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5/14/2007

16 acres of volcanoes coastline collapses into sea

Hawaii, USA
Photo: JASON LUX / COURTESY OF NATIONAL PARK SERVICEOnlookers watched Thursday as 16 acres of the East Lae'apuki Delta at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park collapsed into the ocean, sending up large plumes of steam and debris
Steam plumes shoot as high as a thousand feet, raining black sand on visitors miles away
On May 10, 16 acres of the East Lae'apuki Delta at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park collapsed into the ocean, sending up large plumes of steam and debris, with steam plumes as high as a thousand feet, and black sand raining on visitors miles away. The Thursday afternoon lava-bench collapse happened about two miles from the nearest public viewing spot. Park visitors saw steam and rocks shoot up from the collapse area as the coastline gave way over about four hours. Fist-size rocks were thrown as far as 450 feet inland, and one rock 14 inches in diameter was found 394 feet inland. Each new segment of collapse produced a steam plume blackened by fragmented stone as hot rocks hit the sea. Portions of the "lava delta" - new land built by recent flows -- did not collapse, but large new cracks crossing those areas could signal more catastrophic, future land losses There are three general areas on the coast where lava has been entering the sea off and on
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