Lava Update | March 16, 2018

After being postponed by poor visibility over Kilauea’s east rift zone on Thursday, we were able to get airborne yesterday to continue our documentation of the world’s most active volcano. And, yes, active it was!    Pu‘u ‘O‘o’s lava lake was bubbling in several spots, but our time there was kept at a minimum because of shifting winds. Roughly one fourth of a mile from the vent was an impressive breakout spilling lava just east of the 61G tube system. This rupture began on Thursday afternoon, and was still hot while we were in the vicinity. A number of small nosebleeds were visible on the upper flow field, while the other major hot spot was Pulama Pali. The western lobe was quite active near the top of the steep hillside, with one long river and several short ones advancing downslope. While the leading edge of this lobe had advanced significantly onto the coastal plain, we didn’t observe any additional progress. A few small breakouts on the flats were present, but nothing notable. And, a couple breakouts over the 61G tube near the bottom of the pali were effusing molten lava as well. See the latest pics below!

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The gases cleared for just a bit, and we were able to sneak in for a closer peek.
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Pu‘u ‘O‘o’s lava lake was quite active with several spots of bubbling occurring. Shifty winds kept us at bay for the most part, although we were able to get over it for just a short while.
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The large breakout roughly 1/4 mile from Pu‘u ‘O‘o was vigorously active, as it continued to advance downslope.
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A large breakout that began on Thursday afternoon, was still quite vigorous on Friday morning, as a couple streams of pahoehoe continued to advance to the east from the 61G tube. The steam rising in the background is a result of the heavy rains in the area over the past several days… more like weeks, yeah?
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This long river of lava from the western lobe snaked down the top of Pulama Pali, while smaller breakouts were occurring around it.
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The western lobe was the most active on Pulama Pali.
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An overhead view looking down onto an active breakout from the 61G tube just above the base of the pali.

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