Hawaii Volcano | Gunung Api di Hawaii Muntahkan Lahar

Gunung Kilauea yang berada di Hawaii kembali memuntahkan lahar setinggi 20 meter ke udara. Para ilmuwan sendiri tengah mengamati aktivitas gunung api yang berada di Big Island, Hawaii, Amerika Serikat tersebut.

Gunung Kilauea, mengalami letusan selama 28 tahun terakhir. Tetapi menurut geolog Janet Babb dari United States Geological Survey (USGS), letusan itu menandai 'episode baru dan masa depan yang samar' dari pegunungan.

Salah satu kawah Kilauea yang biasa disebut Pu'u 'O'o ambruk hingga 113 meter dan kejadian itu disusul dengan 150 kali gempa kecil Sabtu (4/3). Sementara di tempat berbeda, di sebelah timur Kilauea, sebuah celah sepanjang 490 meter, memuntahkan lahar setinggi 20 meter ke udara. Selain itu sebuah kawah yang dinamai Napau, mulai meletus.

Para warga setempat menutup lintasan di sebelah timur zona retakan itu, perkemahan di kawah Napau, dan beberapa jalan di sekitarnya, demikian keterangan Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Park Ranger Mardie Lane.

New cracks in Hawaii’s surface continued to spew lava on Monday in the latest punctuation of Kilauea Volcano, the mythical home of the Hawaiian fire goddess Pele.

Beginning on Saturday afternoon, the fissures along the chain of craters that make up Kilauea’s East Rift Zone, on the southern end of Hawaii’s Big Island, created what resembled rivers of fire through the forest. Spatters of molten lava reached peaks of more than 80 feet on Sunday, according to the United States Geological Survey’s Hawaiian volcano observatory, reaching over the trees. In aerial photographs, incandescent flows of red and orange — colors produced by temperatures as hot as about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit — left veins of ash grey as they churned through the green forest, before cascading into another deep crack in the earth.

The eruption also caused more than 150 detectable earthquakes in the area, which continued through Monday morning, though with decreasing frequency.

The fissures prompted the closing of parts of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, including Chain of Craters Road and other trails and a campground in the area. The observatory also warned of lethal levels of sulfur dioxide near the vents. But because the eruptions are in a “very remote area” of the park, they do not pose a threat to people or towns, said Janet Babb, a geologist with the observatory.

The fissures are between the rift zone’s easternmost craters, Napau and Pu’u O’o. Pu’u O’o (pronounced POOH-ooh-oh-oh) was formed in 1983, when Kilauea’s current eruption first began. The volcano is thought to be among the most active in the world.

The lava fissures coincided with a collapse of 380 feet in the crater floor of Pu’u O’o. The magma that flows upward from inside Earth and supports the floor was apparently diverted, Ms. Babb said. However, she added, geologists were working to determine if the fissures were the result of that diverted flow.

The lava lake inside Halema’uma’u, a crater on the opposite end of the rift zone near Kileau’s peak, also receded over the weekend, and its collapsing walls produced plumes of dust.

Sourch http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/08/us/08volcano.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss