Hawaii Volcanoes Observatory Reports New Crater at Puʻu ʻŌʻō

New crater at Puʻu ʻŌʻō

The "June 27 breakout" flow starts near the left side of the photo, marked by thin bluish fume.

The “June 27 breakout” flow starts near the left side of the photo, marked by thin bluish fume.  The view is toward the east.

Since the onset of the “June 27 breakout” flow, the central part of Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s crater has been collapsing slowly. Thick fume and steam prevented good views, but this photo shows the edge of the ring fracture that bounds the collapse. The heavy fume comes from pits that formed where spatter cones used to be.

Perhaps the most interesting feature in the new crater at Puʻu ʻŌʻō is the pit formed on the southern side of the crater floor.

View to the East

View is to the south

There, a small lava pond roughly 10 m (~30 ft) across has been sporadically overflowing and sending lava toward the deeper central part of the crater.

Inactive perched lava pond and the new lava tube

After the June 27 breakout started, a perched lava pond – looking something like a giant above-ground swimming pool – grew over the main vent.

The view is toward the southeast

The view is toward the southeast

Notice the nearly flat upper surface of the now-inactive pond just above and to the left of center, and the relatively steep levee which contained the pond. The pond was abandoned after lava broke from a new spot near the west edge of the pond. That flow has begun constructing a lava tube, its trace marked by the fume to the right of the perched pond.

Here is steeper view of the inactive lava pond, just left of center. After it was abandoned, its surface crusted over and sagged to form a gentle bowl.

Puʻu ʻŌʻō is at upper right. The view is toward the south-southeast.

Puʻu ʻŌʻō is at upper right. The view is toward the south-southeast.

Skylights and points of fume just right of center mark the trace of the new tube.

Terminus of new flow near Kahaualeʻa

View is toward the southwest, and Puʻu ʻŌʻō is at upper right.

View is toward the southwest, and Puʻu ʻŌʻō is at upper right.

The front of the “June 27 breakout” flow, seen here as the silvery lava at lower right, is about 2.0 km (~1.2 miles) northeast from its vent (as measured in a straight line), and surrounds what little remains of Puʻu Kahaualeʻa, a forested cone several hundred years old.
Here is a closer view showing the beleaguered Puʻu Kahaualeʻa surrounded by active Pāhoehoe flows.
The view is to the northwest

The view is to the northwest

Lava Breakout Remains Active – New Lava Shield Being Built on Puʻu ʻŌʻō

The June 27 breakout has remained active over the past week, emitting short lava flows from the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s northeast flank. These flows have stacked upon one another creating a lava shield, which now hosts a lava pond.

July 6th

This before and after comparison from our webcam east of Puʻu ʻŌʻō shows the dramatic change to the skyline that this new lava shield has created.

These flows have stacked upon one another creating a lava shield, which now hosts a lava pond.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Update – Lava Flow Still Advancing Through Forest Northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō

Kahaualeʻa 2 flow is still advancing through the forest northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō

Click Image to Enlarge

The Kahaualeʻa 2 flow remains active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, with the flow front this week consisting of a narrow finger that has reached 7.5 km (4.7 miles) northeast of the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. The flow front has cut a narrow swath through the forest, and is igniting numerous small fires. The smell of smoke can sometimes be detected when the winds carry the smoke into populated areas. The vent for the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow is on Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone, which can be seen in the upper left portion of the image.

Click image to enlarge

View of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, looking southwest. The vent for the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow is on the near side of the crater, close to the center of the photograph (but obscured by white fume). The Kahaualeʻa 2 lava tube that is supplying lava to the flow front in the forest (see photo above) goes down the north flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone, and is marked by a line of fume extending towards the lower right corner of the photo. The lava tube that supplied the Peace Day flow (now inactive) extends to the southeast (towards the lower left corner of the photo) and is marked by a line of faint fume sources.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Update – Kilauea Slowly Moving/Lava Lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater Remains Active

Kahaualeʻa 2 flow slowly moving through forest northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō

The Kahaualeʻa 2 flow continues to slowly move through the forest northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Yesterday, the active flow front was 6.3 km (3.9 miles) northeast of the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

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Puʻu ʻŌʻō is just left of the center of the photograph in the distance, partially obscured by the smoke.

