Kilauea Volcano Hawaii ~ Lava Flows

Posted by Robert Boggs

A surge of lava spews out of a rupture in the lava tube system and is heading down steep cliffs, or pali in Hawaiian. This strong flow is being supplied lava from Kilauea Volcano’s Pu`u O`o Crater four miles to the northwest. The rupture was at the 1600-foot elevation about four miles northwest of Kalapana Gardens, and directly above the old Royal Gardens subdivision.
Further down the mountain I shot the rough a`a lava and chunky pahoehoe lava river, and at the 800-ft elevation I videoed the lava ‘toes’.
Video shot by Leigh Hilbert February 24th, 2012

 

24 February 2012

Composite image showing the active flows traveling down the pali, through Royal Gardens subdivision

This composite image is an overlay of a thermal image over a normal photograph, and shows the active flows traveling down the pali, through Royal Gardens subdivision.  The names of the roads not covered by lava are shown in white text.  The last occupied residence in Royal Gardens is just west of the Plumeria-Hoku intersection.  Red and purple areas in the thermal image show recent, but inactive, flows, while the yellow and white areas are active breakouts.  The image shows that the main active flow front is about level with Plumeria street, in line with Ali`i avenue.  Behind this flow front, at the top of Royal Gardens subdivision near `Ekaha street level, is another area of active breakouts farther west.
This composite image is an overlay of a thermal image over a normal photograph, and shows the active flows traveling down the pali, through Royal Gardens subdivision. The names of the roads not covered by lava are shown in white text. The last occupied residence in Royal Gardens is just west of the Plumeria-Hoku intersection. Red and purple areas in the thermal image show recent, but inactive, flows, while the yellow and white areas are active breakouts. The image shows that the main active flow front is about level with Plumeria street, in line with Ali`i avenue. Behind this flow front, at the top of Royal Gardens subdivision near `Ekaha street level, is another area of active breakouts farther west.

8 February 2012

Quicktime movie showing the active lava tube system and a flight along it

This Quicktime movie begins with a view of lava in  made possible by a small collapse pit.  The lava is swiftly moving towards the northeast, and this represents lava within  crater that is entering the lava tube system which, in turn, feeds the active flow field.  The movie continues with a flight along this active lava tube system, with the trace of the tube evident by numerous fuming points.  The movie ends just short of the area of active pahoehoe breakouts, where lava exits the tube system onto the surface.  These flows were active about 300 m (330 yards) north of the boundary of Royal Gardens subdivision.
This Quicktime movie begins with a view of lava in made possible by a small collapse pit. The lava is swiftly moving towards the northeast, and this represents lava within crater that is entering the lava tube system which, in turn, feeds the active flow field. The movie continues with a flight along this active lava tube system, with the trace of the tube evident by numerous fuming points. The movie ends just short of the area of active pahoehoe breakouts, where lava exits the tube system onto the surface. These flows were active about 300 m (330 yards) north of the boundary of Royal Gardens subdivision.

A view of the east rim of Pu`u `Ō `ō crater and the active flow field

This photograph shows the east rim of Pu`u `Ō `ō crater.  A collapsed spatter cone revealed a swiftly flowing stream of lava heading northeast, into the tube system that supplies the active flow field.  The active flows today were 6 km (3.7 miles) southeast of Pu`u `Ō `ō.
This photograph shows the east rim of Pu`u `Ō `ō crater. A collapsed spatter cone revealed a swiftly flowing stream of lava heading northeast, into the tube system that supplies the active flow field. The active flows today were 6 km (3.7 miles) southeast of Pu`u `Ō `ō.
At the front of the active flow field, several narrow streams of lava were active, reflecting a relatively high level of activity today.
At the front of the active flow field, several narrow streams of lava were active, reflecting a relatively high level of activity today.

