Lava Update: Friday, March 17, 7:00 am – Pu‘u ‘O‘o and Kalapana overflight

Eruptive activity continues on Kilauea’s east rift zone. Pu‘u ‘O‘o’s lava pond was very active with much bubbling and spattering, and cracking and swallowing of its crusted surface. The two week old breakout, roughly a mile from the vent, is still active with numerous little breakouts spread out over its widening flow field. While the leading edge has advanced about a mile, it’s still quite a distance from Pulama Pali. All of the other surface flows have stagnated, with the exception of one small lobe in the middle of the coastal plain. With the summit once again in deflationary mode, it looks like that surface activity may come to halt soon. The Kamokuna ocean entry is still discharging lava directly into the sea via the firehose, and creating consistently large littoral explosions.

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Pu‘u ‘O‘o’s lava pond was quite active, with bubbling, spattering, and a constant circulating consumption of its crusted surface. A new USGS camera sits on the floor of Pu‘u ‘O‘o crater, perched close enough to the edge of the collapse pit to have a view of the lava pond. And, yes, that’s our helicopter’s shadow in the gas plume!
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The latest breakout roughly a mile from the vent, is still active with numerous lobes spread out over a widening flow field. Its distal tip has advanced about a mile from its source.
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Bruddah Mick Kalber shooting his crocs over the lava pond through the front lower windshield.
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The Kamokuna ocean entry generates a large plume of toxic laze, a mixture of steam and hydrochloric acid, laced with tiny bits of volcanic glass.
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The firehose at the Kamokuna ocean entry is still pouring lava directly into the sea, albeit at a lower volume than weeks previous. Consistent littoral explosions continue to shower the coastline with tephra and ejecta, while the cliff’s face continues to erode.
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