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Kilauea

4 January 2002

Views of south side of Pu`u `O`o, including Puka Nui

Sulfur-stained hornito at 2300-foot elevation along main tube from Pu`u `O`o, shown in the distance. A hornito is a steep-sided mound of spatter above a rootless vent, in this case a former skylight in a lava tube.

Hornito at 2300 feet, with Pu`u `O`o in background, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
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Puka Nui and other collapse pits at Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Close up of Puka Nui area, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Left. Aerial view looking east across Pu`u `O`o. Kona wind blows thick gas plume north from main crater. West Gap pit also is choked with gas just west of main crater. Red is active rock slide at headwall of Puka Nui, a large, complex collapse area in central part of image. The individual pits have not been named, except for Lua Hou, the tiny pit giving off narrow gas plume near right edge of photo. Note the concentric cracks around the larger collapse features. Lava flows in this area cover older spatter and cinder from Pu`u `O`o, which is unstable and slowly spreading, developing pits in the overlying flows. Yellowish slope in middle of photo is part of Pu`u `O`o's cone that is falling apart. Right. Close-up aerial view of the extreme complexity of the Puka Nui area.

6 January 2002

Growth of west side of Kamoamoa bench

Surface flow and entry at Kamoamoa bench, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Entry plume at Kamoamoa bench, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Left. Inflating surface flow on bench empties lava into the ocean along the front of the western part of the bench at dawn. The flow is mostly crusted, so only sprinkles of incandescence are visible, but occasionally small breakouts could be seen. Right. Steam plume rises vertically in calm wind of predawn light.
Western part of Kamoamoa bench on October 21, 2001, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Western part of Kamoamoa bench on January 6, 2002, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Comparative views looking west from roughly similar vantage points showing growth of western third of bench. Left view was taken on October 21, 2001, right today. The western part of the bench did not change much until January 4, when a surface flow advanced across the bench and started building outward. The bench now abuts against the sea cliff in the background and has grown substantially seaward. Note that the sea arch at the base of the cliff is obscured by the new growth.
New part of Kamoamoa bench encroaching on point in old sea cliff, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Looking east across western part of Kamoamoa bench, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Left. View looks east along the front of the newly built western part of the bench. Old sea cliff on left is near point in coastline. The bench is nearing this point. Right. View looking across part of newly constructed western third of the Kamoamoa bench. The former front of the bench is vaguely shown in center of photo, diagonally from upper left to lower right.

11 January 2002

A week's growth at the Kamoamoa bench and at a hornito

Aerial view looking east across Kamoamoa bench, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Aerial view looking across Kamoamoa bench, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Aerial views looking east across Kamoamoa bench showing one week's worth of growth. Left, January 4. Right, January 11. Note how surface flows (shiny) covered the western part of the bench and extended it outward across the black sand beach. The flows also moved westward along the base of the old sea cliff, and another near the tip of the bench turned east. The right view shows how the bench consists of two steps, the lower, outer one representing growth beyond an earlier front of the bench. Cracks cut the new part of the bench, making it especially unstable. White spots just inland of bench are park signs warning visitors to get no closer.
Two sulfur-stained hornitos at 2300-foot skylight, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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New hornito built on old one at 2300-foot skylight, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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New hornito built over two sulfur-stained ones at the 2300-foot skylight. Left view was taken on January 4 with Pu`u `O`o in background, right on January 11. The new hornito is built on top of the older two; it is made of dark spatter not yet stained yellow by sulfurous fume. Geologist is struck with awe and approaches the new hornito timidly.

15 January 2002

Western part of Kamoamoa bench

Active western front of Kamoamoa bench before dawn, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Looking down onto active entry near west end of Kamoamoa bench, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Left. Looking southeast at entry points of lava from western part of bench into water. Three major entries and one smaller one are visible. Right. Looking southwest across the westernmost active entry, showing breakouts on the surface of the bench as well as lava streaming into the sea.
Interplay of waves and lava on western part of Kamoamoa bench, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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New arm of bench reaches west from Kamoamoa entry, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i.
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Left. Small entry has a tough time with the waves. Incandescence can be seen faintly just right of center, mostly obscured by steam. Lava is visible in the small skylight just left and above center. Right. From same location as right photo above, showing the extent of the new arm of the bench below the old sea cliff. The new arm is partly covered with black sand, made by waves beating against and chilling the lava to glass, then breaking the glass to sandy bits and throwing it onto the bench.

View of surface of inflating pahoehoe flow covering western part of bench. Note the cracks paralleling the shoreline. Largest crack in lower left is incandescent (best seen in large view). All lava entering the water this morning is moving through this inflating flow to the front of the bench.

Cracks, one incandescent, cut inflating flow on Kamoamoa bench, 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: 26 January 2002 (DAS)