- Associated Press - Saturday, December 19, 2015

HONOLULU (AP) - Kilauea Volcano’s Puu Oo crater has what looks to be a new active lava pond.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists are keeping tabs on what’s been described as an “incandescent, fuming source” in the crater’s east rim near old lava tubes, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported (http://bit.ly/22gKCiR).

New photos of the vent were released Friday after researchers flew over the area and visited on foot. Web cameras started showing the development in early December.

The observatory’s website says the new vent opened as lava worked toward the surface.

“Aerial views into the opening suggest lava is welling up from below and not ‘flowing’ like lava in a tube (there is no apparent lava reappearing downslope),” scientists said observatory website. “Thus, our current interpretation is that this is a new vent that happened to open into the area of this abandoned tube as lava worked its way to the surface.”

Geologists are expecting surface lava crust to collapse around the opening, widening the mouth of the gap. Scientists hope to learn more as visibility improves.

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com

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