Lava Update | September 7, 2017

Although rainy skies got us wet on the way out to the Kilauea’s east rift zone, it surely didn’t dampen our spirits for long, as the activity was quite incredible! Pu‘u ‘O‘o’s lava pond was fiercely active, with vigorous foundering and spattering occurring. Gases were quite thick, but gaps in the rising plume gave us windows of opportunities at capturing images of the boiling pond of lava. Meanwhile, the upper flow field hosted a number of nosebleed breakouts spread over a vast area, from within a mile of the vent, to just above Pulama Pali. Also visible was a small skylight, which allowed us to see the flowing river of lava feeding the easternmost branch of 61G. And, just as we were about to head down to coastal plain and ocean entry, a large tumulus ruptured, spilling lava downslope and toward the pali. The activity was so captivating, we never made beyond that point.  🙂 The Kamokuna ocean entry was still active, as the plume was clearly visible.

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Pu‘u ‘O‘o’s lava pond was fiercely active, with vigorous bubbling and foundering occurring.
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A gorgeous sunrise is always a great backdrop for a lava flow!
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A bird’s eye perspective of a flow overplating the upper flow field.
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A skylight in the easternmost flow, gave us a peek at the river of lava feeding its distal tip on the coastal plain.
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As we hovered above a breakout, pilot Robert Mitchell spotted a tumulus rupture right in front of us! Amazing occurrence to witness, as lava just spilled out over its side.
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Another angle of the the tumulus effusing lava.

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