Lava Update | Thursday, April 20

Thursday, April 20, 6:00 am – Pu‘u ‘O‘o & Kalapana overflight:

Eruptive activity persists on Kilauea’s east rift zone, as Pu‘u ‘O‘o continues to feed flow 61G. Light winds from the southwest made for extremely voggy skies over east Hawaii, but it also gave us the opportunity to view the vent’s lava pond from a different angle today. Vigorous spattering occurred from two spots along the southwest wall of the collapse pit, and gases rose high to the northeast, allowing us to look virtually straight down onto the activity. Meanwhile, the March 5th flow is advancing toward Pulama Pali, just reaching the point where one of the previous breakouts occurred, roughly 1/2 mile above the crest of the steep hill. The flow is spread out over a wide area, so its progress has been slow… but consistent. The Kamokuna ocean entry remains active, and the delta has extended a little further seaward. Stress fractures indicate that the new lava bench is under stress, and hazards of being in the general vicinity remain extreme.

Vigorous bubbling and spattering in Pu‘u ‘O‘s lava pond!
Light southwest winds allowed us to approach Pu‘u ‘O‘o’s lava pond from the west, giving us a great vantage point today.
A nice breakout of pahoehoe on the March 5th flow field, created beautiful ropey braids.
The March 5th flow continues to advance, albeit slowly, as it is spread out over a wide area. As the grade of the terrain increases, the flow may form a more concentrated channel and pick up speed. Only time will tell, but it’s sure fun to observe!
A nice toe of lava breaks out on a recently cooled section of the March 5th flow, as overplating occurs in the middle of the flow field.
Hazy skies created a surreal scene above the Kamokuna ocean entry, as the plume blows to the north… and toward Hilo!
Numerous fingers of lava enter the sea at the Kamokuna ocean entry, as a robust plume rises from the interaction between the 2000 degree lava and cool Pacific Ocean. Major stress fractures on the new delta indicates the potential of another collapse occurring, and being in the general vicinity is extremely risky. Heed all warnings issued by the NPS, as the dangers are REAL. And, yes, those are peeps in the lower right of the frame.

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