Lava Update | April 12, 2018

Partly cloudy skies once again prevailed during our overflight, and although it didn’t interfere with access to the flow field, it did prevent us from doing our usual observation at Pu‘u ‘O‘o’s lava lake, as the crater was socked in pretty good. The area of breakouts 1/2 mile to the east of the vent remains very active, with lava continuing to effuse from the 61G tube system. Farther down the eruption zone, localized breakouts were visible about 3/4 of a mile above Pulama Pali, but nothing substantial. No activity is present on the steep hillside, coastal plain, or ocean entry. See the latest photos and captions below.

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The area of activity about 1/2 mile east of Pu‘u ‘O‘o hosted this large, wide breakout of pahoehoe. The raised area in the upper middle of the frame is the perched pond, while Pu‘u ‘O‘o sits cloud-covered in the upper left.
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An overhead view of the breakout, looking east. Steam rises from the 61G flow field, as an early morning shower drenched the area prior to our arrival.
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Huge slabs of hardened crust float away as pressure from beneath fractures these thin, hardened sheets of rock.
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The cooling crust on a river of lava tears as the stretch exceeds its tensile strength.
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The roof of an active tube collapses, creating what’s known as a skylight, allowing us to peer into the fiery chamber within.
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Pillows of pahoehoe ooze from the fractured crust of a tube.
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Hot toes of lava ooze from beneath the lateral edge of a flow, as its overall width increases.
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An early morning downpour over the eruption zone created this steamy, surreal scene.
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A small breakout ruptures from the leading edge of a flow about 3/4 of a mile above Pulama Pali. Several nosebleeds were seen in the vicinity, but nothing of significant size.

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