Lava Flow Closes Road, Trails at Hawai’i’s Kilauea Volcano

Monday, March 07 2011 18:21   Other NPs
As lava continues to flow on the east rift of Kilauea Volcano at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, rangers March 7 closed Chain of Craters Road, all east rift and coastal trails, and Kulanaokuaiki Campground until further notice.

These closures are due to an eruption on the East Rift Zone of Kilauea, located in an inaccessible area 8 miles east of the summit, that began on Saturday, March 5, 2011.

U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists flying over Kilauea on Saturday afternoon saw a new lava outbreak in a remote area on the volcano's east rift.

The park accordingly closed Chain of Craters Road, all east rift zone and coastal trails, and the campground at Kulanaokuaiki until further notice.  

Lava is spattering sporadically to average heights of 65 fee from a series of fissues that extend more than a mile between Napau Crater and Pu`u `O`o. Aound the vents, molten rock puddles and hardens.

In response to the change in volcanic conditions, nearly 30 park personnel have rallied to support this major incident, meeting and planning for the first time in the park's new Visitor Emergency Operations Center.

Rangers remain vigilant. Seismicity is ongoing, the volcano's summit continues to deflate, and magma migrates underground beneath roads, trails, and a campsite on the volcanoe's east rift.

Hawai`i Volanoes closed Chain of Craters Road and all east rift and coastal trails, along with Kulanaokuaiki Campground, until further notice. The closure helps ensure that hikers and cars don't get trapped on the ‘wrong side' of an outbreak.

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists seized this oportunity to measure gas emissions and surface deformation, collect lava and fallout, and map the ever-changing landscape.

Park firefighters are gauging the threat of lava-ignited wildfires. Fortunately for now, drenching rains offer a reprieve from potential flare-ups in the surrounding native `ohi`a-hapu`u rain forest.

Public interest is keen and visitation is up. The park and its most popular overlooks and summit trails remain open. However, because the new eruption is remote and inaccessible, rangers share the latest information, photos, and videos at Kilauea Visitor Center and Jaggar Museum. A webcam view is available on-line at

It's a phenomenal time, and for some, deja vu.

The volcanic event is located where it all bean 28ears ago. On Jan. 3, 1983, Kilauea' ongoing east rift eruption oprned in this very spot. Newcomers can't help but wonder "What happens next?" Old-timers take time to pause and ponder, and offer an occasional "I remember when..."

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park displays the results of 70 million years of volcanism, migration, and evolution - processes that thrust a bare land from the sea and clothed it with unique ecosystems, and a distinct human culture.

The park highlights two of the world' most active volcanoes, and offers insights on the birth of the Hawaiian Islands and views of dramatic volcanic landscapes.

For more information visit the park's web site at and for closure updates visit Hawaii Volcanoes NP closure information .


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