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New Lava Flow Map Released

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow field. The area of the active flow field as of February 24 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as of March 16 is shown in red. Older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray. The yellow line is the trace of the active lava tube (dashed where uncertain).

The blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 2013 digital elevation model (DEM), while the blue lines on the rest of the map are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 DEM (for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over the 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM).

“Kamokuna” Lava Ocean Entry Continues – Significant Hazards Persist

Lava from the 61g flow continues into the ocean along Kīlauea’s south coast.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Today’s field crew also noted active pāhoehoe breakouts a few hundred meters (yards) upslope from the coast and road.

Meanwhile, back at the summit of Kīlauea…

Perched on the rim of Kīlauea Volcano’s summit caldera, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and NPS Jaggar Museum (foreground) overlook the active lava lake within Halemaʻumaʻu Crater.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The black lava flows to the left and right of the fuming vent spilled onto the crater floor in April-May 2015, when the lava lake briefly filled to overflowing.

The summit lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater continuously circulates, with lava upwelling on one side of the lake and downwelling on the opposite side, often resulting in vigorous spattering (bright spot on left side of lake).

The silhouette of Mauna Loa is visible in upper right.  Click to enlarge

The silhouette of Mauna Loa is visible in upper right. Click to enlarge

As it circulates, sections of the dark-colored, semi-solid lake surface pull apart, revealing the incandescent molten lava beneath and creating the appearance of a jigsaw puzzle. This evening, the lava lake surface was about 26 m (85 ft) below the vent rim.

As a strong caution to visitors viewing the new ocean entry (location where lava meets the sea) for Flow 61G, there are additional significant hazards besides walking on uneven surfaces and around unstable, extremely steep sea cliffs. Venturing too close to an ocean entry exposes you to flying debris created by the explosive interaction between lava and water.

Also, the new land created is unstable because it is built on unconsolidated lava fragments and sand. This loose material can easily be eroded away by surf causing the new land to become unsupported and slide into the sea. Finally, the interaction of lava with the ocean creates an acidic plume laden with fine volcanic particles that can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs.

Lava Now 0.2 Miles from Ocean

Activity Summary: Eruptive activity continues at Kīlauea Volcano’s summit and East Rift Zone. The 61G lava flow extending southeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō towards the ocean remains active but poses no threat to nearby communities. As of yesterday, the flow tip was about ~370 m (0.2 miles) from the ocean. The lava lake at Halemaʻumaʻu Crater continues to circulate and intermittently spatter. Seismicity and deformation rates throughout the volcano remain at background levels.
hvo 725 g61
Summit Observations: The lava lake within the Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook crater remains active. The depth to the lake was estimated at 26 m (85 ft) below the crater rim, measured on Sunday. Tiltmeters at Kīlauea’s summit recorded a slight inflationary tilt. Seismicity is within normal, background rates with tremor fluctuations associated with lava lake spattering. The summit sulfur dioxide emission rate ranged from 3,700 to 7,300 metric tons/day.

Puʻu ʻŌʻō Observations: Webcam images over the past 24 hours show persistent glow at long-term sources within the crater. There were no significant changes in seismicity over the past 24 hours. The tilt still recovering due to heavy rainfall over the weekend. The sulfur dioxide emission rate from all East Rift Zone vents on July 22 was about 500 metric tons/day.

Lava Flow Observations: The 61G lava flow extending southeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō towards the coastal plain on Kīlauea’s south flank remains active. On Sunday, the flow tip was active and breakouts were active within a few hundred meters (yards) upslope. The flow was approximately ~240 m (0.15 miles) from the coastal emergency road and 370 m (0.2 miles) from the ocean; based on National Park personnel observations. Areas of incandescence remain visible in overnight webcam views of the active lava flow field, marking lava tube skylights and areas of active lava on the pali and along the flow as it extends towards the coast.

New Thermal Image Map Shows Where Lava is Active

This image shows a thermal map of the flow on the pali and coastal plain, created from airborne thermal images. White pixels are hot, and show areas of active surface breakouts. The background image is a satellite image collected before the current lava flow was active.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The thermal map shows minimal activity on the upper pali, with a channelized ʻaʻā flow at the base of the pali. The flow front area had scattered pāhoehoe breakouts, with a narrow lobe of active lava forming the leading tip of the flow. The leading tip of the flow was 730 m (0.45 miles) from the ocean.

Sluggish Lava Breakouts Advance Slowly on Coastal Plain

The flow front remains active and consists of slowly advancing pāhoehoe. There are scattered breakouts along the margins of the flow on the coastal plain and base of the pali.

hvo 723a

During the overflight yesterday, the flow front was 730 m (0.45 miles) from the ocean.

