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Lava Flow 2.7 Miles From Pahoa Village Road… UPSLOPE!

This map shows the June 27th flow in Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone in relation to lower Puna.

Click to see large scale map

Click to see large scale map

The area of the flow on September 12, 2014, at 12:30 PM is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as mapped on September 15 at 2:00 PM is shown in red. The front of the active flow was 15.5 km (9.6 miles; straight-line distance) from the vent and had crossed the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve boundary into the vacant northwest corner of Kaohe Homesteads.

The flow front was advancing toward the northeast and was 4.3 km (2.7 miles) upslope from Pāhoa Village Road. The actual length of the flow, measured along the lava tube axis (so that bends in the flow are considered) is 17.7 km (11.0 miles).

The blue lines show down-slope paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM). For an explanation of down-slope path calculations, see: http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/. Down-slope path analysis is based on the assumption that the digital elevation model (DEM) perfectly represents the earth’s surface. But, DEMs are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map indicate approximate flow path directions.

The purple arrow shows a short term projection of flow direction based on the flow behavior over the past several days and the local topography. All older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2014) are shown in gray; the yellow line marks the lava tube.

Lava Flow Enters Kaohe Homesteads

June 27th flow enters northwest portion of Kaohe Homesteads

The June 27th lava flow remains active and continues advancing towards the northeast. Recently, the flow front entered the Kaohe Homesteads subdivision, and is currently within the vacant, forested northwest portion of the subdivision. The flow front was 3.3 km (2.1 miles) upslope from Apaʻa Road and 4.3 km (2.7 miles) from Pāhoa Village Road.

Another view of the flow front, in the northwest portion of Kaohe Homesteads subdivision.
A closer view of surface activity on the June 27th lava flow. This pāhoehoe flow consists of many small, scattered, slow-moving lobes burning vegetation.

HVO geologists conduct a VLF (very-low frequency) survey to measure the rate of lava flowing through the lava tube on the June 27th lava flow.
An HVO geologist conducts a very-low frequency (VLF) survey of the lava tube to measure the rate of lava flowing through the tube. The measurement consists of two steps. First, a transect of VLF measurements across the roof of the tube is used to measure the cross-sectional area of lava flowing through the tube. Second, a radar gun is used to measure the speed that lava is flowing at that location. An open skylight is required for this speed measurement. By multiplying the cross-sectional area with the velocity, the volume rate of lava flowing through the tube can be estimated. Today’s measurement showed a flow rate of 5.8 cubic meters per second (roughly 1500 gallons per second). Tracking the lava supply rate like this can be helpful for anticipating fluctuations in activity at the flow front.

Click to view movie

This Quicktime movie provides an aerial view of activity near the front of the June 27th flow, where numerous pāhoehoe lobes are slowly burning vegetation.

Click to view movie

This Quicktime movie shows the view through a skylight on the lava tube, which provided a clear view of the flowing lava stream.

Lava Smoke and Steam Now Visible From All Over East Hawaii

Puna and in particular the city of Pahoa is battening down the hatches as this lava flow approaches our district.

Here is a picture from my front yard this morning around 6:15 this morning:

The orange color is the reflection of the lava off the smoke that is being created from the flow.

The orange color is the reflection of the lava off the smoke that is being created from the flow.

To put things in perspective… here is a picture that Pahoa Resident Alan Lakritz took from the Honoli’i area of Hilo looking across the bay at the smoke and steam:

Lakritz stated on Facebook,  "The "Plume of Smoke and Steam" over Pahoa and Lower Puna as viewed from Honoli'i Pali ,which is on the north side of Hilo town headed up the Hamakua Coast"

Lakritz stated on Facebook, “The “Plume of Smoke and Steam” over Pahoa and Lower Puna as viewed from Honoli’i Pali ,which is on the north side of Hilo town headed up the Hamakua Coast”