A closer view of the active flows at the forest boundary, and the numerous plumes of smoke resulting from active lava igniting ʻōhiʻa trees and other vegetation.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

This thermal image, taken from the helicopter on today’s overflight, shows the area of active pāhoehoe near the flow front of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow, northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Blue and purple areas show warm but inactive areas of the flow, while the white and yellow areas are actively flowing lava. The flow surface consists of numerous scattered pāhoehoe lobes, and the advancement of the flow as a whole results from the combined, incremental movement of these individual lobes.

The black (cold) area at the top of the image is forest.  Click to Enlarge

The black (cold) area at the top of the image is forest. Click to Enlarge

Lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater remains active

The summit lava lake is contained within the Overlook crater, which is about 160 m (520 ft) by 210 m (690 ft) in size, and set within the larger Halemaʻumaʻu Crater.

 The lava lake this week has been about 50 m (160 ft) below the rim of the Overlook crater. Click to Enlarge

The lava lake this week has been about 50 m (160 ft) below the rim of the Overlook crater. Click to Enlarge

A closer look at the summit lava lake.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Hawaii Volcanoes Observatory Update

Continuing the same trend of activity observed over the past few weeks, the active breakouts on the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow are still slowly advancing into the forest northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, creating small vegetation fires.

Kahaualeʻa 2 flow still active in forest northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō

Kahaualeʻa 2 flow still active in forest northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō

This thermal image looks northeast from Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and shows how the subsurface lava tubes feeding the active breakouts on the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow are clearly visible as lines of slightly higher temperatures on the surface.

At the bottom of the image, the lava tube coming from Puʻu ʻŌʻō forks, with the eastern branch supplying lava to the main area of active breakouts (5 km, or about 3 miles, northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō) and the western branch feeding a small area of breakouts about 2 km (1.2 miles) north of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

At the bottom of the image, the lava tube coming from Puʻu ʻŌʻō forks, with the eastern branch supplying lava to the main area of active breakouts (5 km, or about 3 miles, northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō) and the western branch feeding a small area of breakouts about 2 km (1.2 miles) north of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

 

 

Update From the Hawaii Volcanoes Observatory

Kahaualeʻa 2 flow and Puʻu ʻŌʻō:

The tip of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow was 7.3 km (4.5 miles) from Puʻu ʻŌʻō when mapped on November 21.

Active breakouts were scattered all across the flow up to about 4 km back from the front.

Active breakouts were scattered all across the flow up to about 4 km back from the front. Click to Enlarge

Puʻu ʻŌʻō looms in the background in this photo taken from about 4 km (2.5 miles) away.

The source of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow—a spatter cone at the northeast edge of Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s crater floor—forms the knuckle-like bump just above the center of the photo.

The source of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow—a spatter cone at the northeast edge of Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s crater floor—forms the knuckle-like bump just above the center of the photo. Click to Enlarge

The Kahaualeʻa 2 lava tube is marked by the fuming areas that extend to the right down the flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

Spatter cones on Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater floor:

Lava erupted a few times from two different spatter cones on Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s crater floor over the past few weeks.

These show up as the lighter-colored flows on the near (southeast) flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Click to Enlarge

These show up as the lighter-colored flows on the near (southeast) flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Click to Enlarge

The larger spatter cone to the right, with the obvious fume trace leading away from it to the right (marking the lava tube), is the source of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow.

Incandescent skylights adorn the spatter cone and the lava tube in this close shot of the source for the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow.

The lighter-colored flows in the foreground are recent flows which broke out from the near side of the spatter cone. Click to Enlarge

The lighter-colored flows in the foreground are recent flows which broke out from the near side of the spatter cone. Click to Enlarge

Webcams and other monitoring equipment dot the north rim of Puʻu ʻŌʻō in the background.

