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Puʻu ʻŌʻō Breakouts Continue – No Significant Advancement

The two breakouts that began at Puʻu ʻŌʻō yesterday (May 24) are still active.

As of 8:30 a.m., HST, today, May 25, 2016, lava continued to flow from two breakout sites on the flanks of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone, which was shrouded by rain and steam during HVO’s morning overflight.

Click to enlarge

This morning, the active portions of both flows remained relatively short, extending no more than 1 km (0.6 miles) from their breakout points. The northern breakout, shown here, changed course slightly overnight, but is still directed towards the northwest in an impressive channel, with lava spreading out at the flow front. Click to enlarge

At the northern breakout (see maps at http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/maps/), a new lobe of lava broke out of yesterday’s active channel and was advancing to the northwest. This new lobe of lava had advanced about 950 m (0.6 mi) as of this morning. Yesterday’s channel—now inactive—is visible to the right of today’s flow.

hvo52516b

In this thermal image of the northern breakout, the active lava channel and flow front are clearly revealed as bright yellow and pink colors. The channel that was active yesterday, but now stagnate, is visible as a bluish-purple line to the right of today’s active flow.

This morning (May 25, 2016), the northern breakout on Puʻu ʻŌʻō was feeding an impressive channel of lava that extended about 950 m (0.6 mi) northwest of the cone. This channel was about 10 m (32 ft) wide as of 8:30 a.m., HST.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The second flow from the eastern breakout on Puʻu ʻŌʻō—in the area of the “Peace Day” flow that broke out in September 2011—remained active as of this morning, and its total length was about 1.2 km (0.75 mi) long.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

This lava flow was slowly spreading laterally, but the flow front had stalled.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Despite heavy rain, which resulted in blurry spots on this photo due to water droplets on the camera lens, HVO scientists were able to do some of the work they hoped to accomplish during this morning’s overflight.

Click to enlarge

Here, an HVO geologist maps the location of active lava from the eastern breakout on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Click to enlarge

Amidst steam created by rain falling on the hot lava, another HVO geologist uses a rock hammer to collect a sample of the active flow.

Analyses of this sample will yield data on the temperature and chemical makeup of the lava, information that is needed to help determine what's happening within the volcano.  Click to enlarge

Analyses of this sample will yield data on the temperature and chemical makeup of the lava, information that is needed to help determine what’s happening within the volcano. Click to enlarge

New Maps Show Lava Flow in Relation to Places

This small-scale map shows Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow in relation to lower Puna.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The area of the flow on May 21 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as of June 4 is shown in red.

The blue lines show steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM; for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/).

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

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. All older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2014) are shown in gray; the yellow line marks the active lava tube

Lava Flow Emerges From Crack – Continues Advancing East

June 27th lava flow front emerges again from ground crack, continues advancing eastward

Click to enlarge

The June 27th lava flow remains active, with lava at the flow front issuing from a ground crack and advancing through thick forest, creating dense plumes of smoke. The farthest lava this afternoon was 13.2 km (8.2 miles) from the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and 1.3 km (0.8 miles) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna forest reserve. This forest reserve boundary is at the western boundary of Kaohe Homesteads subdivision, a portion of which is visible at the bottom of the photograph.

This view looks east at the far end of the June 27th lava flow. In the center of the photograph is an isolated pad of lava which came out of ground crack last week. Further movement of lava within ground cracks has enabled the flow front to advance farther east, with lava issuing from a ground crack in the upper left portion of the photograph, where plumes of smoke mark the location of lava burning forest. Click to enlarge

A closer view of the flow front, looking west. It is difficult to see the active lava surface through the thick smoke. Puʻu ʻŌʻō can be seen in the upper left portion of the photograph, partly obscured by smoke.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

One small portion of the flow front was quite vigorous, with an open stream of lava moving through the forest.

Click to view movie

This Quicktime movie shows activity at the front of the June 27th lava flow. The flow front continues to advance eastward, with lava issuing out of a ground crack and spreading through dense forest, creating thick plumes of smoke. The farthest lava this afternoon was 1.3 km (0.8 miles) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna forest reserve.