Lava Update | October 16, 2018

Although thick cloud cover and rainy skies hung over Hilo and the lower east rift zone, satellite imagery showed a pocket of clearer weather at Kilauea’s summit beckoned us, especially since the TFR over the area had been recently lifted. Knowing what occurred at the caldera from USGS photos, and having had peeks from afar, did nothing to temper our astonishment as we flew over Halema‘uma‘u crater… The changes are shockingly immense in scale, and are beyond imagination!! See the latest photos below.

The 1/2 mile diameter Halema‘uma‘u crater has more than doubled in size as a result of collapses in May. Jaggar Museum and the HVO Observatory sit on the edge of the caldera, with Mauna Loa in the background.
Another view of Halema‘uma‘u, with both Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea in the background. Crater Rim Drive is the road that snakes through the left half of the frame.
As Halema‘uma‘u collapsed, the crater’s overlook and parking lot were consumed, along with a section of the Crater Rim Drive.
A high altitude shot of Kīlauea Caldera, with Jaggar Museum and Halema‘uma‘u in the middle of the frame.
The now abandoned Jaggar Museum and overlook.
The bottom of Halema‘uma‘u crater.
A view of caldera’s rim, showing the vertical distance between the sections of Crater Rim Drive that remain. The road gives this a sense of scale. Note the little section that sits between the Paradise logo and the cloud in the lower left corner.
These cracks from high above look very small, until the road gives it relative scale!
Another severely damaged section of Crater Rim Drive.
The north wall of Halema‘uma‘u hold massive sulfur deposits, while gases diffuse from the wall’s face.
The west end of Crater Rim Drive.
The east end of Crater Rim Drive.
Major fractures in the ground surrounding Halema‘uma‘u, rip through Crater Rim Drive.
Another view of slippage that occurred on the southeast portion the caldera’s rim, severely damaging Crater Rim Drive.
Halema‘uma‘u Crater sits transformed into a massive inverted cone-shaped pit, more than double what it used to be.
A view of Halema‘uma‘u Crater, looking northeast. Sections of Crater Rim Drive are visible near the right edge of the image, the collapsed portion sitting roughly 200-300′ below
Another high altitude shot of Halema‘uma‘u, with Jaggar Museum at the bottom of the frame.
Halema‘uma‘u Crater.
This high altitude image shows the numerous fractures on the caldera’s floor, created by the implosion of Halema‘uma‘u.
This high altitude image shows the numerous fractures on the caldera’s floor, created by the implosion of Halema‘uma‘u.
Peering into the depths of Halema‘uma‘u Crater…
Looking down onto the collapsed section of Crater Rim Drive.
Heavy rainfall over the lower east rift eruption zone created a steamy landscape around Kapoho Crater.

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