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Kilauea

17 January 2002

Views of 2220' rootless shield and 2300' growing hornito

Aerial view of active 2220-foot low shield, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Ground view of geologist observing growing 2220-foot shield, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Left. Aerial view of shiny pahoehoe crust on lava forming a low shield at the 2220-foot breakout high on the upper flow field. Right. Geologist near left edge of view gazes up at the smooth surface of the actively growing shield. A rootless shield is a pile of lava flows built over a lava tube rather than over a conduit feeding magma from within the earth. Rootless shields along the tube system commonly have a flat top containing a shallow lava pond.

Aerial view of one flank of the 2220-foot rootless shield, with a low bubbler in upper right and oozing lava near base of scene. The texture of the flow surface appears almost silken.

Aerial view of silken texture on crusted lava at 2220-foot shield, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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Aerial view of 2300-foot hornito silhouetted against fume, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Two people observe 2300-foot hornito, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Left. Spirelike hornito silhouetted against fume (center of view) towers above surrounding flows. The hornito is built at the 2300-foot skylight on the main tube carrying lava from Pu`u `O`o (right of view) to the coast. Right. The hornito is now a doublet, 5-6 m high, unusually steep and very fragile. Spatter from openings in the roof of the lava tube has been building the hornito for the past week and a half. Hissing, incandescent opening is hidden between the two spires. Compare with views in this collection of same hornito taken on January 11 and with its predecessor on January 4.

25 January 2002

Rootless shields and hornitos along the main tube system

Aerial view of 2220 shield, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Aerial view of 2220 shield and overturning crust on lava pond, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Aerial views of the active rootless shield at the 2220-foot elevation, along the master tube carrying lava from Pu`u `O`o to the coastal flat. In left view, 150-200 m across, lava oozes downslope toward camera. In right view, 25-50 m wide, a small bubbling fountain feeds lava toward camera along right side of view, while smooth crust on a lava pond is slowly breaking and sinking left of the fountain. Note the developing crack in the crust (left center) with incandescent lava oozing from it. The crust sinks because the underlying bubbly lava is lighter and more buoyant.
New spirelike hornito at 2240-foot elevation, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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New spirelike hornito at 2240-foot elevation, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Two views of new, spirelike hornito at 2240-foot elevation, formed in past week just upslope from the old 2240-foot skylight along the lava tube below Pu`u `O`o. This hornito is unusually steep and narrow, almost a chimney. Two columns make up the hornito, as the right-hand view shows. Already sulfur deposition is extensive, making the hornito look prematurely old. 

Looking northwest at the 2300-foot hornito. This one began to form between January 4 and January 11, on yet another older hornito. Compare with views on January 17 for changes in past week. Blue box is about 50 cm long.

Aging 2300-foot hornito, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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Close-up of the knuckle handshake between the two glowering towers on the 2300-foot hornito.

Close-up of upper part of 2300-foot hornito, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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31 January 2002

New rootless shield at 2240 feet, and a trio of hornitos

New rootless shield at 2240 feet, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Geophysicist measuring lava flux near new rootless shield, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Left. Smooth surface of new shield growing above the 2240-foot skylight on the main tube from Pu`u `O`o. A small breakout is taking place from a crack in the inflating shield. Right. Volunteer geophysicist uses VLF (Very Low Frequency) instrument to measure flux in lava tube near the new shield in background. Note the gas mask, necessary in this obnoxious area. A rootless shield is a pile of lava flows built over a lava tube rather than over a conduit feeding magma from within the earth. Rootless shields along the tube system commonly have a flat top containing a shallow lava pond.

Eerie view of a family of hornitos. An existing old-timer (right) at site of the former 2300-foot skylight has been joined in past week by two youngsters. Note the two figures between the two right-hand hornitos.

Two new hornitos join the one at 2300-foot elevation, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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Maps of lava-flow field, Kilauea Volcano

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. From October 29 to November 10, lava also entered the water at Kupapa`u, 600 m southwest of East Kupapa`u.

Most of the recent flows are fed from breakout points at 2300-1700 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; this entry stopped on November 10.


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Updated: 24 February 2002 (DAS)