A cone within a cone? USGS says fissure 8 has formed a new feature

Scientists say a small cone has formed within fissure 8

KILAUEA VOLCANO, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - There's been a new formation spotted within the once highly active fissure no. 8.

A drone flyover Wednesday morning noted what scientists call a "small cone" on the floor of the crater.

"The cone formed as lava erupted from an opening in the surface of the flow that covers the crater floor," USGS scientists said. But aside from the new formation, no active flows were reported outside of the fissure 8 walls.

It can be a considered a "cone within a cone" because fissure no. 8, one of the most active fissures of the entire Kilauea eruption, took on it's own unique shape early on. [Read more: Why fissure 8 is beginning to look like its own volcano]

The outer walls of fissure 8 at one point stood 180 feet tall and fed fast-moving lava flows down the lower east rift zone.

Last week, volcanic activity picked up again after a short break. Over the last few days, scientists noticed a soft orange glow from the fissure, indicating the eruption may have subsided, but wasn't completely over.

Wednesday morning around 5:30 a.m., USGS also reported a 3.1 magnitude earthquake below Kilauea's south flank — another indicator magma could still be moving underground.

Sulfur dioxide levels remain low and scientists continue to monitor changing conditions.

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