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 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”

 

New USGS Maps Released – Where the Lava Flow is Now

This small-scale map shows the June 27th flow in Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone on September 12, 2014.

The area of the flow on September 10, 2014, at 2:45 PM is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as mapped on September 12 at 12:30 PM is shown in red. The front of the active flow was 14.9 km (9.3 miles; straight-line distance) from the vent and 0.17 km (0.1 miles) from the east boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve. The actual length of the flow, measured along the lava tube axis (so that bends in the flow are considered) is 17.1 km (10.6 miles). The flow was advancing toward the northeast. 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/. All older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2014) are shown in gray. 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. (see large map)

Large-scale map of Kīlauea’s ERZ flow field

This large-scale map shows the distal part of the June 27th flow in relation to nearby Puna communities. The black dots mark the flow front on specific dates. The latitude and longitude of the flow front on September 12 was 19.46388/-154.98343 (Decimal degrees; WGS84). The blue lines show down-slope paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM; for calculation details, 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. (see large map)

Shaded-relief map of East Rift Zone near flow front

This shaded-relief map, with digital surface data provided by the Carnegie Airborne Observatory, shows some of the cracks, faults, and grabens (down-dropped blocks between adjacent faults; http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/glossary/?term=graben) that are present in Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone, and which have partly controlled the June 27th flow’s advance direction. The June 27th flow as of September 10, 2014, at 2:45 PM is shown in pink, while flow advance since then (as of ~12:30 PM on September 12) is shown in red. At the time of the mapping, the flow was advancing toward the northeast. (see large map)

Lava Flow Estimated to Cross Highway 130 in Two Weeks

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Department of Land and Natural Resources announce the immediate closure of Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve, until further notice, due to the hazards associated with the June 27 lava flow. Wao Kele o Puna is owned by OHA and managed by DLNR.

I would hardly call it a crime scene!

I would hardly call it a crime scene!

Kamana‘opono Crabbe, Ka Pouhana, OHA (Chief Executive Officer) said, “It is prudent at this time to close Wao Kele o Puna due to lava activity and subsequent unsafe conditions.

William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR Chairperson said, “We join with Hawaii Civil Defense and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to warn the public of extreme danger from lava flowing through cracks in Wao Kele O Puna, and Kahauale’a Natural Area Reserve. Both areas are off-limits to all persons. We will prosecute anyone entering these areas for any purpose, including unauthorized lava sightseeing tours. Hikers have been lost or injured in these areas, and personnel called in to rescue them have also been put in danger.”

The Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) will be assisting Hawaii County to build the alternate roads in Puna.

Lava is estimated to cross Highway 130 in approximately two weeks if it stays on its current path.

DOFAW will provide a D8 bulldozer and equipment operator to Nanawale/Railroad Ave. tomorrow and expect work will take several weeks. Portions of the old railroad right-of-way run through state forest and unencumbered lands. Railroad Ave. bisects Nanawale state Forest Reserve

Lava Flow Maps Updated – Flow Widens and Advances

This small-scale map shows the June 27th flow in Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone on September 10, 2014.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

The area of the flow on September 8, 2014, at 12:45 PM is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as mapped on September 10 at 2:45 PM is shown in red. The front of the active flow was 14.5 km (9.0 miles; straight-line distance) from the vent and 0.6 km (0.4 miles) from the east boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve. The actual length of the flow, measured along the lava tube axis (so that bends in the flow are considered) is 16.6 km (10.3 miles). The flow was advancing toward the northeast. 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/. All older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2014) are shown in gray; the yellow line marks the lava tube.

This large-scale map shows the distal part of the June 27th flow in relation to nearby Puna communities.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The black dots mark the flow front on specific dates. The latitude and longitude of the flow front on September 8 was 19.460895/-154.986613 (Decimal degrees; WGS84). The blue lines show down-slope paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM; for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/).

