LAVA UPDATE! Week ending February 25, 2017 – Kalapana & Pu‘u ‘O‘o overflight:

Kilauea continues to erupt on its east rift zone, from the vent at Pu‘u ‘O‘o to the ocean entry at Kamokuna. The lava lake within Pu‘u ‘O‘o crater was a bit difficult to shoot on Thursday, but Saturday brought another opportunity to witness incredible bubbling and subduction action of its surface. Lava continues to advance down Pulama Pali, both along the western and eastern edges of 61G, and across the coastal plain toward the sea… maybe another ocean entry somewhere around the public viewing area in the near future? Only time will tell!  Lastly, the firehose continues to discharge molten pahoehoe directly into the Pacific, creating huge littoral explosions as the 2000 degree lava interacts with the cool seawater.  No sign of a new lava bench yet. 


Pu‘u ‘O‘o’s lava pond was very active, as bubbling and subduction of its surface created an incredible scene.


Ohia, kukui, and guava trees were victims of this lobe’s pass through the kipuka on Pulama Pali.


Lava cascades down Pulama Pali along the western edge of 61G.


Several lobes of lava skirting the eastern edge of 61G, consumes a portion of the kipuka near the base of Pulama Pali.


A late pass over the Kamokuna ocean entry on Saturday shows the firehose shooting lava into the sea, creating an impressive littoral explosion.


Here are a few intimate images from this past week’s overflight. Hope this helps soothe that “itch” for something HOT!!!


Molten lava flows out from beneath the fractured crust of a tube.


A river of lava carries floating islands of cooling crust downstream.


A river of lava splits into two branches, spreading the flow’s reach as it nears cresting Pulama Pali.


A river of lava flows into a tube, obscuring its pathway downslope.


An opening in a lava tube’s roof, referred to as a skylight, gave us a peek at the river of lava within its depths, feeding flow 61G.

LAVA UPDATE! Thursday, February 16, 6:30 am – Kalapana & Pu‘u ‘O‘o overflight

Kilauea’s eruptive activity continues on its east rift zone, as much lava was visible from the vent to the ocean entry. Pu‘u ‘O‘o’s lava pond continues to bubble and circulate, as we were able to get peeks at its occasional spattering beneath the thick gas plume blowing directly over it. The surface flows within 1.5 miles of the vent has ceased, but two major breakouts have occurred in the past week, the first taking place a week ago on Pulama Pali from the main lava tube, spreading and advancing approximately a mile on the coastal plain. The most recent happening on Wednesday afternoon, roughly 1/2 mile above the crest of the pali. Numerous branches of lava were visible, as the flow continues to spread and advance, running somewhat parallel to the previous western edge of 61G. Lava continues to pour into the sea at Kamokuna, still maintaining the “firehose” phenomenon while the shoreline’s cliff continues to erode away, creating a very hazardous condition on the land near the area.


Best vantage point possible over the new breakout!


The Kamokuna ocean entry continues to rage on, with the firehose still pouring lava directly into the Pacific Ocean. The shoreline cliff continues to erode away at its base, creating extremely hazardous conditions on land.


Looking westward and upslope at the source of the breakout. The fresh lava is the shiny surface reflecting the blue sky overhead. The gas plume in the upper left is from Pu‘u ‘O‘o.


The new breakout above Pulama Pali is sending rivers of lava downslope, running somewhat parallel to the former western edge of 61G.


The lava pond within Pu‘u ‘O‘o continues to bubble and circulate as a thick plume blew directly over it.

LAVA UPDATE! Thursday, February 9, 6:30 am – Kalapana & Pu‘u ‘O‘o overflight

Eruptive activity continues on Kilauea’s east rift zone, from Pu‘u ‘O‘o’s bubbling lava pond to flow 61G pouring into the Pacific at the Kamokuna ocean entry. Although USGS’ deformation graph indicates that the summit of Kilauea has returned to inflation, activity was a little subdued, as the two surface flows within 1.5 miles of the vent appeared to have stagnated, and the plume at the coast was not as robust as it has been. If inflation continues, volume will more than likely pick up again after this brief lull. Two new skylights opened up and gave us a peek into the fiery depths of the main lava tube!



The firehose continues to shoot lava out into the Pacific Ocean, creating huge littoral explosions. And yes, those are a couple peeps on the right, testing the law of natural selection…


The lava pond within Pu‘u ‘O‘o crater continues to bubble and circulate, AND amaze!


Another new opening further downslope is referred to by the pilots as the Darth Vader skylight.


A fumarole on the floor of Pu‘u ‘O‘o crater vents gases and glows from the heat within.


A new skylight on the eastern flank of Pu‘u ‘O‘o glows from the heat within the lava tube, silhouetting dangling strands of sulfur crystals.

LAVA UPDATE, Part II – February 3rd

The before images were shot at 7 am, February 2nd, and the after images were shot at 4 pm, February 3rd.



In the before image, the location of the skylight, where steam is rising from the crack, is approximately where the lava is now exiting the tube and free falling into the sea.


The approximately 15 foot wide x 100 foot long sliver of land seaside of the the skylight in the image on the left is non-existant in the photo on the right.


Just the tip of the 15 foot x 100 foot sliver of land remains in the photo on the bottom.

LAVA UPDATE! Thursday, February 2, 6:00 am – Kalapana & Pu‘u ‘O‘o overflight

Eruptive activity persists on Kilauea’s east rift zone, from the vent, Pu‘u ‘O‘o, to the Kamokuna ocean entry in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Attention is at a high level at the ocean entry due to extreme instability of the cliff side, as cracks shown in the photos below have been quickly increasing in width, leading to a couple sizable collapses yesterday AFTER our overflight. Hopefully, we will have the opportunity to post before & after shots soon. For now, these are images from yesterday morning.


A view of the fracture and one of the skylights that has formed as a result of an increase in width. Rising steam from the crack is an indication of its depth, extending to near or beyond sea level.


A view of the crack at the Kamokuna ocean entry. A skylight gives a peek at a portion of the river of lava before it exits the tube and into the sea.


A lengthy crack had formed at the ocean entry, running parallel to the ocean’s edge, widening over the past few weeks.


The distal tip of the latest breakout on Pu‘u ‘O‘o’s eastern flank. Still not much more than 1/2 mile from its source.


A view of Pu‘u ‘O‘o and its lava pond on the right, and trail of rising gases extending to the Kamokuna ocean entry near the top middle of the image.

A Sunday LAVA FIX, anyone?

Any lava junkies having difficulty making it through the weekend?  Here’s a FIX for you in these intimate images of lava from our documentary overflight a couple days ago.  Enjoy!


Bird’s eye view of the apex of a large breakout on the newest lobe on the eastern flank of Pu‘u ‘O‘o.


Bubbling and spattering on Pu‘u ‘O‘o’s lava pond, swallowed slabs of cooled crust. So incredible to witness!


Fine wrinkles form on the surface of a river of lava as it cools and pushes forward.


The firehose at the Kamokuna ocean entry creates an enormous littoral explosion, sending shards of molten lava, or ejecta, more than 100 feet into the air.