Lava Update | July 27, 2017

With the backdrop of an amazing sunrise, we approached Kilauea’s east rift zone and observed the ongoing eruption from Pu‘u ‘O‘o. Although we were not able to venture over the crater because of a low layer of thick cloud cover, the vent continues to feed flows on the upper flow field, as well as on the coastal plain. A new breakout occurred on Wednesday afternoon, less than 1/2 mile from Pu‘u ‘O‘o, and was still very active during our overflight. Numerous other spots of activity were visible throughout the flow field, although most were small nose bleeds. The surface flow on the coastal plain slowly but steadily advances, and is now roughly halfway to the sea. Volume at the leading edge appears to be light, but as long as it remains consistent, tubes will continue to transport lava and it’ll creep along, keeping the possibility of another ocean entry alive.    Lastly, the Kamokuna ocean entry was very active, with two breakouts from the stress fractures, and numerous fingers of lava pouring into the sea. Cracks in the delta continue to grow in width, indicating instability and the potential for a significant bench collapse.

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A new breakout less 1/2 mile from Pu‘u ‘O‘o, spills lava westward, or inland… as the glow of the sunrise illuminates the sky over the ocean. A little strange to see lava flowing in this direction, but dictated by the topography of the terrain.
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Rising gasses indicate the path of tubes transporting molten lava to the coastal plain and ocean entry.
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A bird’s eye view of the Kamokuna delta and ocean entry.
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Stress fractures in the Kamokuna delta continue to grow in width, indicating the possibility of a significant bench collapse.
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A surface flow on the Kamokuna delta bleeds from one of the stress fractures in the bench.
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Another breakout on the Kamokuna delta effuses lava from a stress fracture, and pours into the sea.
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Numerous fingers of lava pour into the sea along the delta’s edge.

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