Lava Flow Update: East Kamokuna Ocean Entry Still Active – West Entry Inactive

An aerial image of the east Kamokuna lava delta this morning shows lava entering the ocean at the front of the delta.

Photo by Rick Hazlett, University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo.

Photo by Rick Hazlett, University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo.

Looking down from the helicopter, cracks are visible on the surface of the east Kamokuna lava delta. These cracks are reminders that lava deltas are inherently unstable features that can collapse without warning.

hvo-1028a A lava delta collapse can send tons of hot rock into the sea, generating steam-driven explosions that can hurl fragments of molten lava and solid rock 100s of meters (yards) in all directions—inland and seaward.

The east Kamokuna ocean entry was still active on October 25, with multiple entry points spread along the eastern side of the lava delta.

Lava dribbling into the sea at the front of the delta creates a billowy white plume, which looks harmless, but is actually a mixture of superheated steam, hydrochloric acid, and tiny shards of volcanic glass.

The west Kamokuna lava delta was completely inactive, with no lava entering the ocean.

The west Kamokuna lava delta was completely inactive, with no lava entering the ocean.

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