26 January 2012

A small lava lake filling a depression on the eastern side of floor of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater

View looking east at a small lava lake filling a depression on the eastern side of floor of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater.  The smooth surface of the lake is just above the center of the photo, and the source of the lava is a hole at the southern edge of the lake (to the right in this view). The heavily fuming area just beyond the lake to the left is the east wall vent, which was degassing loudly today and ejecting small gobs of lava. Surface flows, visible here as the lighter-colored lava, were active about 4 km (2.5 miles) east-southeast of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō, where a low rootless shield is being constructed.
Left. View looking east at a small lava lake filling a depression on the eastern side of floor of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater. The smooth surface of the lake is just above the center of the photo, and the source of the lava is a hole at the southern edge of the lake (to the right in this view). The heavily fuming area just beyond the lake to the left is the east wall vent, which was degassing loudly today and ejecting small gobs of lava. Right. Surface flows, visible here as the lighter-colored lava, were active about 4 km (2.5 miles) east-southeast of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō, where a low rootless shield is being constructed.

25 January 2012

Quicktime movie showing vigorous spattering in Halema`uma`u

This Quicktime movie shows vigorous spattering along the south margin of the Halema`uma`u lava lake.  Lava, upwelling in the northern portion of the lake (out of view), slowly migrates to this southern margin where it sinks back into the conduit.
This Quicktime movie shows vigorous spattering along the south margin of the Halema`uma`u lava lake. Lava, upwelling in the northern portion of the lake (out of view), slowly migrates to this southern margin where it sinks back into the conduit.

12 January 2012

A burst of gas from a small vent in Pu`u `Ō `ō crater throws spatter

A burst of gas from a small vent in Pu`u `Ō `ō crater throws spatter about 15 m (50 ft) into the air.  Over the past week, occasional spattering and short lava flows have been observed within the crater.
A burst of gas from a small vent in Pu`u `Ō `ō crater throws spatter about 15 m (50 ft) into the air. Over the past week, occasional spattering and short lava flows have been observed within the crater.
A single area of breakouts, visible as the silvery patch in the center of the photograph, was active on today’s overflight.  These surface flows are high above the pali, about 3.5 km (2.2 miles) southeast of Pu`u `Ō `ō cone.  Pu`u `Ō `ō is visible in the upper left portion of the image.  The flows on the coastal plain, as well as the ocean entry, have been inactive for the last two weeks.
A single area of breakouts, visible as the silvery patch in the center of the photograph, was active on today’s overflight. These surface flows are high above the pali, about 3.5 km (2.2 miles) southeast of Pu`u `Ō `ō cone. Pu`u `Ō `ō is visible in the upper left portion of the image. The flows on the coastal plain, as well as the ocean entry, have been inactive for the last two weeks.

27 December 2011

Near-vertical view of lava lake at Halema`uma`u and ocean entry at West Ka`ili`ili

This near-vertical view from the helicopter shows the surface of the lava lake at Halema`uma`u. Lava has continued to enter the ocean at West Ka`ili`ili, with numerous entry points scattered along a broad section of the coast.  The small boat in the center of the image provides a rough sense of scale.
Left. This near-vertical view from the helicopter shows the surface of the lava lake at Halema`uma`u. Right. Lava has continued to enter the ocean at West Ka`ili`ili, with numerous entry points scattered along a broad section of the coast. The small boat in the center of the image provides a rough sense of scale.
One of the individual streams of lava cascading over the sea cliff, producing a thick steam plume at the water’s edge.
One of the individual streams of lava cascading over the sea cliff, producing a thick steam plume at the water’s edge.
This skylight provided a clear view of the lava stream inside the lava tube on today’s overflight, and a swiftly moving current could easily be seen.
This skylight provided a clear view of the lava stream inside the lava tube on today’s overflight, and a swiftly moving current could easily be seen.
This thermal image shows the western portion of the West Ka`ili`ili ocean entry, which hosts numerous small entry points.  Active breakouts can be seen on the coastal plain along the west margin of the flow field.  View of scattered pahoehoe lobes and toes on the coastal plain, just inland from the ocean entry.
Left. This thermal image shows the western portion of the West Ka`ili`ili ocean entry, which hosts numerous small entry points. Active breakouts can be seen on the coastal plain along the west margin of the flow field. Right. View of scattered pahoehoe lobes and toes on the coastal plain, just inland from the ocean entry.

