Lava Update | May 25, 2017

Kilauea’s eruptive activity continues on the east rift zone, and although we were not able to fly over Pu‘u ‘O‘o crater because of low overhanging cloud cover, it continues to feed lava to breakouts on the upper flow field and Pulama Pali, and also the Kamokuna ocean entry. Our focus was kept on several rivers of lava advancing down the steep hillside, as these probably won’t last for very long before they tube up. And, while these rivers started out as pahoehoe, all transitioned to ‘a‘a as the flows progressed downslope. The leading edge of the March 5th flow has extended roughly a 1/4 mile from the base of the pali, running parallel but just west of 61G’s original path.

Twin rivers of lava flow down the steepest section of Pulama Pali, adding to the uniquely sculptured texture of the hillside.
The upper flow field continues to be active, with breakouts occurring along the path of the March 5th flow.
A river of lava flowing down Pulama Pali transitions from pahoehoe at its source, to ‘a‘a at its leading edge, due to the shear strain and increasing viscosity.
A view of Pulama Pali with several areas of activity. From high above, the breakouts looks tiny, but are actually quite long. The river in the middle of the frame is more than 100′ long.
A closer view of the river of lava in the previous image.

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