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Kilauea
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Surface flows reach the ocean
Dozens of small lava flows have moved down the pali and across the coastal plain of Kilauea's south flank in the last several weeks as the nearly 2-year-old tube system continues to evolve a network of underground conduits between the erupting vent and the ocean.

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L

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Kilauea Volcano
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Demonstrating that a by-now-familiar phenomenon can still dish out surprises, Kilauea Volcano sent lava over an old access road to Kalapana late last week in a smoky show of deja vu.
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Halemaumau crater
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The summit of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano is glowing brightly as molten lava swirls 300 feet below its crater's floor, bubbling near the surface after years of spewing from the volcano's side.
The expanding vent of Halemaumau crater helps confirm scientists' belief that the lava is close to the surface of the summit, said Janet Babb, a geologist and spokeswoman for the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.
Park rangers have begun keeping the overlook at the Jaggar Museum open later at night to accommodate the growing number of visitors arriving at dusk or after dark to view the glow.
Kilauea has been erupting for more than 25 years, with its lava creating a plume of steam as it spills into the Pacific Ocean.

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Hawaii-Emperor seamount chain
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More than 80 undersea volcanoes and a multitude of islands are dotted along the Hawaii-Emperor seamount chain like pearls on a necklace. A sharp bend in the middle is the only blemish. The long-standing explanation for this distinctive feature was a change in direction of the Pacific oceanic plate in its migration over a stationary hotspot - an apparently unmoving volcano deep within the earth. According to the results of an international research group, of which Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München geophysicist Professor Hans-Peter Bunge was a member, however, the hotspot responsible for the Hawaii-Emperor seamount chain was not fixed. Rather it had been drifting quite distinctly southward. Nearly 50 million years ago, it finally came to rest while the Pacific plate steadily pushed on, the combination of which resulted in the prominent bend. The movements of hotspots are determined by circulations in the earth's mantel.

"These processes are not of mere academic interest. Mantel circulation models help us understand the forces that act on tectonic plates. This in turn is essential for estimating the magnitude and evolution of stresses on the largest tectonic fault lines, that is the sources of many major earthquakes" - Professor Hans-Peter Bunge.

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Halemaumau Crater
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Last year's gassy, dusty eruption inside Halemaumau Crater did far more swallowing than spitting, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said.
Scientists do not know how or why it happened, they said in their weekly "Volcano Watch" column.
From March to December the hole at the base of Halemaumau spit out mostly dust, small rocks and bits of fresh lava.
When geologists added up all that stuff, they estimated the volume at 2,540 cubic yards. Half, 1,270 cubic yards, was bits of old rocks, and half was spatters of new lava.

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Magma observatory
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Drillers accidentally hit a pocket of molten rock underneath a working geothermal energy field in Hawaii, a lucky break for geologists that could allow them to map the geological plumbing that created everything we know as land.
The unprecedented discovery could act as a "magma observatory," allowing scientists to test their theories about how processes transformed the molten rock below Earth's surface into the rocky crust that humans live on today.

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RE: Kilauea
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Lavas from Hawaiian volcano contain fingerprint of planetary formation
Hikers visiting the Kilauea Iki crater in Hawaii today walk along a mostly flat surface of sparsely vegetated basalt. It looks like parking lot asphalt, but in November and December 1959, it emitted the orange glow of newly erupted lava.
Now, a precision analysis of lava samples taken from the crater is giving scientists a new tool for reconstructing planetary origins. The results of the analysis, by the University of Chicago's Nicolas Dauphas and his associates, will be published in the June 20 issue of the journal Science.

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At 2:58 a.m. H.S.T on Wednesday, March 19, 2008, a small explosion occurred at Halemaumau Crater at the summit of Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. This event was erroneously reported as an earthquake earlier this morning. The explosion scattered debris over an area of about 75 acres (30 hectares), covering a portion of Crater Rim Drive and damaging the Halemaumau overlook. No lava was erupted as part of the explosion, suggesting that the activity was driven by hydrothermal or gas sources.
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A new gas vent broke through the lower east wall of Halemaumau this week, doubling the sulphur dioxide gas being emitted from the crater.
A typical rate at which sulphur dioxide is released by Kilauea volcano has been 150-200 tonnes/day. The emission rate increased to nearly 300 tonnes/day in late December 2007. By mid-February 2008, it fluctuated between 600 and 1000 tonnes/day.

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