13 December 2011

Small streams of lava cascading over the sea cliff, and entering the ocean

The current lava flow, coming down the pali and traversing the coastal plain, reached the ocean late last week. The ocean entry point is within the National Park, near its eastern border.  Today, numerous small streams of lava were cascading over the sea cliff, and lava entering the water was starting to build a small delta.
The current lava flow, coming down the pali and traversing the coastal plain, reached the ocean late last week. The ocean entry point is within the National Park, near its eastern border. Today, numerous small streams of lava were cascading over the sea cliff, and lava entering the water was starting to build a small delta.
This photograph shows two channels of lava coming over the sea cliff, reaching the new lava delta.
This photograph shows two channels of lava coming over the sea cliff, reaching the new lava delta.

6 December 2011

Awesome views of the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō cone and crater showing the fume sources

View looking southwest of the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō cone and crater. The fume sources on the northeast flank (lower left) mark the path of the lava tube that is feeding flows on the pali. The vent feeding the tube is the fuming area near the crater rim (center); an active circular lava pond is immediately behind the vent. The pond began to take shape and become slightly elevated above the crater floor in the past couple of days after lava began erupting in the crater on Saturday (12/5), quickly filling a depression in the east part of the crater. On the far west edge of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō is a vent (fuming) that erupted many small flows last week.
View looking southwest of the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō cone and crater. The fume sources on the northeast flank (lower left) mark the path of the lava tube that is feeding flows on the pali. The vent feeding the tube is the fuming area near the crater rim (center); an active circular lava pond is immediately behind the vent. The pond began to take shape and become slightly elevated above the crater floor in the past couple of days after lava began erupting in the crater on Saturday (12/5), quickly filling a depression in the east part of the crater. On the far west edge of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō is a vent (fuming) that erupted many small flows last week.
Close view of the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater. Incandescent spatter cone stands above fume rising from the main vent area. Lava is still erupting in the lava pond, marked by the smooth shiny surface behind the spatter cone, but the level appears to have stabilized overnight.
Close view of the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater. Incandescent spatter cone stands above fume rising from the main vent area. Lava is still erupting in the lava pond, marked by the smooth shiny surface behind the spatter cone, but the level appears to have stabilized overnight.
Lava spilling down the steep pali this morning formed many small channels and 'a'ā flows. Many such flows were visible on the pali overnight.
Lava spilling down the steep pali this morning formed many small channels and ‘a’ā flows. Many such flows were visible on the pali overnight.
Pāhoehoe flows spreading on the coastal plain about 0.6 km from the base of the pali. When visited this morning, the flows had spread out considerably as they filled in low areas of the coastal plain. The leading edge of the flows were about 2.5 km from the ocean.
Pāhoehoe flows spreading on the coastal plain about 0.6 km from the base of the pali. When visited this morning, the flows had spread out considerably as they filled in low areas of the coastal plain. The leading edge of the flows were about 2.5 km from the ocean.

2 December 2011

Active pāhoehoe, fed by a lava tube originating at Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō has been migrating downslope within the Royal Gardens subdivision