Aerial Images of Puna Lava Flow Emerge

Here is an aerial image of the Puna Lava Flow on September 5th:

Click to enlarge

All images courtesy of Resource Mapping Hawaii. Click to enlarge

Here’s an aerial view showing Puna Lava Flow moving northwards from Sept 5 to 7 provide by Resource Mapping Hawaii:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

This image was taken on Septemer 7, 2014:

Aerial image flow 2

Today is the 10th.  When I get access to the updated images I’ll post that.

Civil Defense Update on Eruption and Lava Flow

This is a civil defense message.

Civildefense

This is an Eruption and Lava Flow Information Update for Wednesday September 10th at 8:15 AM.

This morning’s assessment shows the surface lava flow continues and is moving in a north/northeast direction.  There is no wildfire threat at this time.  Weather and fire conditions are being monitored closely.  Due to a light inversion this morning smoke conditions in the area were moderate.

Photo of the flow from the top of my Mattson container at 8:45 this morning.

Photo of the flow from the top of my Mattson container at 8:45 this morning.

The surface flow has advanced approximately 250 yards since yesterday.  The surface flow is moving slowly and does not pose an immediate threat to area residents.  The surface flow is located approximately .6 miles southwest or upslope of the Wao Kele Puna Forest Reserve boundary and moving in a north/northeast direction and parallel to the forest reserve boundary.

Presently, the current activities and flow does not present with an immediate or imminent threat to area communities.  No evacuation is required at this time.  Eruption activity will continue to be monitored and additional updates will be provided.

Although the current flow activity does not pose an immediate threat to area communities, residents are encouraged to continue to review their emergency plans in the event conditions change and should an evacuation be necessary.

The public is reminded that the flow cannot be accessed and is not visible from any public areas.  Access to the Kaohe Homesteads subdivision will be restricted and limited to subdivision residents only.

New Lava Flow Map Released

The following map was released tonight at the Hawaii County Civil Defense meeting at Pahoa High School.

I will post the actual link and what is said about this map when USGS updates their links:

Cell phone picture of map from tonight's Civil Defense Meeting.

Cell phone picture of map from tonight’s Civil Defense Meeting.

Lava Flow Update – Flow Advances About 300 Yards in About 6 Hours

The June 27th lava flow remains active. An HVO flight early in the afternoon yesterday found that the flow had advanced ~280 m (~300 yards) north since a Civil Defense flight just after sunrise that morning (a span of ~6 hours), and the flow front had reached a large crack marked on the topographic base map (but not visible from the air). There was no evidence that the flow was entering this crack, if it exists.

A steam plume as seen from my house near Pahoa High School.

A steam plume as seen from my house near Pahoa High School.

A Civil Defense overflight this morning found that the flow front had advanced an additional 370 meters (400 yards) since yesterday afternoon. This puts the tip of the flow at 14.0 km (8.7 miles) from the vent, measured in a straight line, and 1.1 km (0.7 miles) from the Forest Reserve boundary.

The actual length of the flow, measured along the lava tube axis (so that bends in the flow are considered) is 16.0 km (9.9 miles). The flow front is still in thick forest, creating smoke plumes as it engulfs trees and other vegetation, but fires are not spreading away from the flow.

Small breakouts also remain active closer to Puʻu ʻŌʻō, roughly midway along the length of the June 27th flow. None of these breakouts have been very vigorous recently, but are also producing smoke plumes a they creep into the adjacent forest.

TONIGHT – Hawaii County Civil Defense Meeting on Eruption and Lava Flow

Civildefense
Hawai’i County Civil Defense and the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory will hold additional community meetings TONIGHT and Thursday, Sept. 11 to update residents on the lava flow in the Wao Kele O Puna area.

The briefings will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Pahoa High School Cafeteria.

Civil Defense Message on Eruption and Lava Flow Information

This is a civil defense message.

Civildefense

This is an Eruption and Lava Flow Information Update for Tuesday September 9th at 8:15 AM.

