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2 August 2001

Still more changes in 1880-foot skylight

July 27. This view matches that of July 14 (see update archive), but crust now completely hides molten lava. Glow can faintly be seen far back in the skylight. Most of the crust formed between July 19 and July 27.

Crusted lava stream below 1880-ft skylight, July 27, 2001, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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August 2. Perspective is similar to that of last image taken on July 5 (see update archive). Two streams of lava meet just downstream of the skylight, flowing from right to left. Thick crust supports geophysicist using a Very Low Frequency (VLF) instrument that measures the electrical conductivity of the ground beneath, in order to determine the cross-sectional area of molten lava in the tube. Combined with radar-gun measurements of the velocity of the lava stream, this information gives us the flux of lava passing through the tube.

Measuring flux in two lava streams through 1880-ft skylight, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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9 August 2001

Surface of lava continues to lower in 1880-foot skylight

August 9. The view is similar to that of August 2, though closer, and shows that the level of lava has dropped still farther. The depth of the lava remains about the same, because the the stream is eroding into its bed.

Lava stream visible in 1880-ft skylight, August 9, 2001, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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14 August 2001

Great view of East Kupapa`u bench from safe viewing area

View of the active bench--sometimes called a lava delta-- from behind the safety barrier at the viewing area (August  16, top). From here, people are treated to wonderful views of lava flowing into the sea and of tephra-jet explosions when lava interacts violently with sea water. The viewing area is safe, because it is atop an older sea cliff and beyond the margin of the active lava bench. The viewers should NOT be wearing shorts, however, because a fall onto glassy lava flows along the trail to the viewing area could result in lacerated legs.

Visitors view tephra-jet explosion from behind safety barrier, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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16 August 2001

Lava continues to pour into sea at East Kupapa`u bench

View looking southwest of the active bench and the newly created viewing area behind a safety barrier near the sea cliff. The two clouds of blue fume issue from skylights along the lava tube before it drops onto the bench and spills into the sea. The viewing area will be opened to the public on August 17.

Aerial view of active lava bench, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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View looking west shows bench, coastal flat, and Pulama pali. The bench is about 600 m long and more than 100  m wide. The landward edge of the bench is marked by the former sea cliff. In the large view (click "large" at right), a small incandescent surface flow is visible on the bench behind the ocean-entry plume.

Close aerial view of lava bench, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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30 August 2001

Aerial view of active flow lobe moving toward access road

Active flow lobe is the thin, light gray strand inland of the access road. The flow front is 150 m from the edge of the road.

Aerial view of active lava bench, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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Aerial view showing relationship between access road and advancing flow lobe (light, shiny gray).

Close aerial view of lava bench, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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31 August 2001

Lava flow advancing toward Kalapana road

Budding pahoehoe flow front slowly moving toward the Kalapana road, which provides access to a viewing area for the East Kupapa`u ocean entry.

Toe of breakout, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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Ground view of access road with advancing flow (light shiny gray) in the background. The flow front is 55 m from the edge of the road.

mauka view showing access road, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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Map of flows from Pu`u `O`o: June 2001

Map of lava flows on south coastal part of Kilauea Volcano as of June 2001

Large map Map shows lava flows erupted during the 1983-present activity of Pu`u `O`o and Kupaianaha. The flows active from December 17, 2000 through June 30, 2001 are shown in red, above and on Pulama pali and on the coastal plain,. Most of the recent flows are fed from breakout points at 1920-1700 feet, above the pali in the northern part of the large red area. Lava re-entered the sea just west of Kamokuna on January 21, 2001, but soon stopped when activity shifted from the western to the eastern branch of the flow. Since then, activity has been divided between the eastern and western branches. Breakouts from the eastern tube system have destroyed hundreds of meters of the Royal Gardens access road. Lava fed through the eastern system has been entering the ocean since April 25, a few hundred meters northeast of Kupapa`u Point. Since then, a large bench has developed at the E. Kupapa`u entry site. On May 31, a tiny trickle of lava fed through the western tube system dripped into the water about 500 m west of the Kamokuna bench but stopped within a day. Since then, all lava entering the sea has gone through the E. Kupapa`u entry.

The shatter ring is a prominent tumulus near the western branch of the active flow that is a handy reference point for some of our observations.


Eruption-viewing opportunities change constantly, so refer to this page often. Those readers planning a visit to Kilauea or Mauna Loa volcanoes can get much useful information from Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park; be sure to click on the inDEPTH button.


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The URL of this page is http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/multimedia/archive/2000/Aug/
Contact: hvowebmaster@usgs.gov
Updated: 19 September 2001 (DAS)