A faint double rainbow provided a beautiful backdrop for sluggish pāhoehoe lava oozing out from near the flow front this morning.  Pictures were taken as part of a site visit to the G61 flow front on July 22, 2016.   The flow was about 615m from the road and 760 m from the ocean. (Click to enlarge)

A faint double rainbow provided a beautiful backdrop for sluggish pāhoehoe lava oozing out from near the flow front this morning. Pictures were taken as part of a site visit to the G61 flow front on July 22, 2016.
The flow was about 615m from the road and 760 m from the ocean. (Click to enlarge)

During early morning field observations, a large breakout of lava near the base of Pūlama Pali (steep fault scarp in background) was visible through fumes from the lava tube and heat shimmer from lava on the coastal plain.

The approximate location of the lava tube feeding Kīlauea's active lava flow is visible as degassing sources (white fume) on the pali. (Click to enlarge)

The approximate location of the lava tube feeding Kīlauea’s active lava flow is visible as degassing sources (white fume) on the pali. (Click to enlarge)

A breakout at the base of the pali viewed by a field crew this morning has formed a channelized ʻaʻā flow on the steeper portion of the coastal plain.

hvo 723d

A close up view of the ʻaʻā channel.

hvo 723e

Lava Flow Remains Active – Now 0.4 Miles From Emergency Road

The flow front remains active on the coastal plain, but has only moved about 60 m (~200 ft) closer to the ocean in the past three days.

hvo 71516

As of midday on July 15, the slow-moving pahoehoe is roughly 870 m (~0.5 mi) from the ocean. Activity upslope continues to widen the flow margins. The light gray surface in this image is the new pahoehoe of the 61G flow.

Aerial view of the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park Coastal Ranger Station at the end of Chain of Craters Road with the active lava flow (61G) in the distance.

Correlative thermal image highlighting the hot, active flow at the top portion of the photo (right).

Correlative thermal image highlighting the hot, active flow at the top portion of the photo (right).

This map is a georeferenced thermal image mosaic showing the distribution of active and recently active breakouts on the Pūlama pali and coastal plain. The thermal images were collected during a helicopter overflight on July 15. The episode 61g flow field as mapped on July 8 is outlined in yellow to show how the flow has changed. Most surface flow activity is on the coastal plain, but breakouts also continue on pali.

The leading tip of the active flow was 870 m (about half a mile) from the ocean.

The leading tip of the active flow was 870 m (about half a mile) from the ocean.

According to this mornings USGS HVO Lava flow report the flow is now 0.4 miles from the emergency road:

The 61G lava flow, southeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō remains active on the coastal plain on Kīlauea’s south flank. HVO geologists visited the flow field on Friday. As of midday, the lava flow front was about 730 m (0.4 miles) from the coastal emergency road and 870 m (0.5 miles) from the ocean, an advance of only about 60 m (200 feet) since July 12. The leading tip of the flow was active on Friday and the area around the flow tip has widened. The most vigorous flow activity was nearer the base of the pali and extending out about 1.3 km (0.8 miles) from the base of the pali. See the most recent HVO thermal map and images of lava for additional information http

Lava Flow Front Activity Persists, But Advance Still Slow

Surface breakouts remained active on the pali and coastal plain, but the leading tip of the flow has advanced little since mapping on Sunday.

This morning, the flow front was about 940 m (0.6 miles) from the ocean. Activity upslope of the flow front was widening the flow margins. In this photo, the active flow is the lighter colored area.

This morning, the flow front was about 940 m (0.6 miles) from the ocean. Activity upslope of the flow front was widening the flow margins. In this photo, the active flow is the lighter colored area.

Above the pali there are no surface breakouts, and lava is carried downslope within the subsurface lava tube system. The trace of the lava tubes is evident by the line of fuming point sources along the flow.

hvo 713a

Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and the vent for the current flow, are in the upper left portion of the photo.

Lava Now 0.8 Miles From Ocean

The flow front remains active, and was more than half way across the coastal plain today (July 6). This afternoon, the flow front was roughly 2 km (1.2 miles) from the base of the pali, and 1.3 km (0.8 miles) from the ocean.

The front consisted of slow moving pāhoehoe.  (Click to enlarge)

The front consisted of slow moving pāhoehoe. (Click to enlarge)

Close-up view of a typical surface on pāhoehoe lava.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

As this small channel of lava flows into a depression, its semi-congealed surface twists and wrinkles—forming the ropy surface commonly seen on pāhoehoe flows.

Flows on the pali are visible in the background.  (Click to enlarge)

Flows on the pali are visible in the background. (Click to enlarge)

The hardened crust of this pāhoehoe lava is pushed upward as the flow advances, exposing the incandescent lava beneath.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Lava Flow Front Remains Active – Continues to Advance

The flow front remains active, and continues to advance across the coastal plain. This afternoon, the flow front was approximately 1.7 km (1.1 miles) from the ocean.