Hawaii Volcanoes Observatory Update

No activity was observed on the Peace Day flow on today’s overflight, meaning that the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow is now the sole active flow.

The Kahaualeʻa 2 flow today had reached 6.4 km (4.0 miles) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and was burning vegetation around the forest boundary.

The Kahaualeʻa 2 flow today had reached 6.4 km (4.0 miles) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and was burning vegetation around the forest boundary.

Much of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow has traveled over ʻaʻā from Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s early activity in the 1980s.

This photo shows a lobe of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow advancing over a section of this older ʻaʻā, burning moss and small trees that have grown on the ʻaʻā clinker.

This photo shows a lobe of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow advancing over a section of this older ʻaʻā, burning moss and small trees that have grown on the ʻaʻā clinker.

Active pāhoehoe breakouts are scattered across portions of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow.

This photo shows a nice example of ropy pāhoehoe active near the flow margin.

This photo shows a nice example of ropy pāhoehoe active near the flow margin.

Very few surface flows have been observed in Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater over the past month, but the crater today was far from quiet.

The spatter cone shown here, in the northern portion of the crater, was producing a loud, continuous jetting sound resulting from gas being forced through a tiny opening at the peak.

The spatter cone shown here, in the northern portion of the crater, was producing a loud, continuous jetting sound resulting from gas being forced through a tiny opening at the peak.

 

Wordless Wednesday – Playing With Lava

A Hawaii Volcanoes Observatory geologist shields his face from the intense heat as he takes a sample of active lava on the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The chemistry of the lava is analyzed through time and used to study changes in the magmatic system.

More information on this flow here:  Lava flows at forest boundary northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō

HVO Update – Kilauea Ocean Entry Near Kupapaʻu Point Hangs On – Lava Lake in Halemaʻumaʻu at Relatively High Level

The ocean entry east of the National Park boundary near Kupapaʻu Point remains weak, with a wispy plume, as seen in this photo looking southwest along the coast.

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Photos from Hawaii Volcanoes Observatory

The main entry point of the Kupapaʻu ocean entry comprises a few small streams of lava, seen here cascading into the water.

HVO

The Kahaualeʻa 2 flow continues to invade the forest line north of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

HVO

Poor weather prevented good views but made for an eerie scene.

The lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu was 35 m (115 ft) below the floor of the crater yesterday morning.

HVO

The lake is about 220 m (720 ft) long and 160 m (525 ft) wide.

A thin gas plume permitted a decent view of the south wall of the pit holding the lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu.  Yesterday the lava lake was not spattering at its usual point near the left side of the lake in this view.

This wall is overhung by up to 15 m.

This wall is overhung by up to 15 m.

Instead, the lava lake was spattering at points on the west and northwest side of the lake. If the lake continues to rise, pieces of this overhang may collapse (note the cracks at lower right marking planes of weakness).

This photo shows the spattering on the lake's northwest side. The pit wall to the right overhangs the lake by about 10 m (33 ft)

This photo shows the spattering on the lake’s northwest side. The pit wall to the right overhangs the lake by about 10 m (33 ft)

 

Kahaualeʻa 2 Flow Still Expanding North of Puʻu ʻŌʻō – Ocean Entries Remain Active

Hawaii Volcano Observatory Report, 6/28/2013:

The Kahaualeʻa 2 flow remains active north of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and has expanded a very minor amount into the forest, burning trees.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The flow, which consists of slowly moving pāhoehoe, has widened but advanced little over the past two weeks.

A wider view of a portion of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow margin at the forest boundary.

A wider view of a portion of the Kahaualeʻa 2 flow margin at the forest boundary.

The Kahaualeʻa 2 flow, which is active north of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, is fed from a vent at this cone on the northeast rim of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Small openings at the top of the cone contain sloshing lava, and two skylights at the very start of the Kahaualeʻa 2 lava tube provided views of a swiftly moving lava stream rushing downslope.

This thermal image shows the eastern ocean entry at Kupapaʻu Point.

