Eruptive activity continues on the east rift zone of Kilauea, and although we were limited to the upper flow field just east of Pu‘u ‘O‘o because of low cloud cover, the latest breakout kept us occupied for our entire flight! See the latest photos and accompanying captions below.
The area, approximately 1/2 to 3/4 mile east of Pu‘u ‘O‘o, has been the hot spot for the past three weeks, as another large breakout occurred on Wednesday evening (April 4th), and has effused lava over the 61G tube system. Several short but wide rivers of molten lava were active while we hovered above. Cloud shrouded Pu‘u ‘O‘o sits in the upper left corner of the frame.
Another view of the large breakout we spent our time at, from a lower perspective. Pu‘u ‘O‘o sits at the top of the frame, hidden in the low cloud cover.
A view of this large breakout, looking east. The bluish colored gas is sulfur dioxide, while the white is steam from rainfall on the flows’ hot surfaces.
A river of pahoehoe advances downslope, covering an area of recently cooled flows, a process referred to as overplating.
A bird’s eye view of a snaking river of lava. Note how the smooth, silvery surface of the fresh flow compares to the darker older one in the lower left corner.
Skylights were once again plentiful in the area, giving us peeks into their fiery depths.
Another collapsed tube creates a skylight, from which we’re able to view its glowing interior. Rain falling on this hot, active flow field flashes to steam.
A wide toe of lava breaks out from beneath hardened crust.