Lava Update | August 5, 2018

Kīlauea’s eruptive activity on its lower east rift zone continues, BUT fissure 8 was NOT feeding lava into the perched channel as it has been consistently doing for the past three months. While lava seemed to be contained to within the pu‘u while we circled overhead, as we were leaving the area, a small rise in the lake’s level, began slowly advancing toward the fissure’s throat. The surface of the flowing river of lava have crusted over, with glow emanating from just the cracks. A buildup of ‘a‘a in the channels downslope have created a situation not unlike a train wreck, as overflows were observed from near the bottom of the second braid, on the south side of the occupied branch, through shipwreck corner. ‘A‘a flows were pushing northward, just west of the cinder pit, and eastward toward Hwy 137 (north of 4 corners). Lava has also reoccupied the channel flowing toward Kapoho, east of Kapoho Crater. Meanwhile, the volume of lava at the coast has tapered off a bit, but still quite a number off rivulets were pouring into the sea, its flow front stretching from Ahalanui to Pohoiki. The southern margin at the water’s edge has advanced, moving ever closer to Isaac Hale Beach Park and the boat ramp, consuming Dead Trees as I type. With the amount of residual lava stored within the mass of ‘a‘a on the coastal plain, Pohoiki is still at risk, even if fissure should happen to stop completely.   

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A small lava pond bubbles and churns, as lava appears to be contained within the pu‘u for the moment. The surfaces within mini 8 and channels have crusted over, and seemed to be static while we hovered above.
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A small rise in the level of the lava lake, spilled into the throat of the cone, fronting mini 8.
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With the slowdown in lava supply from fissure 8, a recession within the perched channel is noticeable from this angle.
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A wafting plume of gas rises from fissure 8, as effusion of lava the vent appears to have all but ceased… at least at the time of our overflight.
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As lava stagnates within the channel, a crust forms as its surface cools.
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Buildup of ‘a‘a within the lower channels have caused overflows between shipwreck corner and the braids. Here, an overflow of ‘a‘a pushes south, covering an area recently scorched by a brushfire.
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The buildup of ‘a‘a in the lower channel has created a trainwreck-like situation, as the backup of lava spills over the sides of channelized system.
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A lobe of ‘a‘a advances toward Hwy 137, as lava reoccupies the channel fronting Kapoho Crater.
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A view looking east at Kapoho Crater, and the overflows going around the cinder pit, while a portion of the volume continues to flow toward Ahalanui and Pohoiki.
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A view of the eruption zone from above shipwreck corner, with overflows occurring from the lower braid through the bend.
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An ‘a‘a flow advances toward Hwy 137, north of 4 corners.
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A bird’s eye view of the reoccupied channel bending around the front of Kapoho Crater, and the lobe heading toward Hwy 137.
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A bit of pāhoehoe effuses from the bottom of the channelized ‘a‘a flow, west of Kapoho Crater, feeding into the coastal plain mass.
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A tighter shot of lava effusing from the base of an obstruction within the channel just mauka of Kapoho Crater.
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Pohoiki still remains, but is being threatened by a southerly push of the flow’s periphery, as residual lava empties out from the mass on the coastal plain.
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An active flow front, approximately 1 1/2 miles across, enters the sea from Pohoiki to Ahalanui. The slow advancement of the the southern margins are threatening Isaac Hale Beach Park and Pohoiki Boat Ramp.
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The broad flow front, from Ahalanui to Pohoiki, is still very active, with dozens of rivulets pouring into the sea.
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Dozens of fingers of lava pour into the sea, creating new land in the process.
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A short but wide river of lava empties into the sea at Ahalanui, creating the newest real estate on the planet.

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