Photos courtesy of Hawaii Volcano Observatory

Photos courtesy of Hawaii Volcano Observatory

Just inland from the entry point a patch of slightly warmer temperatures indicates an area of recent small breakouts. Inland from this warm patch you can see a narrow line of elevated temperatures that traces the path of the lava tube beneath the surface that is supplying lava to this ocean entry. Two plumes of high temperature water spread out from the entry point.

 

 

USGS Report – Lava Flows Near Puʻu ʻŌʻō and Ocean Entry Continues

Two ocean entry points remain active near Kupapaʻu Point, near the boundary of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park.

USGS Photo

USGS Photo

The eastern entry has produced a larger plume than that at the western entry, which tends to be weak and wispy. Today several small breakouts were active just inland of the eastern entry point, creating a narrow cascade of lava pouring down the sea cliff.

This photo looks south towards Puʻu ʻŌʻō, where a vent is supplying lava to the Kahaualeʻa II flow, north of the cone.

USGS Photo

USGS Photo

This slow-moving flow has reached the forest line, producing small scattered brush fires.

A close-up of the Kahaualeʻa II flow burning vegetation at the forest line, just north of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

USGS Photo

USGS Photo

The flow consists of numerous slow-moving pāhoehoe lobes.

The summit eruption in Halemaʻumaʻu crater remains active.

USGS Photo

USGS Photo

The lava lake is within the Overlook crater (the source of the gas plume), which is in the southeast portion of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater.

 

Lava Flows Heading North of Puʻu ʻŌʻō – Continued Activity in Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater

The Kahauale`a II flow began as a breakout on the east rim of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater on May 6, and has advanced northward towards the forest.

Photo: Hawaii Volcano Observatory

Photo: Hawaii Volcano Observatory

Friday, May 24th, slowly moving pāhoehoe lobes (light colored flows in this image) were burning moss and lichen on older Puʻu ʻŌʻō ʻaʻā flows and approaching the forest boundary. Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone is obscured by thick clouds in this photo.

HVO geologists use a laser rangefinder to measure the height of the shield and cone built up around the northeast lava lake, on the east rim of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater. The peak of the cone is now about 18 m (60 ft) above the former crater rim.

HVO geologists use a laser rangefinder to measure the height of the shield and cone built up around the northeast lava lake, on the east rim of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater. The peak of the cone is now about 18 m (60 ft) above the former crater rim.

The spatter cone near the north rim of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater continues to produce pulsating gas jetting sounds. Compare this photo to one taken of the same cone on May 2 to see how much taller the cone has grown.

 

Photo: Hawaii Volcano Observatory

Photo: Hawaii Volcano Observatory

The small lava lake on the northeast rim of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater has been built into a small cone, with only a few small openings at the top. One of these small openings had sloshing lava near the surface.

Photo: Hawaii Volcano Observatory

Photo: Hawaii Volcano Observatory

Why did the lava tube cross the road? This image shows the Peace Day lava tube coming down the pali in Royal Gardens subdivision. The lava tube parallels Ali`i avenue, shown by the straight line of warm temperatures that represent asphalt heated in the sun. At the intersection of Ali`i avenue and Paradise street, the lava tube makes a sharp turn west and crosses the intersection, and then turns sharply again downslope (towards the right side of the image).

 

This tube feeds lava to the ocean entry and breakouts on the coastal plain. There is no active lava on the surface in this image - the warm surface temperatures are due to heating by the underlying lava tube. Thermal images such as this help HVO geologists map the lava tube system.

This tube feeds lava to the ocean entry and breakouts on the coastal plain. There is no active lava on the surface in this image – the warm surface temperatures are due to heating by the underlying lava tube. Thermal images such as this help HVO geologists map the lava tube system.

 

 

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Update – Kahaualeʻa Flow Front Stalls, New Overflow in Puʻu ʻŌʻō

Breakouts have diminished over the past few days on the Kahaualeʻa flow (heading northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō), and the flow front has not advanced significantly since April 8.

Compare Saturday’s thermal image with that from the April 8 overflight. 