This photograph, taken from the east rim of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater, shows a cone in the crater which was occasionally spitting minor amounts of spatter from the incandescent opening at its top.  In the foreground, several altered blocks (pink-orange colored) sitting on the recent lava flow are evidence of a small explosive event in the crater — sometime in the last two weeks — that cast the blocks onto the rim.
This photograph, taken from the east rim of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater, shows a cone in the crater which was occasionally spitting minor amounts of spatter from the incandescent opening at its top. In the foreground, several altered blocks (pink-orange colored) sitting on the recent lava flow are evidence of a small explosive event in the crater — sometime in the last two weeks — that cast the blocks onto the rim.
Active pāhoehoe, fed by a lava tube originating at Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō, has been migrating downslope within the Royal Gardens subdivision over the past week.  The flow front is outlined by the white dotted line.  The flow is running alongside a forested kipuka, triggering brush fires visible in the photo.  The flow is following the west margin of lava flows emplaced in February 2010, which brings the current flow close to the last occupied residence (orange structure in center of photo) in Royal Gardens.
Active pāhoehoe, fed by a lava tube originating at Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō, has been migrating downslope within the Royal Gardens subdivision over the past week. The flow front is outlined by the white dotted line. The flow is running alongside a forested kipuka, triggering brush fires visible in the photo. The flow is following the west margin of lava flows emplaced in February 2010, which brings the current flow close to the last occupied residence (orange structure in center of photo) in Royal Gardens.

21 November 2011

A thin portion of the roof over the lava tube reveals the lava stream

A collapse of a thin portion of the roof over the lava tube reveals the lava stream beneath the surface.  The fluid stream is the bright orange color, with the dark orange area to the left representing the hot, incandescent tube wall.  The lava stream today was relatively slow moving in the tube, perhaps reflecting a low rate of lava supply to the flow front.
A collapse of a thin portion of the roof over the lava tube reveals the lava stream beneath the surface. The fluid stream is the bright orange color, with the dark orange area to the left representing the hot, incandescent tube wall. The lava stream today was relatively slow moving in the tube, perhaps reflecting a low rate of lava supply to the flow front.
For a brief period this afternoon a vigorously spattering vent at the east end of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater fed a swiftly moving river of lava that cascaded into the deeper portions of the crater.  The cascade was over within about ten minutes of this photograph, but the vent continued to spatter.
For a brief period this afternoon a vigorously spattering vent at the east end of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater fed a swiftly moving river of lava that cascaded into the deeper portions of the crater. The cascade was over within about ten minutes of this photograph, but the vent continued to spatter.

10 November 2011

A large skylight on the lava tube is supplying lava to surface flows north of Royal Gardens subdivision

This photograph, looking east, shows a large skylight on the lava tube that is supplying lava to surface flows north of Royal Gardens subdivision.  The tube trace, which heads southeast, is marked by the line of fume sources in the upper right portion of the image.  The surface flows, out of view in this image, were 1.1 km (0.7 miles) north of the uppermost street in Royal Gardens today.
This photograph, looking east, shows a large skylight on the lava tube that is supplying lava to surface flows north of Royal Gardens subdivision. The tube trace, which heads southeast, is marked by the line of fume sources in the upper right portion of the image. The surface flows, out of view in this image, were 1.1 km (0.7 miles) north of the uppermost street in Royal Gardens today.
A close-up view of the skylight.  The flowing lava stream in the tube was easily visible.
A close-up view of the skylight. The flowing lava stream in the tube was easily visible.

3 November 2011

The active episode 61 pāhoehoe flows of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō

View looking northwest through rain at the silvery flows at the front of the active episode 61 flow field. Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō is hidden in the clouds in the top left part of the photo. The ‘a‘ā flow at bottom center is the inactive terminus of the initial flow emplaced on September 21–22, 2011, after the episode 61 fissure on Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō’s east flank opened on September 21. The active flows reached the front of the ‘a‘ā flow several hours later.
View looking northwest through rain at the silvery flows at the front of the active episode 61 flow field. Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō is hidden in the clouds in the top left part of the photo. The ‘a‘ā flow at bottom center is the inactive terminus of the initial flow emplaced on September 21–22, 2011, after the episode 61 fissure on Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō’s east flank opened on September 21. The active flows reached the front of the ‘a‘ā flow several hours later.
Ground view looking at the terminus of the active episode 61 pāhoehoe flows. Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō, the source of the flows, is hidden in the clouds at the top of the photo, just left of center.
Ground view looking at the terminus of the active episode 61 pāhoehoe flows. Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō, the source of the flows, is hidden in the clouds at the top of the photo, just left of center.

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