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Steam plumes rise as lava enters the Pacific Ocean, after flowing to the water from a Kilauea volcano fissure, on Hawaii's Big Island on May 20, 2018 near Pahoa, Hawaii. Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The Big Island is getting bigger, thanks to lava flowing into the ocean from the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii.

The big picture: U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) geologist Janet Babb told Axios that since May, eruptions have created a "lava delta" spanning 825 acres, with between 50 and 150 cubic meters of lava entering the ocean every second. The volcano has been erupting continuously since 1983, but the recent rate is unprecedented; until May, the land added by lava totaled just 500 acres.

Go deeper: In a new report on the landmass additions, the USGS explains that some lava deltas have a hard time solidifying and staying attached to land because there is a steep offshore slope. But this time, the area is far less steep, allowing the delta to expand and persist for longer.

Lava deltas are "notoriously unstable," Babb said, so the USGS puts out a new map every day as the terrain continues to change, and as topographic maps are updated (which happens less frequently) they will reflect the additions as well.

Go deeper

White House removes Trump-appointed scientist from overseeing climate report

U.S. President Joe Biden. Photo: Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images

The Biden administration has removed Trump-appointed atmospheric scientist Betsy Weatherhead from her role overseeing a comprehensive report on how climate change is affecting the U.S., the Washington Post first reported Monday.

Why it matters: Weatherhead has not been fired — merely reassigned to the U.S. Geological Survey — the move represents an effort by the Biden administration to remove Trump-era appointees from scientific roles, per CNN.

Congress, White House brace for Chauvin verdict

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are anxious as the nation awaits the verdict in former police officer Derek Chauvin's trial, fearing a not-guilty decision could exacerbate racial tensions and spark a new wave of riots.

Why it matters: Leaders on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue are trying to figure out how to calibrate any personal or legislative response, while also acknowledging how the final outcome in Chauvin's murder trial in the death of George Floyd could affect their district and them politically.

Exclusive: Koch Network, Bush Center team up on immigration

Visitors view immigration exhibit at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas. Photo: Stand Together

The Koch Network and the George W. Bush Presidential Center are partnering on an interactive immigration exhibit aimed at countering stereotypes and promoting immigration reform.

The big picture: The partnership to be announced Tuesday between the right-wing network's philanthropic arm, Stand Together, and the Dallas center comes as Congress is expected to debate immigration reform proposals amid resistance from many Republicans.