This morning’s assessment shows the surface lava flow continues and is moving in a north/northeast direction.  There is no wildfire threat at this time.  Weather and fire conditions are being monitored closely.  The surface flow has advanced approximately 300 yards since yesterday.  Subsurface flow activity also continues.

A steam plume as seen from my house near Pahoa High School.

A steam plume as seen from my house near Pahoa High School.

The surface flow is moving slowly and does not pose an immediate threat to area residents.  The surface flow is located approximately .7 miles southwest or upslope of the Wao Kele Puna Forest Reserve boundary and moving in a north/northeast direction and parallel to the forest reserve boundary.

Presently, the current activities and flow does not present with an immediate or imminent threat to area communities.  No evacuation is required at this time.  Eruption activity will continue to be monitored and additional updates will be provided.

Although the current flow activity does not pose an immediate threat to area communities, residents are encouraged to continue to review their emergency plans in the event conditions change and should an evacuation be necessary.

The public is reminded that the flow cannot be accessed and is not visible from any public areas.  Access to the Kaohe Homesteads subdivision will be restricted and limited to subdivision residents only.

Lava Flow Continues Towards Pahoa – Pictures and Video

June 27th flow continues to advance north

The June 27th flow continues its advance toward the north, creating a dense smoke plume as it spreads through the forest. Click to enlarge

The tip of the active flow today was 13.7 km (8.5 miles) straight-line distance from the vent, and 1.2 km (0.7 miles) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve. This boundary is the western edge of Kaohe Homesteads subdivision, seen in the foreground. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is visible on the horizon, partly obscured by the smoke plume. The actual length of the flow, measured along its axis, is 15.7 km (9.8 miles).

This view shows the active flow front from behind. Click to enlarge

The lava feeding the flow emerges from a crack parallel to the road at lower right, which goes to the True/Mid-Pacific geothermal well site. Kaohe Homesteads is to the right, Pāhoa is at the upper right, and Ainaloa and Hawaiian Paradise Park are at upper left.

Click to view film footage

This Quicktime video provides an aerial view of the activity at the front of the June 27th lava flow.

Breakouts remain active closer to Puʻu ʻŌʻō

Several small breakouts persist along the middle part of the June 27th flow, closer to Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Most of these breakouts are burning trees as well, as seen in this photo. The flow front is in the distance, at upper left, and the closer smoke plumes are from these other breakouts.

State Advises Residents Downwind of Lava Flow to Take Precautions Against Smoke

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) is advising Hawaii Island residents living near the lava flow in Puna that began on June 27 to plan ahead for potential smoke exposure from burning vegetation and low levels of sulfur dioxide.

Smoke seen in the background from Highway 130

Smoke seen in the background from Highway 130

The smoke effect on nearby communities will vary largely depending on unpredictable wind and weather conditions.

Smoke contains a mixture of gases and fine particles that may trigger adverse respiratory conditions. Additionally, encroaching lava may contain low levels of sulfur dioxide, an irritant gas emitted by the Kilauea Volcano.

DOH recommends that residents in smoke affected areas avoid outdoor activities or physical exertion. People with respiratory illness or heart disease, older adults and children are urged to avoid smoke exposure. Smoke may worsen symptoms for individuals who have pre-existing respiratory conditions, such as allergies, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Individuals that have these conditions should keep their medication refilled and use daily (controller) medication as prescribed. Anyone who feels they may need medication or medical attention should contact their physician.

Lava flow approaches Kaohe Homestead.

Lava flow approaches Kaohe Homestead.

Due to the unpredictable nature of the lava flow, residents and visitors are advised to listen to Hawaii County Civil Defense updates and advisories.

