor a few tens of meters away from the crater wall. As the floor continued to drop, lava
appeared in the center of the crater floor, the NE spatter cone collapsed, and an obvious scarp developed on the west side of
the crater floor, with lava cascading over the scarp toward the center of the crater.

At 2:41 p.m., the scarp on the west side of the crater floor appeared to disintegrate, exposing incandescent rubble, and the lava
in the center of the crater enlarged.

At 2:46 p.m., the collapse of a large block along the east crater wall produced a dust plume and the lava continued to enlarge.

Webcam images showed that the
Pu'u 'O'o crater floor continued to drop through 4:26 p.m., when fume obscured the camera
view.

Coincident with the collapse, an earthquake swarm began along Kilauea's middle east rift zone in the area of
Maka`opuhi and
Napau craters. Tiltmeters in this area show continued deflation.

At 5:15 p.m., an HVO geologist flying over
Kilauea's middle east zone reported "an eruption in Napau Crater." When more is
known about this eruption, an updated status report will be posted.

Kilauea's summit continues to deflate. The lava lake level within the Halema'uma'u Crater vent continues to drop, facilitating
rockfalls from the vent wall.

Daily updates on
Kilauea's ongoing eruptions (summit and east rift zone) will be posted each morning. These will be
supplemented by additional status reports and updates as warranted.

Maps, photos, Webcam views, and other information about Kilauea Volcano are available at
http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hvo/activity/kilaueastatus.php.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory is one of five volcano observatories within the U.S. Geological Survey and is responsible for
monitoring volcanoes and earthquakes in Hawai`i.

Recent Observations:
[Volcanic cloud height] Unknown
[Other volcanic cloud information] Unknown

Contacts: HVO media contact
askHVO@usgs.gov

Next Notice: A new VAN will be issued if conditions change significantly or alert levels are modified. While a VAN is in effect,
regularly scheduled updates are posted at
http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov
Business as usual...
AND THEN...
To give you an idea of where this is occurring, check this out...  The eruption is taking place between Pu'u O'o and Napau
Crater
.  I show it as a little red line.  The green squiggly lines all over the place are hikes I've taken in the area.  The hike
to Napau Crater was 6 miles one way.  The hike to Pu'u O'o was 4.2 miles one way over really nasty terrain.  Both hikes
practically killed me.  Straight-line distance from my house ("Home") is about 6 miles, 4.5 from our friend Dan's house.  We
tried hiking out there on the 9
th by way of the Pu'u O'o trail, starting at 4:00 in the morning, but ended up turning back...
5 March 2011

Ash cloud rising from Pu`u `Ō `ō as crater floor collapses
From the Kilauea Update page:  (I've included the captions)
Ash cloud rising from Pu`u `Ō `ō as
crater floor collapses due to magma
withdrawal. Incandescent rubble can be
seen crumbling and rolling down the
scarp. The east rim of Pu`u `Ō `ō is in
the foreground.
down the scarp on the edge of the
collapsing crater in Pu`u `Ō `ō. A
remnant of the pre-collapse crater floor
can be seen in the background below the
crater's south wall. The east rim of Pu`u
`Ō `ō is in the foreground.
Video clip shot from the air looking SW at the fissure eruption between
Pu`u `Ō `ō and Nāpau Crater. The fissure segment in the tephra in the
eruption as a whole started. The cracks through the tephra are in the
process of opening, though this can't be picked out at this distance.
Video clips of the fissure eruption between Pu`u `Ō `ō and Nāpau Crater
Click image for video (turn the volume down!)
Video clip shot in front of the propagating fissure, showing low spattering
that started moments earlier. Thick white steam from the crack in the
foreground indicates that lava is about to reach the surface, and is seen
doing so seconds later.
Video of spattering near the front of the propagating fissure.
New fissure eruption SW of Pu`u `Ō `ō between Pu`u `Ō `ō and Nāpau crater.
New fissure eruption SW of Pu`u `Ō `ō
Spatter is reaching 15-20 m into the air,
above the trees. Pu`u `Ō `ō in the
background.
between Pu`u `Ō `ō and Nāpau crater.
Spatter is reaching 15-20 m into the air,
above the trees.
View to the SW at the new fissure
eruption between Pu`u `Ō `ō and Nāpau.
Close-up of just-opened fissure segment
at NE tip of propagating fissure. Spatter
reaching 5 m into the air.
Close-up of just-opened fissure segment
at NE tip of propagating fissure. Spatter
reaching 5 m into the air. Lava just
breaking the ground surface to the left.
Close-up of spattering fissure. Lava
reaching 10 m into the air.
View looking along recently opened
fissure segment crossing tephra flats SW
of Pu`u `Ō `ō, which is in the
background.
View along fissure looking NE toward
background. Fissure segment in forest
has shut down.
Fissure segment in forest has shut down.
Compare to earlier photos before fissure
opened up in tephra.
Left:  Close-up of recently opened
fissure segment. Spatter reaching
about 5 m into the air.

Right:  View looking at the NE end of
the actively propagating fissure. Lava
is just breaking the surface in
foreground crack.
So this is where it's all happening.  At night, we could see the
sky glowing bright orange to the southwest.
I was itching to get out there but it was just too hard.  The first 4 miles of a hike are through dense rain forest on a path that
climbs and twists through mud and puddles and over slippery roots.  The humidity is 100%.  When you finally break out into
the open, the lava field around
Pu'u O'o, you are faced with a hike of at least 2 miles over a field of loose A'a lava.  A'a is
the loose sharp clinkery lava that makes for bad footing and lacerated legs.  About 4 hours at best.  And then you have to
get back!  You're tired now, give it 5 hours...  Not much time left over...  The best way to do it would be to spend a night out
there.  Hike out, camp & check things out.  Sleep. And hike back the next day after doing some more exploring.
But I'm not that organized...!