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Kilauea

15 March 2001

Flow from breakout at 1800-foot level, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Closer view of breakout point, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Breakout at 1800 feet. For scale in all these photos, the breakout point is about 3 m wide. Left: Looking upstream along the west edge of the flow on a wet morning. Right: Closer view of the lava flow fed from the breakout point in the background. Note the steam generated by rain hitting the lava and its hot crust.

The actual breakout point, where lava wells from a lava tube and sees the light of day for the first time in its history.

Actual breakout point at 1800-foot level, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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View downstream, with the breakout point at the left partly hidden by steam at 0841 in the rain.

View downstream from near breakout point, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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Breakout point looks like a hot tub, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Meandering river just downstream from breakout point, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Left: At 1005, during a momentary sun break, the breakout point appears calm, almost like a hot tub, as lava flows quietly from under the crust. Right: Meandering lava river just downstream from the breakout point.

 

22 March 2001

Pahoehoe toe on coastal flat, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Pahoehoe toes resemble lounging sea lions, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Pahoehoe toes on the coastal flat near the current end of the Royal Gardens access road Left: Lava is crossing flow that is about a year old. White pattern in older flow is formed by minerals deposited by gas escaping from lava along cracks in the crust. Right: Several toes of active or recently active pahoehoe, vaguely resembling sand bags or lounging sea lions.

 

23 March 2001

Kona winds afford rare view of southwest side of Pu`u `O`o's cone, usually obscured by fume from crater within the cone. This side of cone is  being undermined by flank vents that feed the eruption. Large plume on left rises from collapse pit that formed the episode 55 vent. Sunken area to right is Puka Nui.

Southwest side of Pu`u `O`o cone, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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View of Puka Nui, a collapse pit claiming the southwest wall of Pu`u `O`o's cone. The collapse has undermined both the crater wall of Pu`u `O`o and the adjacent pahoehoe shield (foreground).

Puka Nui, on southwest flank of Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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Remains of episode 55 spatter cone are outlined against gas plume rising from collapse pit that removed most of the cone. Note concentric cracks formed during collapse of the pit.

Remains of episode 55 spatter cone, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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Pahoehoe breakout at 1900 feet, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Meandering river just downstream from breakout point, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Left: Pahoehoe breakout from lava tube at 1900-foot elevation skirts east margin of recent (silver) flows and encroaches on lichen-covered `a`a (dark) flows erupted in the mid-1980s from Pu`u `O`o. The burning lichen produces a surprising amount of smoke. Right: Helicopter pilot performing other duties as requested, checking a thermal sensor pointed at a skylight on the lava tube leading from Pu`u `O`o toward Pulama pali.

 

31 March 2001

Moving lava in the east branch of the flow field on the coastal flat

Pahoehoe breakouts cascade into a low area just above the current end of the Royal Gardens access road. The lava covers flows erupted from Kupaianaha in 1991.

Southwest side of Pu`u `O`o cone, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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The crust on this lava stream bunches up where the slope lessens, forming the ropy texture typical of the surface of solidified pahoehoe.

Puka Nui, on southwest flank of Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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Close-up of ropy pahoehoe crust floating on a moving stream.

Remains of episode 55 spatter cone, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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Pahoehoe breakout at 1900 feet, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Meandering river just downstream from breakout point, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Left: Slabs of pahoehoe crust are turned on edge and carried down the flow to form a rare phenomenon known as "cat?s ear pahoehoe" to feline enthusiasts. Right: More disrupted crust floating merrily down the stream.

 

Map of flows from Pu`u `O`o to the ocean: 22 March 2001

Map of lava flows on south coastal part of Kilauea Volcano as of 22 March 2001

Large map Map shows lava flows erupted during the 1983-present activity of Pu`u `O`o and Kupaianaha. The flows active from mid-December 2000 through 22 March 2001, above and on Pulama pali and on the coastal plain, are shown in red. 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. Active flows are now mostly confined to the eastern branch, but some surface lava can often be seen on the upper part of the western branch. No lava is currently entering the water, though an active flow front is aimed at Kupapau Point.


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/kilauea/update/
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Updated: 26 April 2001 (DAS)