Thermal Image

During Saturday’s flight, there were no active breakouts at the flow front.

Breakouts have diminished over the past few days on the Kahaualeʻa flow (heading northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō), and the flow front has not advanced significantly since April 8. Compare today’s thermal image with that from the April 8 overflight. During Saturday’s flight, there were no active breakouts at the flow front.

A vigorous flow was erupted on the floor of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater starting early this morning from a cone near the north rim, but a smaller flow was also erupted from a spatter cone near the south rim around noon. This photo captures a burst of spatter from the southern cone as the small flow was erupted.

Lava Flow 2

Lava erupted this morning from the cone near the north rim of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater, with a small portion of the flow emptying out onto the east spillway. This new flow brings the floor of the crater slightly closer to the north crater rim.

Lava Flow 3

This short Quicktime movie shows spattering from a cone near the south rim of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater as a short lava flow is erupted.

 

 

The Latest Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Update

The latest update from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory:

This photo looks northeast and shows Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater. Recent activity has been focused around a few spatter cones on the crater floor.

HVO1

At the far edge of the crater, a small lava pond has been active and has been the source of flows extending northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Those flows are visible at the top-center of the photo. Just below the horizon two small sources of smoke mark where the flow front is burning lichen and moss covering older ʻaʻā flows.

A closer look at the flow extending northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone is at the right edge of the photo, and view is towards the northeast.

hvo2

In the foreground, two sources of fume mark the path of the lava tube supplying lava to the flow front. In the top-left, a few sources of smoke mark where the flow margin is burning moss and lichen on older flows. Today, the flow front was just over 4 km (2.5 miles) from the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

South winds permitted clear views into the south portion of the Overlook crater, which is often obscured by thick fume.

HVO3

The bright orange area is the location where lava at the surface of the lake sinks back into the system, with spattering and degassing common in this area. A broad ledge of recently deposited lava occupies much of the south portion of the crater.

Spattering is common in the area where lava sinks back into the system, and this photo shows these processes are occurring in a small grotto.

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In the right portion of the photo, the ledge occupying much of the south part of the Overlook crater is visible. Parallel lines along the front face of this ledge might appear at first glance to be layering within the ledge, but are actually thin deposits of lava that mark recent levels of the lava lake, much like bathtub rings.

 

This Week’s Hawaii Volcano Observatory Report

This Week’s Hawaii Volcano Observatory Report, for February 25, 2013:

Lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook pit

Lava Lake 1

The lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu remains poised at a relatively high level within the Overlook pit. The lake level dropped over the weekend. Though rising again now, it has not yet reached last week’s level.

Recently emplaced flows on Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s spillway

Top:  The “spillway”—Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s eastern flank—has been buried by flows fed mostly from a spatter cone on the northeastern side of the crater floor. Most of the dark-colored lava in the foreground is new lava that has resurfaced the spillway. The fume to the left is the trace of the Peace Day tube, newly covered by crater overflows, currently carrying lava to the coast. The tube carrying lava to the northeast is not obvious, but extends toward the lower right side of the photo. Bottom: Some of the recent overflows at Puʻu ʻŌʻō traveled to the southeast. This photo shows those overflows, which comprise several dark-colored channelized flows.

Spatter cone on northwest side of Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s crater floor

Top: There are currently four spatter cones on the floor of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater that have been the source of lava flows over the past several months. The one shown here is on the northwest side of the crater floor, close to the multiframe webcam shown on our website. The webcam, and an HVO geologist standing next to it, give a sense of scale for the spatter cone. The camera to the right of the person is the thermal camera on Puʻu ʻŌʻō shown on our website. Bottom: This is a closer look at the spatter cone on the northwest side of Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s crater floor. The photo was taken from near the site of the webcam on the north rim of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

Spatter cone on northeast side of Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s crater floor

Top: This is another of the spatter cones on the floor of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. This one, on the northeast side of the crater floor, has long had an open top with a view of a small lava lake. Most of the overflows from Puʻu ʻŌʻō in the last few weeks have been fed from this spatter cone, successively piling up until the top of the spatter cone is now about level with the webcam on the north rim of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.  Bottom: This is a steep aerial view of the small lava pond at the top of the spatter cone on the northeastern side of the crater floor. Lava in the pond flows directly into a lava tube which is supplying the active flow northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. The head of the tube, marked by fume, extends from the pond toward the left side of the photo.

