Huge Pali Collapse

Pele is active on and above the coastal plain, widening and overplating the flow field. But the distal tip just over a half mile from the ocean remains stalled out for the time being, about a half mile from the ocean. Pele slid over the Pali three weeks ago, mostly between Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the abandoned Royal Gardens subdivision. This new flow, dubbed 61G is now over 5 miles long, nearly the entire last mile of the distal tip was inactive this morning. Only two sizable outbreaks were observed above the inactive tip… one about a third of a mile long on the Pali… and the second, a large pahoehoe flow on the coastal plain, about a half mile from the first. But of greatest interest today was a huge collapsed lava tube near the remaining trees in Royal Gardens, most of the way down the Pali. Somewhere in the neighborhood of sixty feet or more in diameter, the hole revealed layers of hot molten rock, and two rivers snaking slowly beneath several shelves. We were unable to locate any skylights above the Pali, but could only get about half way to the vent due to the inclement weather. How soon the flow could reach the ocean is a bit of a mystery now, as activity seems to have slowed considerably, and the flow front is not moving. Leilani the Hula Girl and Lava Ducky joined us today, along with special guest and frequent flier, Jason Chan. Bruce Omori and I were back with Paradise Helicopters’ superb pilot, Robert Mitchell. Mahalo, Rob… you da man!

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