Lava Reaches Pali

Pele has made significant progress toward the ocean this past week, and is now poised just above the pali (cliff scarp) near the abandoned Royal Gardens subdivision. This new flow is now just over 3 miles long, and will most likely begin to descend Pulama pali in the coming week, if the lava supply remains uninterrupted. Pele has dotted the mountain with numerous outbreaks, which are overplating the flow field, and covering older pahoehoe and a’a flows. The multitude of flows are also expanding the margins of the flow field. If she is able to make her way over the pali and continue on to the coast, she will most likely consolidate into fewer tubes, and develop a more established delivery system. There is a tremendous amount of lava being supplied to the flow, as evidenced by the skylights near the vent. Interestingly, the most lava we’ve seen in quite some time appeared in a huge skylight to the northeast. This skylight shows a river of lava rushing by, some 30-40 feet or more below the surface. We were able to access the Pu’u ‘O’o vent, but could not see the lava lake on the west end due to its heavy plume and steam. Thankfully, residents of the communities to the north and east can continue to rest easy, as Pele’s lava continues moving away from their homes. Leilani the Hula Girl and Lava Ducky were on board, along with special guest, extreme colorist painter Jeff Albrecht. Bruce Omori and I were back with Paradise Helicopters’ superb pilot, Ryan Moeller, who expertly guided us around the flow field. Mahalo, Ryan!


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