First LAVA UPDATE of 2017!! Thursday, January 5, 6:00 am – Kalapana & Pu‘u ‘O‘o overflight

2017 started about with a bang, as the 25 acre Kamokuna delta collapsed into the sea on New Year’s Eve, taking another 4 acres of land adjacent to the public lava viewing area as well. Stress fractures had been widening, and the HVNP and USGS had issued warnings about the likelihood of it occurring, and thankfully no one was injured or killed as a result of the catastrophic event. A couple “before & after” shots are included below. Aside from the excitement at the ocean entry, eruptive activity persists at Pu‘u ‘O‘o and its eastern flank. The lava pond within the crater continues to circulate and spatter, and the lobe to the east is creeping along with sporadic breakouts on the flow field, although volume doesn’t seem to be very high. And surprisingly, the skylights at the base of Pulama Pali still exist, radiating glow from the lava within.  

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The 25 acre Kamokuna delta collapsed into the sea on New Year’s Eve, taking another 4 acres of land with it, leaving a bite-like bay behind (to the right of the plume in the lower photo). Also, the little puffs of white gas at the existing cliff’s edge in the before shot is where the tube severed, creating a firehose situation for a short time after.

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The 25 acre Kamokuna delta collapsed into the sea on New Year’s Eve, taking another 4 acres of land with it. Using the end of the emergency access road as a reference point, one can see the significant amount of land area that disappeared into the sea.

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The lava pond within Pu‘u ‘O‘o continues to circulate and spatter, as its crust occasionally breaks and is swallowed by the molten lava.

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A breakout in the early morning light glows brightly as it spills over recently cooled crust.

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The skylights near the base of Pulama Pali continue to glow incessantly from the lava within the main tube feeding the Kamokuna ocean entry.

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