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Kilauea

21 May 2001

Pulse of magma at Kilauea

Uwekahuna and Sand Hill tilt, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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North Pit seismogram, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Left: Tilt at Uwekahuna (upper two plots) and Sand Hill (lower two plots) during inflation event of May 20, 2001. The tilt at Uwekahuna is shown as radial and tangential components relative to a center near Halemaumau. The tilt at Sand Hill is shown as E-W and N-S components. Upward deflection indicates inflation at Uwekahuna and deflation at Sand Hill. Note the rapid inflation for one hour and slower decay thereafter. The tilt indicates the rapid rise of a pulse of magma into the shallow summit reservoir and then a slower leakage into the east rift zone. Right: Seismogram for the North Pit seismometer near Halemaumau, for the 24-hour period starting at about 0830 on May 20. Note the earthquake swarm and weak tremor in the morning and early afternoon, followed by moderately strong volcanic tremor accompanying the inflation, followed in turn by very few earthquakes and no tremor during the deflation. See large images for best detail.

Tilt record near Pu`u `O`o (upper two plots) and on northwest flank of Pu`u `O`o (lower two plots) during event on May 20, 2001. Only slight inflation is indicated in the top two plots. Pu`u `O`o cone itself shows sharp inflation, starting 20 minutes after summit inflation and recording a pressure pulse in the east rift zone, followed by injection of magma below Pu`u `O`o and then movement into hidden storage.

Tilt at and near Pu`u `O`o during event of May 20, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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Crater of Pu`u `O`o after inflation event, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Crater of Pu`u `O`o after inflation event, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Two views showing how dark pahoehoe resurfaced the inner "trough" of the crater floor of Pu`u `O`o. Glowing areas are vents in the crater floor from which lava upwelled on the night of May 20-21. These same vents alternately served as drain holes that kept the level of ponded lava from rising more than a few meters within the trough.

Shiny pahoehoe in active flow overrides dark `a`a erupted in 1983-85. Above the B & B in Royal Gardens (red-roofed house at end of road), the irregular surface of the `a`a helps keep the pahoehoe from moving farther east. If the upslope pahoehoe overtops the `a`a, the B & B will be in harm's way. View looks north beyond top of Pulama pali.

Far east flow near Bed and Breakfast in Royal Gardens, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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23 May 2001

Active bench at the southeast corner of the active flow field at 0842. At least eight different streams of lava are falling into the ocean. Can you see them all? You need the large view to find them.

Lava bench and inflow of lava, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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Hornito above hole in lava tube, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Close-up of hornito above lava tube, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Mid-afternoon views of a 3-m-high hornito that has developed near one of the breakout points between 2300 and 2240 feet. A hornito is a conical mound of spatter above a rootless vent--in this case, a break in the roof of a lava tube. A hornito is hollow but often roofed. Commonly, lava can be observed, through a hole in the side or roof of the hornito, to be actively spattering. In the large close-up, note how the spatter has slopped out of the top and run a short distance down the mound.
Skylight in active lava tube above Pulama pali, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Advancing pahoehoe flow above Pulama pali, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Left: Mid-afternoon view of a skylight through thin roof of a lava tube near one of the breakout points between Pu`u `O`o and the top of Pulama pali. Lava is bubbling at the left (downstream) end of skylight. Right: Active pahoehoe flow from the 2200-foot breakout point in the late-afternoon light. The lava toe nearest the camera is advancing in a twisting roll.

25 May 2001 and summer 1999

Shatter ring

Ground view of shatter ring in July 1999, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Ground view of shatter ring in August 1999, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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"What in the world is a shatter ring?" Several viewers have asked that question. A shatter ring--a term recently coined at HVO and not explained or illustrated anywhere in popular circles--forms when lava pressure in a tube exceeds the strength of the overlying crust. Such a condition happens if a tube is blocked downstream. The pressure uplifts the crust at some weak point to form a tumulus. If this process is repeated many times, the outer edges of the tumulus become broken or shattered to form a shatter ring. A shatter ring may have smooth pahoehoe inside its broken outer ring. The presence of a shatter ring tells us that the underlying tube has been pressurized many times. The two images above show two different shatter rings as they were forming in July and August 1999 on the flat below Pulama pali. The shatter ring in the right image is the same as the one shown in the aerial view below.

Though impressive, shatter rings are small features on the overall flow field. The one shown here--the brown feature in the lower center of the image--is only about 50 m across and is dwarfed by its surroundings. Yet it stands apart from the pahoehoe around it, and so this shatter ring is now used as a landmark for hikers across the flow field, particularly those from the end of Chain of Craters Road off the upper right part of the image.

Aerial view of shatter ring on coastal flat on May 25, 2001, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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25 May 2001

View from ocean entry to Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Recently active flow field on Pulama pali, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Left: Steam rises from ocean entry in early afternoon. Behind is the flow field, reaching all the way back to Pu`u `O`o (on skyline). Smoke and fume define course of active flow along west side of field. Swath of shiny pahoehoe next to green "Royal Gardens" kipuka is the recently active far east flow. Right: View westward along Pulama pali, showing far east flow (next to biggest forested area), a 1980's vintage `a`a flow beyond (dark), and the recently active flow field farther west and south. Smoke rises from burning vegetation along west margin of west flow.

View southeastward from above Pu`u `O`o, showing the flow field indented with many skylights and collapse pits from past lava-tube systems. Steam plume from ocean entry is barely visible in distance, bent southwestward by strong trade wind.

View of flow field southeast of Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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Edge of far east flow, with tangled fallen trees, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Burning wood imbedded in surface of lava flow, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Left: Tangled fallen trees along margin of recently active far east flow above Pulama pali. Steam plume from ocean entry in background. White wood ash on the flow surface is all that remains of burned wood. The ash doesn't last long, washed by rain and blown by wind. Right: Burning wood imbedded in surface of hot crusted flow. The wood will probably burn away completely, leaving an impression in the surface of the flow. 

31 May 2001

Dark pahoehoe (left), erupted in the past two weeks but stagnant in this photo, encroaches on rugged gray `a`a erupted in 1985. Flow direction is toward observer. View is of area 1-2 km above Pulama pali; Pu`u `O`o is in extreme upper left. Levees on the `a`a are 2-3 m high, and width of view is 300-500 m.

Recent pahoehoe and 1985 `a`a above Pulama pali, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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Fume from lava tube, smoke from fire, and steam from ocean entry, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Smoke from fires along active pahoehoe with Royal Gardens roads in background, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Left: Southeastward view looking obliquely down Pulama pali to coastal flat beyond. Fume rises from lava in hidden tubes in foreground, smoke from fire along active pahoehoe in middle ground, and wind-bent steam plume from eastern ocean entry in background. Right: Looking north across margin of active pahoehoe breakout into Royal Gardens subdivision. The intersection nearest the new flow is Prince Street at Lehua Street. As the flow field on the coastal flat thickens, more and more of the subdivision becomes inundated.

 

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. 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 Kupapau Point. 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.


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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Updated: 10 June 2001 (DAS)