Lava Update | June 22, 2017

Beautiful overcast skies greeted us as we approached Kilauea’s east rift zone, making Pu‘u ‘O‘o’s lava lake glow all the more. Winds were favorable as well, so we had a great opportunity to observe the bubbling and churning pit of molten lava. On the upper flow field, there were numerous little breakouts scattered throughout, with several larger ones that we hovered over. There were no visible breakouts on and below Pulama Pali, but the ocean entry at Kamokuna continues to be vigorously active, as multiple fingers of lava pour into the sea. A sizable stress fracture through the delta that was covered by the eruption of lava from the encasement, is now visible again, indicating that slippage/shifting is occurring.

Pu‘u ‘O‘o’s lava pond was very active, glowing and spattering as we hovered above.  Mauna Loa, the world’s largest active volcano, sits quietly in the background.
The crusted surface slowly drifted toward the subduction zone against the far wall, fracturing into slabs and pushed under as gases escaped with explosive force.
A lone ohia sampling stands in the path of a fresh breakout, an amazing display of Kilauea’s destructive and yet creative force.
The edge of a flow lifts up as pressure builds within, releasing a new lobe of molten pahoehoe.
The Kamokuna ocean entry continues to be active with multiple streams of lava entering the sea, creating a huge steam plume.

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