Lava Flow Remains Active – Flow Front Moving North

June 27th flow remains active, with flow front moving north from ground crack

Click to enlarge

Following a reduction in surface activity yesterday, we observed an increase in surface flows today issuing from the ground crack. The reduction yesterday was likely due to lava filling the deep ground cracks. The flow front today was moving towards the north from the ground crack, through thick forest, creating a dense plume of smoke. The farthest active flows today were 13.2 km (8.2 miles) from the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and 1.4 km (0.9 miles) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna forest reserve. This boundary is the western edge of Kaohe Homesteads subdivision, seen at the bottom of this photograph. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is visible on the horizon in the upper right portion of the photograph.

Click to enlarge

Another view of the flow front, looking west. Lava issued from several spots along a deep ground crack earlier this week, as shown by the distinct fingers of lava making up the flow front. The thick smoke plumes show the flow front this morning was moving downslope towards the north (right in image), but it is too soon to know if this northerly flow direction will be sustained. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is in the upper left portion of the photograph.

Click to view movie

This Quicktime movie gives a quick aerial overview of activity at the flow front.

Click to enlarge

This thermal image looks west at the June 27th flow front. The active tip of the flow is at the right side of the image, moving north. Lava issued from several spots along a deep ground crack, which has been traced with the dotted line in the left portion of the image. In addition, lava was filling another crack, also marked, closer to the active tip of the flow.

Lava was filling another ground crack near the flow front, as indicated by a line of steam that extended a short distance west of the flow tip. At two spots along this ground crack we observed small pads of lava near the surface. Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

A wide view of Kīlauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes, looking northwest. Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater, on Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone, is the large fuming crater just to the left of the image center. Just to the right of the center point, on the northeast flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone, smaller fume sources trace the lava tube supplying lava to the June 27th lava flow (the front of this flow is out of view to the right). In the distance, a faint plume of volcanic gas from the summit of Kīlauea can be seen below the clouds. The broad slopes of Mauna Loa form the skyline.

Civil Defense Message on Lava Flow Information Update – HVO Elevates Warning

This is an Eruption and Lava Flow Information Update for Saturday September 6th at 10:00AM.

CivildefenseHelicopter over flights and assessments are continuing.  This morning’s assessment shows the surface lava flow continues very slowly in a north direction.  Very little vegetation is burning and there is no wildfire threat at this time.  The surface flow has advanced approximately 50 yards since yesterday.  The presence of steam plumes being emitted from the crack system indicates subsurface flow activity continues.  The surface flow is moving very slowly and does not pose an immediate threat to area residents.  The surface flow is located approximately .8 miles southwest or upslope of the Wao Kele Puna Forest Reserve boundary and moving in a north direction.

Due to the proximity of the lava flow activity to the nearby residential areas, the Hawaii Volcanoes Observatory has elevated the eruption alert level to an Eruption Warning as of Thursday September 4th. Presently, the current activities and flow does not present with an immediate or imminent threat to area communities.  No evacuation is required at this time.  Eruption activity will continue to be monitored and additional updates will be provided.

Although the current flow activity does not pose an immediate threat to area communities, residents are encouraged to continue to review their emergency plans in the event conditions change and should an evacuation be necessary.

The public is reminded that the flow cannot be accessed and is not visible from any public areas.  Access to the Kaohe Homesteads subdivision will be restricted and limited to subdivision residents only.

New Lava Flow Map Shows Pahoa Town in Direct Path of Lava

Small-scale map showing the June 27th flow in Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone as of September 4, 2014.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Lava on the surface at 1 PM, outlined in red, was 13.3 km (8.3 miles) from the vent and 1.2 km (0.7 miles) from the east boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve. The front of the flow was spilling into another crack, which was steaming.

The blue lines show potential flow paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM). All older lava flows (1983–2014) are shown in gray; the yellow line marks the lava tube.