Views of the Kahaualeʻa flow, northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō

Top: The flow traveling north from Puʻu ʻŌʻō, which we are informally calling the Kahaualeʻa flow, abuts the edge of episode 58 flows erupted during 2007–2008. The flow has also partially surrounded one of the few vestiges of greenery within the flow field—the forested top of the old Kahaualeʻa cone. Bottom: This is a view of the front of the Kahaualeʻa flow looking back toward Puʻu ʻŌʻō, where the flow originates.

Ocean entry near Kupapaʻu Point

Lava continues to enter the ocean near Kupapaʻu Point, with an entry point just inside the National Park (near left side of photo) and entry points just east of the Park boundary (near the center of the photo). Widely scattered patches of surface lava are also active inland from the ocean entry points. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is a low lump on the horizon near the top of the photo immediately to the right of the image’s center line. The plume from the lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu is visible in the background to the left of the image’s center line.

Satellite Image Shows Active Lava Breakouts on Flow Field

This image was captured on Wednesday, February 13, by the Advanced Land Imager sensor aboard NASA’s Earth Observing 1 satellite.

Satellite image courtesy of Hawaii Volcano Observatory

Satellite image courtesy of Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Although this is a false-color image, the color map has been chosen to mimic what the human eye would expect to see. Bright red pixels depict areas of very high temperatures, and show active or very recently active lava flows. The image shows three general areas of active breakouts.

  • First, flows have been active for several weeks northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and have reached about 2 km (1.2 miles) from the Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater rim.
  • Second, breakouts have been active above the pali, about 5 km (3.1 miles) southeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.
  • Third, several scattered breakouts have been active on the coastal plain, with several patches very close to the shoreline above the active ocean entry. Satellite images such as this help fill in observational gaps between field visits.

Kilauea Volcano’s East Rift Zone Eruption: 29 Years and Counting

Jan. 3, 2012 marks the 29th anniversary of Kīlauea’s ongoing east rift zone eruption. This eruption, particularly events that occurred during the past year, will be the topic of an “After Dark in the Park” program in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Tues., Jan. 3.

On Mar. 6, 2011, a spectacular fissure eruption between Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō and Nāpau Crater on Kīlauea’s east rift zone produced lava flows that poured into a pre-existing ground crack and advanced through an ‘ōhi‘a forest. For scale, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists (lower right) can be seen walking toward the flow. USGS photo by Tim Orr

Tim Orr, a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, will review the eruption, focusing on highlights from Kīlauea’s 2011 activity. The program begins at 7 p.m. at the park’s Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium. Park entrance fees apply.

The eruption began just after midnight on Jan. 3, 1983, with lava erupting to the surface along several fissures.  By June 1983, the eruption was focused at a single vent. Over the next three years, lava fountains up to 1,500 feet high roared from the vent 44 times, building a cinder-and-spatter cone named Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō.

In July 1986, the eruption shifted to Kupaianaha, a new vent farther down the east rift zone. Lava poured from this vent nearly continuously for almost six years, burning and burying Kīlauea’s south flank, including the communities of Kapa‘ahu and Kalapana, in 1986 and 1990, respectively.

Early in 1992, the eruption returned to vents on the flanks of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō. Over the next 18 years, lava flowed down the slopes of Kīlauea, inundating areas within and outside of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National park and often reaching the sea.

During the past year, Kīlauea’s ongoing east rift zone eruption has included two spectacular fissure eruptions, a dramatic outbreak of lava from the west flank of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō, and, on Dec. 9, 2011, a new ocean entry USGS scientists named West Ka‘ili‘ili—the first ocean entry within the boundaries of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park since 2009.

