HILO, Hawaii (AP) - Geologists at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory are studying lava samples that might help fine-tune projections if Kilauea sends another 2,000-degree river of molten rock toward homes in lower Puna.
The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports (http://bit.ly/1TXGXm3) that the lava flow saw its 1-year anniversary yesterday but hasn't threatened populated areas since March.
Geologist Frank Trusdell is nevertheless analyzing thousands of slides and counting crystals one by one.
He wants to find out whether the lava flow changed in temperature or chemistry as it advanced down the slope. Certain changes could have increased the lava's viscosity and made it more sluggish, which could explain why the flow has stopped about 14 miles from the vent, just before reaching the town.
Information from: Hawaii Tribune-Herald, http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/