Governor Signs Emergency Proclamation in Anticipation of Lava Flow Crossing Highway 130

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today signed an emergency proclamation in preparation for the June 27 lava flow crossing Highway 130 near Pahoa, potentially isolating communities in lower Puna from the rest of Hawaii County.

abercrombieheaderThe proclamation suspends certain laws as needed for emergency purposes, including state restrictions on reestablishing abandoned roads that may be used should lava cross Highway 130. It also activates the Major Disaster Fund set aside by the state Legislature for disaster relief and facilitates access to emergency resources at the state and federal levels.

“State agencies are working with the County of Hawaii to provide alternative access to lower Puna if lava crosses the main highway,” said Gov. Abercrombie. “This proclamation will ensure that isolated communities receive a continuation of services.

“Health officials are also advising all residents living near the lava flow to plan ahead for potential smoke from burning vegetation and low levels of sulfur dioxide. Conditions for nearby communities may vary widely due to the unpredictability of wind and weather.”

The disaster emergency relief period specified in the proclamation begins today and continues through Oct. 15, 2014.

Residents are also encouraged to enroll in local notification systems and monitor local radio and television broadcasts.

Lava Flow Update – Kilauea Continues to Erupt

Kīlauea continued to erupt at its summit and within the East Rift Zone, and gas emissions remained elevated. Summit tilt showed inflation over the past day, and the lava lake level fluctuated due to spattering. At the middle East Rift Zone, the front of the June 27th flow continued advancing eastward, and surface breakouts also remain active closer to Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

Click to Enlarge

Live Panorama of Puʻu ʻŌʻō North Flank from the North Rim [PNcam] Last Updated 2014-09-05 14:25:14 (HST) Click to Enlarge

June 27th Lava Flow Observations: The June 27th lava flow remains active. An HVO overflight yesterday afternoon observed lava continuing to issue onto the surface from a ground crack, and moving slowly through thick forest. The most distant active lava was approximately 13.3 km (8.3 miles) from the vent and 1.2 km (0.7 miles) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve. Another overflight is scheduled for this morning and an updated map will be posted later today.

Small breakouts also remain active closer to Puʻu ʻŌʻō, roughly midway along the length of the June 27th flow. None of these breakouts have been very vigorous recently, and there was no significant change overnight based on webcam views. Some of these breakouts are also creeping into the forest and producing smoke plumes.

Puʻu ʻŌʻō Observations: There was no significant change in tilt at Puʻu ʻŌʻō over the past day. Glow was visible overnight above several outgassing openings in the crater floor. Aerial views this week have found small lava ponds within the northeast, southeast, and north pits in the crater, and a crusted pond surface in the southeast pit. A small amount of lava was erupted from the north pit last night onto the crater floor. The most recent sulfur-dioxide emission-rate measurement for the East Rift Zone was 400 tonnes per day (from all sources) on September 2, 2014.

Lava Flow Map Updated – Flow Widens and Advances

Map showing the June 27th flow in Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone as of September 3, 2014.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The area of the flow as mapped on September 1 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as of September 3 is shown in red. Last night, lava welled up out of the crack it was filling and spilled out onto the ground to feed new surface flows. As of early afternoon today (September 3), lava on the surface was 13.2 km (8.2 miles) from the vent and 1.3 km (0.8 miles) from the east boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve. All older lava flows (1983–2014) are shown in gray; the yellow line marks the lava tube.

Lava Flow Map Updated – Flow Advances/Cascading Into Deep Crack

Map showing the June 27th flow in Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone as of September 1, 2014.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The area of the flow as mapped on August 29 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as of September 1 is shown in red. The only place where lava significantly widened the margin was at the distal end of the flow, where lava in the forest had reached 12.6 km (7.8 miles) from the vent. Most lava at the far end of the flow, however, was cascading into a deep ground crack (brown line), which was steaming at the surface. The most distant steam, which may represent the leading end of the lava in the crack, was 12.9 km (7.9 miles) from the vent and 1.7 km (1.1 miles) from the east boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve. All older lava flows (1983–2014) are shown in gray; the yellow line within the flow marks the lava tube.