Since the eruption began in 1983, lava flows have buried 48 square miles of public and private land, destroying vast tracts of native forest, nine miles of highway, and 213 structures, including homes, a church, and the Waha‘ula Visitor Center in the park.

While Kīlauea’s current east rift zone eruption has been its most destructive event in recent history, the eruption has also been constructive. Molten lava flowing into the sea has added about 500 acres of
new land to Hawai‘i Island.

This presentation is one of many talks, guided hikes, and other programs offered by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park as part of Hawai‘i Island’s third annual Volcano Awareness Month in January. For more information about this talk, please call 808-985-6011.

For a complete schedule of Volcano Awareness Month events, please visit the HVO Web site at www.hvo.wr.usgs.gov or call (808) 967-8844.

Lava Update at Pu’u O’o Crater Courtesy of Paradise Helicopters

LAVA UPDATE (Courtesy of Paradise Helicopters)

The lake of active lava in Pu’u O’o is spilling over the side and creating a flowing river of red. This pic was taken today Tuesday 9/20 at about 10 am on our Hawaii Experience Air Adventure.  Amazing feeling to hover over this!!

Lava Update: Pu'u O'o

Lava Update: Pu'u O'o (Tuesday 9/20/11 10:00 am)

Halemaumau Crater Timelapse Video: June 6th – June 24th

Halemaumau Timelapse

Images captured from http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hvo/cams/KIcam/ every 15 minutes from the Halemaumau Crater from June 6, 2011 – June 24, 2011.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/938vgxwsbaY]

Information from originating website:

Relocated this webcam to the HVO building to view the activity within Halema’uma’u crater. The new vent is 1.9 km (1.2 miles) SSE from the webcam. For scale, Halema’uma’u crater is approximately 100 m (330 ft) deep. DISCLAIMER: This panorama is a composite of three images from a temporary research camera positioned in the observation tower at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. At times, clouds and rain obscure visibility. The camera is subject to sporadic breakdown, and may not be repaired immediately. The camera is observing an area that is off- limits to the general public because of significant volcanic hazards.

Chain of Craters Road Reopened After Eruptive Activity

Media Release:

Officials at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park reopened Chain of Craters Road at 4 p.m. today, after a 24-hour closure resulting from new eruptive activity at Kīlauea volcano’s Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater. Park rangers are stationed near sea level at the bottom of Chain of Craters Road, at Pu‘u Huluhulu and at Jaggar Museum to inform visitors of the latest conditions and best viewing opportunities.

On Wed., Aug. 3, the crater floor and lava lake within Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō collapsed and lava flowed out of its west flank. Scientists at the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory monitored a rapid deflation of the crater floor and lava lake, and by 3:15 p.m. yesterday, the collapse began.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/fFgmLwf-3ug]

Visitors to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park are able to view dramatic glows from the new Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō eruption from several vantage points within the park, including Pu‘u Huluhulu, the Jaggar Museum overlook, and from the bottom of Chain of Craters Road.

“For the more adventurous, a short mile-and-a-half round-trip hike to Pu‘u Huluhulu puts you in the line of site of the vent and new lava flows off the west flank of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō,” said Chief Ranger Talmadge Magno. “And, weather permitting, the glow is apparent after sunset as the daylight obscures any redness. Visitors can also drive to the end of Chain of Craters Road and look up and see the glow,” he said.

Chief of Interpretation Jim Gale posted video to the park’s website: http://www.nps.gov/havo/photosmultimedia/eruption-20110803.htm.

In addition, Kīlauea’s summit eruption at Halema‘uma‘u crater continues, and visitors can often hear the roar from rocks exploding off crater walls, and can observe a beautiful red glow after nightfall. Rangers reported that the new incandescence from Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō is also visible from the Jaggar Museum overlook.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is open 24 hours a day, conditions permitting. For eruption updates, call (808) 985-6000.

And while visitors are enjoying new lava activity, a six-person fire crew has contained approximately 80 percent of a wildfire ignited by lava on the southern end of the flow, approximately one acre in size. Another fire on the north end of the flow continues to burn, and is being monitored by fire officials.