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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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!

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

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

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

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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.

LAVA UPDATE! Thursday, January 26, 6:00 am – Kalapana & Pu‘u ‘O‘o overflight

Kilauea’s 34 year old eruption continues with activity on the east rift zone, from  Pu‘u ‘O‘o to the Kamokuna ocean entry. The lava pond within the crater was very active, as vigorous spattering caused by escaping gases occurred across its surface. Winds and gases were favorable, allowing us to get good peeks at the action. The new breakout that occurred on Jan 22nd, just downslope on Pu‘u ‘O‘o’s eastern flank, is still active and creeping along the western edge of 61G, while the two month old eastern lobe still has molten fingers breaking out, but at a much reduced rate. Meanwhile, under a double rainbow at the Kamokuna ocean entry, the firehose continued to rage on, creating spectacular littoral explosions that propelled ejecta more than 100 feet into the air.

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The firehose scenario continues at the Kamokuna ocean entry, as the 50-60 foot stream of lava shot directly into the sea, creating spectacular littoral explosions that propelled ejecta more than 100 feet into the air.

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The two month old eastern lobe is still active, although at a much reduced rate. The distal tip remains approximately 1 1/2 miles from the vent.

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A full double rainbow formed in the sky above the Kamokuna ocean entry, as an approaching band of showers rained down on Pulama Pali.

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The new January 22nd breakout on the vent’s eastern flank was quite active, running alongside the 61G tube, extending roughly a 1/2 mile from its source.

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The lava pond within Pu‘u ‘O‘o crater was quite active, as its surface vigorously bubbled, spattered, and churned.

LAVA UPDATE! Thursday, January 19, 6:00 am – Kalapana & Pu‘u ‘O‘o overflight

Mostly clear skies and a gentle north breeze allowed us to have a great view of bubbling and spattering of the lava pond within Pu‘u ‘O‘o as eruptive activity continues on Kilauea’s east rift zone. While the summit reverted to inflation, the flow field to the east of the vent was almost void of surface activity. Only a couple little lobes of fresh breakouts were visible, but the ocean entry continues to rage on, although the wind direction obscured our view of molten lava entering the sea.  See the photos below…

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The lava pond within Pu‘u ‘O‘o crater was very active, with bubbling and spattering occurring.

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One of the few active lobes of lava on the flow field east of the vent.

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Although the rising plume at the ocean entry obscured the molten lava entering the sea, ejecta from littoral explosions were observed flying through the air.

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The two month old flow field east of the vent had very little activity even though the summit of Kilauea resumed inflation. Only time will tell if the flow resumes its progression toward Pulama Pali, but for now, it appears as though it has stagnated.

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Another view of the active lava pond within Pu‘u ‘O‘o crater.

Lava FIX!!!

Here’s a mid-week LAVA FIX for all the Lava Junkies out there!  🙂  These photos were taken this past week.  Enjoy!

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A breakout mid-flow occurs about a mile downslope from Pu‘u ‘O‘o, as pressure builds from within and ruptures the crust of the flow.

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A toe of molten lava consumes young kupukupu ferns.

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Increasing pressure beneath fractures a recently cooled slab of pahoehoe.

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A slowing river of lava cools rapidly, hardening its surface, temporarily confining its molten contents until pressure from within exceeds the tensile strength of the crust.

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Toes of pahoehoe expand the flow field on Pu‘u ‘O‘o’s eastern flank as the two month old lobe continues to slowly advance.

Lava Update! Week ending January 14, 2017

Eruptive activity continues on Kilauea’s east rift zone, as molten lava is visible at the vent, Pu‘u ‘O‘o, where it effuses from the earth, flowing through a well defined tube system to the Kamokuna ocean entry. The lava pond within the crater continues to spatter, bubble and circulate. A two month old lobe flowing from the eastern flank of Pu‘u ‘O‘o still creeps along, its distal tip roughly 1 1/2 miles from its source. Lava continues to pour into the sea at Kamokuna, although volume is at a reduced rate due to deflation at Kilauea’s summit. A bit of a firehose situation still existed, as glimpses of lava free-falling could be seen when the steam plume cleared. And what remains of the delta after the catastrophic bench collapse on New Year’s Eve, is precariously crumbling away, including chunks of the existing cliffside. Photos were below were taken during two flights, one early in the week and one a few days later.

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The lava pond within Pu‘u ‘O‘o crater still bubbles and spatters as we flew over. Light winds allowed us to get a good peek at the activity early in the week.

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Forgot my socks! lol! The warmth rising from the crater felt good!!!

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The distal tip of the two month old lobe is approximately 1 1/2 miles from its source, and continues to creep along.

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Very little of the Kamokuna delta remains, as what was left behind after the catastrophic collapse on New Year’s Eve, is slowly crumbling away. The area is extremely unstable so the NPS has moved the viewing area further back. The bay in the lower half of the frame was formed after approximately 4 acres of the existing coastline fell in with the collapsing delta. Great example of how dynamic volcanic activity is.

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Glimpses of the firehose could be seen in between the billowing clouds of steam.

First LAVA UPDATE of 2017!! Thursday, January 5, 6:00 am – Kalapana & Pu‘u ‘O‘o overflight

2017 started about with a bang, as the 25 acre Kamokuna delta collapsed into the sea on New Year’s Eve, taking another 4 acres of land adjacent to the public lava viewing area as well. Stress fractures had been widening, and the HVNP and USGS had issued warnings about the likelihood of it occurring, and thankfully no one was injured or killed as a result of the catastrophic event. A couple “before & after” shots are included below. Aside from the excitement at the ocean entry, eruptive activity persists at Pu‘u ‘O‘o and its eastern flank. The lava pond within the crater continues to circulate and spatter, and the lobe to the east is creeping along with sporadic breakouts on the flow field, although volume doesn’t seem to be very high. And surprisingly, the skylights at the base of Pulama Pali still exist, radiating glow from the lava within.  

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The 25 acre Kamokuna delta collapsed into the sea on New Year’s Eve, taking another 4 acres of land with it, leaving a bite-like bay behind (to the right of the plume in the lower photo). Also, the little puffs of white gas at the existing cliff’s edge in the before shot is where the tube severed, creating a firehose situation for a short time after.

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The 25 acre Kamokuna delta collapsed into the sea on New Year’s Eve, taking another 4 acres of land with it. Using the end of the emergency access road as a reference point, one can see the significant amount of land area that disappeared into the sea.

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The lava pond within Pu‘u ‘O‘o continues to circulate and spatter, as its crust occasionally breaks and is swallowed by the molten lava.

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A breakout in the early morning light glows brightly as it spills over recently cooled crust.

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The skylights near the base of Pulama Pali continue to glow incessantly from the lava within the main tube feeding the Kamokuna ocean entry.