Flow front continues across coastal plain

Flow front continues across coastal plain

The leading front of the flow is the light gray area in the low center area of the photograph.

A comparison of a normal photograph (left) with a thermal image (right) taken from roughly the same vantage point.

The thermal image shows the concentration of hot surface lava near the flow front, as well as areas of surface breakouts on and above the pali.

The thermal image shows the concentration of hot surface lava near the flow front, as well as areas of surface breakouts on and above the pali.

The amount of channelized lava on the pali has decreased over the past week, but there were still several open channels active today.

The amount of channelized lava on the pali has decreased over the past week, but there were still several open channels active today.

A closer look at the swiftly moving channelized lava on the pali.

hvo7516c

Lava Now One Mile From Reaching Ocean

This small-scale map shows Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field in relation to the southeastern part of the Island of Hawaiʻi. The area of the active flow field on June 30 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow field as mapped on July 5 is shown in red. Older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray.

The blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 2013 digital elevation model (DEM), while the blue lines on the rest of the map are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 DEM (for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/).

The blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 2013 digital elevation model (DEM), while the blue lines on the rest of the map are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 DEM (for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). When mapped on Sunday afternoon, the flow front was about 690 m (755 yards) beyond the base of the pali along the western boundary of the abandoned Royal Gardens subdivision; the flow front was about 2.6 km (1.6 miles) from the ocean.

Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over the 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM).

Lava Flow Front Starting to Advance Across Coastal Plain

The flow front remains active and has begun crossing the coastal plain. This afternoon, the flow front was roughly 400 m (0.25 miles) out from the base of the pali, and was 2.9 km (1.8 miles) from the ocean.

The front consisted of slabby pāhoehoe, though ʻaʻā was also active at the base of the pali.  (Click to enlarge)

The front consisted of slabby pāhoehoe, though ʻaʻā was also active at the base of the pali. (Click to enlarge)

A short distance upslope of the leading tip of the flow, the margin was less vigorous and forming more typical pāhoehoe lobes. (Click to enlarge)

A short distance upslope of the leading tip of the flow, the margin was less vigorous and forming more typical pāhoehoe lobes. (Click to enlarge)

The activity at the leading tip of the flow was vigorous, with small channels appearing from time to time.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Although the leading tip of the flow consisted of pāhoehoe, visible in the foreground of this photo, there was still ʻaʻā active on the steep slopes of the pali and at the base of the pali (upper part of the photo).

The open channels that were active on the pali a few days ago have largely crusted over, but some sections remained active today.  (Click to enlarge)

The open channels that were active on the pali a few days ago have largely crusted over, but some sections remained active today. (Click to enlarge)

 

Lava Flow Front Reaches Base of Pali

The flow front was reaching the base of the pali today, burning vegetation in the adjacent kipuka.

The front consisted of ʻaʻā that was fed by a narrow channel extending down the steep section of the pali.

The front consisted of ʻaʻā that was fed by a narrow channel extending down the steep section of the pali. Pictures via USGS

A mango tree is surrounded by the ʻaʻā flow:

hvo 6292The flow front as it approaches another mango tree.

hvo 6293The flow front was supplied by a narrow channelized section on the steep portion of the pali.

hvo 6294A close-up of clinker at the flow front

hvo 6295

Lava Flow Continues Towards Ocean

The lava flow is now about 2.5 miles from the ocean and shows no sign of stopping any time soon.

This small-scale map shows Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field in relation to the southeastern part of the Island of Hawaiʻi. The area of the active flow field on June 23 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow field as mapped on June 28 is shown in red. Older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray.

The blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 2013 digital elevation model (DEM), while the blue lines on the rest of the map are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 DEM (for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth's surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over the 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM).  (Click to enlarge)

The blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 2013 digital elevation model (DEM), while the blue lines on the rest of the map are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 DEM (for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over the 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM). (Click to enlarge)

 

Lava Flow Continues Down Pali Towards Ocean

The active lava flow from Puʻu ʻŌʻō was on the slope near the top of the Pūlama pali today, one of the steep escarpments on Kīlauea’s southeast flank, and had transitioned into a channelized ʻaʻā flow.

The view is to the northwest.  (Click to enlarge)

The view is to the northwest. (Click to enlarge)

This photo shows a closer view of the front of the ʻaʻā flow.

hvo 629bAn HVO geologist photographs the front of the channelized ʻaʻā flow.

hvo 629cThis photo is a view from the edge of the ʻaʻā flow, looking up slope at the flow’s channels.

hvo 629d

Lava Flow Approaches Royal Gardens Subdivision

This small-scale map shows Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field in relation to the southeastern part of the Island of Hawaiʻi. The area of the active flow field on June 16 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow field as mapped on June 23 is shown in red. The area covered by the inactive June 27th flow is shown in orange. The Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray.

The blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 2013 digital elevation model (DEM), while the blue lines on the rest of the map are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 DEM (for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth's surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over a 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM). (Click to enlarge)

The blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 2013 digital elevation model (DEM), while the blue lines on the rest of the map are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 DEM (for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over a 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM). (Click to enlarge)

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field. The areas covered by the recent breakouts at Puʻu ʻŌʻō as of June 16 are shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as mapped on June 23 is shown in red.

The area covered by the inactive June 27th flow is shown in orange. Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray. (Click to enlarge)

The area covered by the inactive June 27th flow is shown in orange. Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray. (Click to enlarge)

Puʻu ʻŌʻō Lava Flow “61g” Continues Advancing Downslope

The episode 61g flow from Puʻu ʻŌʻō continues advancing downslope.

In this photo, the current flow is the lighter color area along the center of the image. The flow front has advanced about 770 m (0.5 miles) since the June 16 overflight, which equates to an advance rate of about 100 m per day (330 ft per day).

The flow front was roughly 100 m (330 ft) from the northern boundary of the abandoned Royal Gardens subdivision. Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and its plume, are visible near the top of the image.  (Click to enlarge)

The flow front was roughly 100 m (330 ft) from the northern boundary of the abandoned Royal Gardens subdivision. Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and its plume, are visible near the top of the image. (Click to enlarge)

The lava pond in the western portion of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater remains active, and has enlarged since our last observation.

The pond today was about 50 m (160 ft) in diameter, with spattering along the western margin.  (Click to enlarge)

The pond today was about 50 m (160 ft) in diameter, with spattering along the western margin. (Click to enlarge)

An HVO geologist collects a fresh lava sample for chemical analysis.

The lobe being sampled was typical of the many scattered pāhoehoe breakouts along the flow margin today.  (Click to enlarge)

The lobe being sampled was typical of the many scattered pāhoehoe breakouts along the flow margin today. (Click to enlarge)

HVO geologists conduct a VLF (very low frequency) survey across the episode 61g lava tube to measure the depth and cross-sectional area of lava flowing within the tube.  (Click to enlarge)

HVO geologists conduct a VLF (very low frequency) survey across the episode 61g lava tube to measure the depth and cross-sectional area of lava flowing within the tube. (Click to enlarge)

Incandescent vents are still open on the northeast flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

From the ground, no views of the lava were possible because the area around the vent was too unstable and dangerous to approach. (Click to enlarge)

From the ground, no views of the lava were possible because the area around the vent was too unstable and dangerous to approach. (Click to enlarge)

An aerial view of the same vent shown at left provided a look of the lava stream within the deep cavity.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

June 27th Lava Flow Stops – New Lava Flow Over Two Miles Long

The only active surface lava on Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone is the flow that erupted from the lower east flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō on May 24, 2014.

hvo 61016This flow continues to advance southeast, and was 3.3 km (2.1 mi) long today (June 10). This photo shows the front of the flow; Puʻu ʻŌʻō is in the background.

A closer view of the flow front, with Puʻu ʻŌʻō in the background. Click to enlarge

A closer view of the flow front, with Puʻu ʻŌʻō in the background. Click to enlarge

New Lava Flow Map Shows Flow Heading Towards Ocean

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field. The area covered by the June 27th flow (which may be inactive) as of June 2 is shown in orange.

HVO Flow map 61016

The areas covered by the recent breakouts at Puʻu ʻŌʻō as of June 2 are shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the new breakouts as mapped on June 8 is shown in red. The northern breakout is inactive. Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is at lower left.

Webcams overnight saw no incandescence northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, supporting the possibility that the June 27th flow is no longer active. HVO scientists will continue to watch this area over the coming days – the more time that passes without active lava in this part of the flow field, the more likely it is that the supply of fresh lava to the June 27th flow has ceased. The flow from the east flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō remains active and continues to advance southeast. The flow was 2.7 km (1.7 mi) long when mapped on June 8.

New Lava Flow Map Released – Flow Far From Dead

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field.

423map

The area of the flow on April 9 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as of April 23 is shown in red. Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray.

Lava Flow Map and Video Shows Flow Far From Pahoa

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The area of the flow on March 10, before shutting down near Pāhoa, is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow based on satellite imagery from April 1 is shown in red. Some recent changes north of Puʻu ʻŌʻō are not shown, as that part of the flow field was hidden from satellite view by clouds.

Video from Mick Kalber: