Hawaii's Main Coastline Expanded 1.5 Kilometres Due to Lava
Lava flows approaching Kapoho Bay in the lower East Rift Zone of Hawaii

Hawaii’s main island coastline has extended into the sea by 1.5 kilometres following the continual eruption of the Kilauea volcano.

The eruptions, which have been ongoing since May, could be expected to continue “for months to years", according to a report by the U.S. Geological Survey and Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

The continuous lava flow has now covered about 12.5 square miles of Hawaii's Big Island, or about half the size of Manhattan, and has destroyed more than 700 homes. It continues to threaten more structures.

Lava filled Kapoho Bay and beyond, expanding the coastline farther and farther into the sea. At one point, a small island was formed off the coast. Scientists think molten lava broke through a hardened rock crust underwater and rose until it reached above sea level.

Satellite images released by the European Union Earth Observation Programme, Copernicus, show the newly-formed land.

On one hand, Kīlauea seems to have settled into a pattern of lava flows from the Leilani Estates fissures and explosions from the summit. However, as we are in somewhat unprecedented (in recent times) activity, it is still unclear how long this eruption will last and how much it could change.