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Kilauea

2 December 2001

Glow comes from small skylight in roof of tube carrying lava onto the bench at Kamoamoa. The wispy nature of the glow is caused by reflection off choking sulfurous gas coming from the lava. The skylight is just below the top of the sea cliff; lava in the tube is falling into the bench over the cliff. Nearly full Beaver moon guards the entry.

Moon over glowing skylight at Kamoamoa entry, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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Lava cascades into the water from near the seaward point of the Kamoamoa bench shortly after sunrise. The black sand beach now reaches from the point to the west end of the bench. View looks east, into the rising sun.

Lava flowing into sea off of Kamoamoa entry bench, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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6 December 2001

Unusually good views of Pu`u `O`o

Looking southeast at west gap of Pu`u `O`o. Craggy south wall of crater is in background. Note the two pits formed since January 1997.

West Gap area of Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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Looking southwest across the "minivent" area at the south base of Pu`u `O`o. The flank of the cone is on the right.

Minivent area at south base of Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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Looking north into Puka Nui, a large collapse feature scalloped into the south side of Pu`u `O`o. Note the concentric cracks in the foreground around the enlarging pit of Puka Nui.

Puka Nui on south side of Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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Skylights along the tube system

The 2290-foot skylight along the master tube system about 900 m from the south base of Pu`u `O`o.

The 2290-foot skylight along the master tube, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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A sample dangles from the tangled stainless steel cable used to retrieve it.

Sample dangling above the 2290-foot skylight, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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Three new collapse areas--skylights--along the East Kupapa`u tube. Fume comes from existing skylights and cracks above the active tube. Trade wind blows the fume southwestward.

Three new skylights along the East Kupapa`u tube, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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7 December 2001

Kamoamoa flow

Shiny active breakout of pahoehoe along east side of the Kamoamoa flow low on Pulama pali. Breakouts have been active in this area for some time.

Breakout on east side of Kamoamoa flow, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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11 December 2001

Lava at dawn

Oozing lava at dawn inland of Kupapa`u, near the east side of the active flow field. The lava breaks out from the tube feeding the East Kupapa`u ocean entry. The lava is solidifying as pahoehoe, toes of which break open and spill the liquid contents onto the surface. The brightest toe is about 50 cm across. Pulama pali catches some rays in the background.

Lava oozing on coastal flat at dawn, inland of Kupapa`u, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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13 December 2001

Ponds on caldera floor

View from HVO of the floor of Kilauea`s caldera, showing numerous small ponds of water (silver color) a few meters wide following a heavy downpour. The infiltration rate (the rate at which water soaks into the ground) is generally greater than the rainfall rate, but recent storms have far exceeded infiltration, creating temporary ponds on a normally dry surface.

Water ponds after heavy rain on floor of caldera, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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Map of flows from Pu`u `O`o: November 13, 2001

Map of lava flows on south coastal part of Kilauea Volcano as of 13 November 2001

Map shows lava flows erupted during the 1983-present activity of Pu`u `O`o and Kupaianaha (see large map). The flows active from December 17, 2000 through November 13, 2001 are shown in red; the active Kamoamoa flow is the westernmost red flow descending  Pulama pali and entering the ocean at Kamoamoa. Lava is also pouring into the sea at the long-lasting East Kupapa`u entry and at a relatively new entry, Kupapa`u, 600 m farther southwest.

Most of the recent flows are fed from breakout points at 1920-1700 feet, above Pulama pali in the northern part of the large red area. Lava re-entered the sea near Kamokuna (just east of Kamoamoa) 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 has been entering the ocean and building a large bench at East Kupapa`u since April 25. A tiny trickle of lava fed through the western tube system dripped into the water just east of Kamoamoa on May 31 but stopped within a day. Thereafter, all lava leaving the island went through the East Kupapa`u entry until September 28-29, when the entry at Kamoamoa started. Yet a third ocean entry began on October 29, near the old Kupapa`u point, 600 m southwest of East Kupapa`u.


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Updated: 21 December 2001 (srb)