By Catholic Online
3/9/2011 (4 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
The latest eruption at Kilauea volcano in Hawaii is being called the Kamoamoa Fissure Eruption. The volcano is one of the world's most active volcanoes. Kamoamoa cracked over the weekend and is continuing to spew out loads of lava and gases.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Visitors have been flocking to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to catch a glimpse of the 2,000-degree Fahrenheit glowing, red-orange lava that is shooting 65 feet high. Visitors are being kept far away from the isolated, remote east zone rift where the eruption is taking place.
The Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory said "vigorous spattering" is occurring from at least two locations along the new vent between the Pu'u 'O'o and Napau craters. In addition, low-level lava fountains and spattering are feeding several lava flows advancing to the south within the park.
Kilauea has been in constant eruption since Jan. 3, 1983, the latest eruption in the same area of the east rift where it started 28 years ago.
Park Ranger Mardie Lane says that 88 million cubic feet of lava is gushing out of Kamoamoa daily, about five times the amount that was previously coming of the east rift zone.
That means the new eruption could fill roughly 1,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools of lava each day. "So we're looking at a lot of fume and a lot of flow relative to where we were a week ago," Lane said.
For several years, the average gas emissions in the region averaged about 1,700 tons daily. However, it has decreased in the past year and dropped to 300 to 400 tons daily in the past few months, including on Friday before the latest eruption.
No major problems have been reported because of the emissions, as the trade winds are blowing the gases out to sea.
"We're OK for now. I think we would have a concern if there was a wind shift," Lane said.
While visitors are being kept away from the lava, rangers are sharing with them the latest information and videos of Kamoamoa at the Kilauea Visitor Center and Jaggar Museum.
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