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Kilauea

2 March 2000

Breakout on pali inactive today

View of surface flow along margin of Smoke flow on the Pulama pali, Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i
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Close view of surface flow along margin of Smoke flow on the Pulama pali, Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i
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Photographs of the eastern margin of the Smoke flow in the middle of the Pulama pali. Left: Wide view looking down the pali toward the sea (top of image) shows burned trees along the east margin of and atop pahoehoe lava. When observed early on March 2, an impressive flow was moving down this area, but the flow was only weakly active today. Right: Close view of the area; the enlarged images show glow in the skylights.

Lae`apuki bench remains weakly active

Aerial view of the Lae`apuki lava bench, Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i
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Aerial view on March 3 of the Lae`apuki lava bench. The leading edge of the bench extends 100-125 m seaward from the former sea cliff (see larger images for clarity).

Visitors to the bench are advised to remain inland of the former sea cliff, because of the possibility of sudden bench collapses and subsequent explosive activity.

3 March 2000

Vents and flows in Pu`u `O`o difficult to observe

Aerial view of Pu`u `O`o crater, Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i
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View of Pu`u `O`o crater looking west. Three different vents in the crater have been active during the past week, generating small flows within a central trough on the crater floor (black area visible in photo). A steep, haystack-like hornito has been built in the past ten days in the western part of the crater (obscured by fume). Thick fume continues to prevent good views of the activity.

Breakout between Pu`u `O`o and Pulama pali

Observers on a helicopter overflight of the flow field this afternoon reported that the surface flow which broke from the tube above the pali on February 24 is still active. The breakout site is where the main tube splits to feed the West-flow tube and Smoke-flow tube at an elevation of about 685 m (2250 ft). Only the west branch of the surface flow was active today; it is the flow identified in the lower left of the image below. The upper reaches of this western branch near its breakout points were still hot and inflating this afternoon.

Surface flows between Pu`u `O`o and Pulama pali, Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i
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View is northwest toward Pu`u `O`o from above Pulama pali. The surface flow that broke from the lava tube on February 24 formed two branches, only the western of which was active this afternoon (lower left). See larger images for clarity.

16 March 2000

West gap of Pu`u `O`o reveals layers and lava

A reconnaissance of the extremely fumy West gap of Pu`u `O`o was made today to investigate the layers of spatter and tephra exposed in the crater wall with a visiting Japanese scientist and check on the status of the West-gap pit.

View of crater wall at north edge of the West gap of Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i
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Close view of glow from spatter cone in West gap pit, Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i
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Left: View is northeast toward the crater wall at the north edge of the West gap. Scientists are standing on surface of lava flow that overflowed the main crater of Pu`u `O`o in 1997. Exposed in the crater wall are loose layers of spatter and tephra erupted from Pu`u `O`o in the mid-1980's, one of which is coated with sulfur minerals (yellow area) that formed since the gap formed in January 1997.
Right: View is south toward the spatter cone on the southwest rim of the West-gap pit. The glow emanates from lava passing beneath the pit and spatter cone as it enters the tube system; loud degassing sounds thundered from the vent. The pit has not grown in the past several weeks.

Lava tubes and flows active on flow field

Aerial view over pali toward lava entry at Lae`apuki, Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i
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Aerial view is southwest from above the pali toward the sea (top); note location of the Lae`apuki bench in top left (faint white plume). The fume at center left is from the Smoke flow (surface flows and skylights) on the pali. 
Aerial view toward Royal Gardens subdivision, Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i
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Aerial view is north toward Royal Gardens subdivision (note roads in forest). Many surface flows continue to leak from the tube system within the eastern part of the flow field (note shiny surfaces in lower left). 
Aerial view of active Lae`apuki lava bench, Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i
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Aerial view is northeast toward the active Lae`apuki lava bench. Note wispy fume rising from where lava is entering the sea; the bench is about 120-140 m wide at this point. Visitors to this area are advised to remain landward of the cliff (note faint line and white signs in large image) because of the possibility of sudden bench collapses and hot rogue waves.

23 March 2000

Smoke flow gets most of the lava

Skylight in the flow field of the Smoke Flow atop the Pulama pali, Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i
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This skylight is one of many in the tube system of the Smoke flow above Pulama pali.
Aerial view of the Smoke Flow area on the Pulama pali, Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i
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Aerial view of the west branch of the Smoke flow as it descends Pulama pali. Surface flows that have been visible in the past several days were mostly crusted over during this morning's overflight. Note the smoke from burning forest.
Aerial view of coast between Kamokuna and Waha`ula entry areas, Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i
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Aerial view of the coastal plain between Kamokuna and Waha`ula. Lava has been sporadically dribbling over the sea cliff in this area for several days, combining to form a small new bench. The newer surface flows leading to the coast are the lighter-toned flows landward of the bench.

31 March 2000

Lae`apuki bench quiet, new entries gain strength

In the past week, lava ceased flowing into the sea at the Lae`apuki bench, and lava feeding the Smoke flow continued to leak onto the surface of Pulama pali and the coastal plain. Since March 23, an increasing amount of lava has dribbled and then poured into the sea at several locations between the Waha`ula and Kamokuna areas. A few small surface breakouts in the West flow on Pulama pali indicate that some lava is still entering the west tube, though stopping short of Lae`apuki.

Aerial view of the southwest flank of Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i
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Aerial view of the west gap of Pu`u `O`o. The collapse pit (center) atop the episode-55 shield on the southwest flank of Pu`u `O`o is about 125 m long and 75 m wide. Note the remnant spatter cones and ground cracks on the edge of the pit (see larger images for detail). See map of Pu`u `O`o for location of the west gap and episode-55 shield and pit.
Aerial view of new entries on coast between Kamokuna and Waha`ula, Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i
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Aerial view toward the west of the coastal plain between Waha`ula (lower left) and Kamokuna. Lava has been dribbling over the sea cliff in this area for the past week. Note steam rising from three active entry areas.
Aerial view of Lae`apuki lava bench, Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i
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Aerial view of the coastal plain between Lae`apuki lava bench (lower right, bounded by light-colored sea cliff) and Apua Point (tip of land in top left). Lava stopped flowing into the sea at Lae`apuki on the night of March 25-26. 

 

Map of lava flows from Pu`u `O`o to the ocean
29 February 2000

Map of lava flows on south coastal part of Kilauea Volcano

Large map. Map shows lava flows (red) on Pulama pali and coastal plain active since October 1999 and flows erupted earlier from Pu`u `O`o and Kupaianaha. Lava reached the ocean at the Lae`apuki bench on December 17-18, 1999; this is known as the West flow. The eastern part of the active flow field reached the Royal Gardens private access road on January 11 and entered the sea at Waha`ula February 3-14, 2000. The flow descending the Pulama Pali to feed this area is the Smoke flow. 


Eruption-viewing opportunities change constantly, so those readers planning a visit to the volcano should contact Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park for the most current eruption information (tel. 808-985-6000).


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Contact: hvowebmaster@usgs.gov
Updated: 6 June 2000 (SRB and DAS)