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Kilauea

21 October 2001

A much enlarged, still active bench at Kamoamoa

The easternmost of the two active entry points this morning soon after dawn. A pool of lava spills into the water. Sometimes surf crashes onto the pool, resulting in small explosions.

Pool of lava near front of Kamoamoa bench, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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Looking east across part of the Kamoamoa bench, showing the irregular lobate front of the bench. Note the skylight in a small lava tube at the landward side of the second point.

Lobate front of active Kamoamoa bench, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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Some comparisons showing bench growth

Looking west across bench on September 30 at Kamoamoa entry, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Looking west across bench on October 21 at Kamoamoa entry, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Left: September 30. Right: October 21. Looking west. Both images from the same location. Note how the bench has thickened as a lava fan extends from the feeding tube to the water.
Looking east along bench at Kamoamoa entry on October 5, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Looking east along bench at Kamoamoa entry on October 21, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Left: October 5. Right: October 21. Looking east along bench toward unstable point in background. Note the thickening of the bench and how much farther seaward it reaches. The point now inland from the front of the bench is the flat-topped ridge in background. Both images from approximately the same location, though a greater field of view is needed for the later photo.
Looking east along bench at Kamoamoa entry on October 14, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Looking east along bench at Kamoamoa entry on October 21, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Left: October 14. Right: October 21. Looking east from above west end of bench. Both images taken from nearly the same place. Note the seaward growth in one week, overriding the beach. The stepped skyline is the area of the unstable point and has not changed significantly. 

23 October 2001

Dueling benches and a skylight

Looking west across bench at East Kupapa`u entry, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Looking northeast across bench at Kamoamoa entry, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Left: East Kupapa`u bench. Looking west. The bench partly fills an embayment in the coastline. Wispy fume rises from the tube transporting lava to the tube system on the bench. The visitor viewing area is at the bottom of the image.  Right: Kamoamoa bench. Looking northeast on a murky day. The bench has grown considerably outward and along shore to the east (right) since the images on October 21 below were taken. Sharp eyes will note the former shoreline of the bench, slightly more than halfway back to old sea cliff from the active front.

A skylight just below the 2300-foot elevation along the main tube from Pu`u `O`o, with two figures and a hornito--a steep-sided cone of spatter built over a tube--in the background.

2240-foot skylight, with hornito in background, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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28 October 2001

Continued growth of Kamoamoa bench

Looking east across Kamoamoa bench on October 21, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Looking east across Kamoamoa bench on October 28, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Left: October 21. Right: October 28. Looking east. The October 28 image was taken from a position slightly to the right of the previous one. The stepped profile in the background is the same in both images. Seaward growth of the bench is remarkable in just one week. See the last image pairs in the October 21 update for changes between October 14 and 21. Largest active entry on October 28 comes from point of bench at nearest steam plume.

Maps of lava-flow field, Kilauea Volcano

Map of flows from Pu`u `O`o: September 2001

Map of lava flows on south coastal part of Kilauea Volcano as of September 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 September 30, 2001 are shown in red; the west flow is indicated by the cross-hatched red flow that enters the ocean at Kamoamoa.

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. Since then, all lava entering the sea had gone through the East Kupapa`u entry until September 28-29, when the new entry at Kamoamoa started. 


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 IN-DEPTH button.


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The URL of this page is http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/multimedia/archive/2001/Oct/21-28.html/
Contact: hvowebmaster@usgs.gov
Updated: 3 November 2001 (DAS)