Lava Update | March 8, 2018

Chilly air and overcast skies were prevalent during our overflight, but not a drop of moisture!! lol… After the several week stretch of rain, not having to constantly wipe our lenses was definitely nice! Ambient air temperature of 50 degrees, plus a windchill from flying over 130 mph, made getting over the toasty lava fields feel REALLY good!!  🙂 Stiff winds blowing out of the west made for a tough approach to the vent, but we were able to sneak a peek into Pu‘u ‘O‘o’s lava lake… and with just a couple spots of activity, we flew down slope less than a mile to a sizable, vigorous breakout. By the appearance of the crusting, it probably was an hour or two old, and had spread over a wide area. Another large breakout that occurred the previous afternoon about a quarter of a mile further downslope, was still advancing, but at a slow rate. A few sporadic nosebleeds were also visible on the upper flow field. And, as it has been over the past few weeks, rivers of lava were present on Pulama Pali, with the western lobe making the most forward progress onto the coastal plain. See the latest photos below!

A couple of glowing spots of activity within Pu‘u ‘O‘o’s crater greeted us, but thick gases blowing over prevented us from getting too much closer for better shots.
This large breakout of pahoehoe was approximately 1/2 mile downslope of Pu‘u ‘O‘o, and was extremely active.
A view of the large breakout from above facing east.
Another view of the large breakout about 1/2 mile downslope of the vent.
The breakout pilot, Sean Regehr, first spotted on Wednesday afternoon, was still active but with reduced volume and vigor.
Mick Kalber doing his thing over the vent!!
A river of lava flows down Pulama Pali.
A head-on view of the westernmost lobe on Pulama Pali. It is still very active, and has advanced roughly 3/4 mile onto the coastal plain.
Hardened crust ruptures from pressure within, releasing molten pahoehoe over a recently cooled flow.
The lighter colored lava is the westernmost lobe of activity, extending onto the coastal plain approximately 3/4 mile.

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