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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.

Mainland Media Folks Experience Rare Occurrence at the Volcano

For the next few days a group of mainland journalists and bloggers are having the opportunity to do a few FREE or cheap things on the Big Island.

Today started off with a scavenger hunt at the Hilo’s Farmer’s Market where each of them were given $10.00 and were sent off to find food for lunch for everyone to make a picnic out of.

The highlight of today was being able to see the volcano here on the Big Island from both the top where the Halema’uma’u Crater is… to the bottom of the flow in Kalapana.

What they didn’t know was that they were going to be treated to a rare occurrence where the entire floor of Pu’u O’o collapsed into the crater.  Andrew Cooper, author  of the blog A Darker View,  wrote in his post today “Kilauea is up to Something“:

This afternoon the entire floor of Pu’u O’o has collapsed into incadescent rubble. For the last few months the crater at Pu’u O’o has hosted a lava floor that occasionally floods. This had formed a solid crust hundreds of meters across with spatter cones and small fresh lava flows across the floor. This has now completely collapsed. At the same time the rift has experienced a large number of small, mostly magnitude 2 earthquakes. At he same time there was rapid deflation at the summit caldera and at Pu’u O’o. Where has the lava gone?…

Well when I talked to Jessica Ferracane of Irondog Communications, she stated that the folks did in fact hear something happening at the time and it was quite spectacular!  Ferracane posted on her facebook account the following account:

Is listening to Halemaumau Crater boom and gasp as rocks fall into Pele’s home.  Amazing!

I met up with the mainland media folks in Pahoa and then we cruised down to Kalapana to see what was going on down there.

They were fortunate in that they got to go to a house down there on the lava flow and were treated to a spectacular view of the flow from there while remaining in a safe atmosphere.

As the sun went down… we could begin to see the orange glow of the lava making it’s way down the hillside.

Once the sun was completely down… you could see a nice flow from the top of the mountain down to the bottom of the hill.

It was a great day and evening for the mainland folks and they were treated to the award winning Kaleo’s Restaurant in Pahoa for dinner.

The media folks will be heading over to the other side of the island in the next few days to see some of the cheap and free things to do on that side of the island… it was great to meet them and I look forward to reading their media write ups on the Big Island when they return home.

Media Release:

Pu‘u ‘O‘o crater floor collapse followed by middle east rift zone eruption

USGS Image of Pu'u 'O'o Floor Collapse

At 1:42 p.m. HST this afternoon, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) monitoring network detected the onset of rapid deflation at Pu‘u ‘O‘o and increased tremor along Kilauea Volcano’s middle east rift zone.  At 2:00 p.m., Kilauea’s summit also began to deflate.

Between 2:16 and 2:21 p.m., the floor of the Pu‘u ‘O‘o crater began to collapse, and within 10 minutes, incandescent ring fractures opened on the crater floor a few tens of meters away from the crater wall. As the floor continued to drop, lava appeared in the center of the crater floor, the northeast spatter cone within Pu‘u ‘O‘o collapsed, and an obvious scarp developed on the west side of the crater floor, with lava cascading over the scarp toward the center of the crater.

At 2:41 p.m., the scarp on the west side of the crater floor appeared to disintegrate, exposing incandescent rubble.  Five minutes later, the collapse of a large block along the east crater wall produced a dust plume.

Webcam images showed that the Pu‘u ‘O‘o crater floor continued to drop through 4:26 p.m., when fume obscured the camera view.  HVO Webcam images can be accessed at http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hvo/cams/.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hl6bI5JOLBA]

Coincident with the collapse in Pu‘u ‘O‘o, an earthquake swarm began along Kilauea’s middle east rift zone in the area of Maka`opuhi and Napau Craters.  Tiltmeters showed east rift zone deflation, which continues as of this writing.

At 5:15 p.m., an HVO geologist flying over Kilauea’s middle east zone reported “an eruption in Napau Crater.”  The eruption is now known to be located between Napau Crater and Pu‘u ‘O‘o.

Updates on the status of this eruption will be posted on HVO’s Web site at http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hvo/activity/kilaueastatus.php.

According to Jim Kauahikaua, HVO’s Scientist-in-Charge, “This event is remarkably similar to a 1997 eruption in and near Napau Crater, which lasted less than 24 hours.”

Kilauea’s summit also continues to deflate, and the lava lake level within the Halema‘uma‘u Crater vent continues to drop, facilitating rockfalls from the vent wall.

In response to the current volcanic conditions, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park has closed the Chain of Craters Road and all east rift zone and coastal trails, along with the Kulanaokuaiki campground, until further notice.

Daily updates about Kilauea’s ongoing eruptions, recent images and videos of summit and east rift zone volcanic activity, and data about recent earthquakes are posted on the HVO Web site at http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov.

The USGS provides science for a changing world. For more information, visit www.usgs.gov.