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Kilauea

14 March 2003

From Pu`u `O`o to the Pacific

Aerial view from coast to Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Looking west into crater of Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Aerial view looking up Kohola flow (central part of image), with main Mother's Day flow on right separated from Kohola by large grassy kipuka.. Pu`u `O`o is on horizon. Eastern part of Kohola flow took off in next 20 hours, moving along the edge of the main Mother's Day flow, eating into the large grassy kipuka, and eventually reaching Wilipe`a lava delta (area seaward of grassland and outboard of old sea cliff in lower right) the next morning. Right. Looking west-southwest west into crater of Pu`u `O`o. Heavy fume is typical of recent months.
Hornito at West Gap Pit on Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Hornito at West Gap Pit on Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Hornito in fume, almost surrealistic, at West Gap Pit on west flank of Pu`u `O`o. Right. Same hornito, but looking less mysterious. This hornito first appeared at about the time the Mother's Day flow started, in May 2002.

15 March 2003

Wilipe`a rope meets Ides of March

Rope barrier destroyed by Kohola flow tongue, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Dust deposited by methane explosion along Kohola flow tongue, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Tongue of Kohola flow has burned part of rope barrier established by national park to keep visitors off Wilipe`a lava delta (short distance left of view). Note loop of rope ash on flow surface. See first image of March 14 for overview of area just before flow surged seaward. Looking west at 0624. Right. Photo taken from same place as image to left, but turned 45 degrees clockwise, showing tan dust thrown from narrow, preexisting crack during methane explosion 10 seconds after left image was taken. Explosion rolled across area, uplifting ground even under and across flow shown to left. Only fine sand-sized particles were emitted from cracks; no flames were seen, though flames came from cracks during later methane explosions in area. 0625.
Rope barrier being destroyed by Kohola flow tongue, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Lava flowing under rope barrier, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Lava actively advancing across downed rope at site near where photographer is standing in upper left image. Looking east at 0654. Right. Toes of lava spilling from front of flow tongue moving under rope just west of image to left. Soon after this image was taken, heated rope collapsed onto flow; its sagging remnant is shown in next images. 0656.
Thin crusted toe of lava inflating rapidly, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Lava spilling from base of inflating flow, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Lava moved swiftly from break in crust (near left side of image), crusted, and is now rapidly inflating on flat ground shown ahead of toes in upper right image. 0701:15. Right. Lava spills from base of inflated toe shown in left image. Camera location has changed slightly from that when left image was taken. 0702:01.
Mature toe inflating from earlier inflated toe, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Moving flow with inflated toes shown in previous four images, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Same camera location and settings as used for upper right image but 45 seconds later, showing how lava spilling from base of inflating toe has merged to form another toe that is in turn inflating. 0702:46. Right. Overview of lobe of flow created by toes shown in preceding four images. Sagging rope just left of support is same as that shown in images above. 0711.
Sunrise over Wilipe`a lava delta, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Sunrise over Wilipe`a lava delta, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Temperature, warm; wind, calm; sea, smooth; sky, clear except for clouds on eastern horizon. Two views of sunrise from location of above images. Left. 0632. Right. 0638. At 0725, park maintenance man cleaning restroom at end of road helped observer drive through road barricade. Observer said: "Beautiful morning, isn't it?" The response after a slight pause, "We're so lucky to be here, aren't we?" Enough said.

16 March 2003

Kohola flow near the coast

Sky over Kohola flow before sunrise, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Moving toe in Kohola flow, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Early sunrise sky over Kohola flow, near old sea cliff at Wilipe`a lava delta. Flow is sluggish but slowly inflating and sprouting toes. 0558. Right. Toe coming from slowly inflating flow, similar to those that interest photographer in left image. Crust becomes wrinkled where lava slows at foot of moderate slope. 0616.

17 March 2003

St. Patrick's Day in the Kohola flow

Breakout lights `ohi`a in west branch of Kohola flow, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Tongue of Kohola flow moves around older tumulus, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Lava in west branch of Kohola flow moves against tumulus in older flow. Glow from incandescent lava illuminates standing dead `ohi`a trees, killed by heat from lava several days ago. Holei Pali in distance. 0606. Right. Tongue of flow moves past tumulus shown in left image, 13 minutes later. 0615.
Nearly full Worm Moon looks down on west branch of Kohola flow, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
St. Patrick's Day tribute to west branch of Kohola flow, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Nearly full Worm Moon about to set behind Holei Pali, above front of large breakout in west branch of Kohola flow. Lava is moving across vegetated surface, lighting grass and shrubs on fire. 0543. Right. Amazing sight. Green lava in west branch of Kohola flow reminds us that today is St. Patrick's Day. 0549

20 March 2003

Western end of Kohola flow

`Ohi`a braves west branch of Kohola flow in predawn hours, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
West branch of Kohola flow, with main Mother's Day breakouts on Pulama pali, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. `Ohi`a tree at margin of sluggish, inflating west arm of Kohola flow. String of incandescent spots in background, visible only in large view, defines active surface flow coming down Pulama pali along main path of Mother's Day flow. 0556. Right. Looking across inflating west arm of Kohola flow to Pulama pali, where fume, some smoke, and incandescence (large view) come from long breakout in main Mother's Day flow spilling over top of pali and traveling almost to Paliuli (not shown). 0607.
Edge of west arm of Kohola flow, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Crack forming in inflating flow tongue, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Looking along margin of west arm of Kohola flow, which spreads across sparsely vegetated surface. In background is Pulama pali, where fume, some smoke, and incandescence (large view) come from long breakout in main Mother's Day flow spilling over top of pali and traveling almost to Paliuli (not shown). Lava in Kohola flow comes from tube within dark flow field visible in upper center of image below fuming flow. 0610. Right. Crust on inflating tongue of lava is cracking, and lava is just starting to well out. Note ash from burned grass littering crust; grass is burned at flow front and picked up as lava oozes from under the crust. 0617:17.
Head-on view of crack opening in inflating west arm of Kohola flow, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Inflating flow tongue, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Head-on view of same crack as in upper right, 29 seconds later. 0617:46. Right. Broader view of inflating and cracking flow tongue 2.5 minutes later. Second crack is forming in crust of lava that oozed from first. 0620:16.

21 March 2003

Carlitos and Son of Cookie Monster

Measuring velocity of lava at Son of Cookie Monster skylight, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Measuring velocity of lava at Son of Cookie Monster skylight, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Setting of Son of Cookie Monster skylight, near source of Mother's Day flow. Right. HVO volunteer using radar gun to measure velocity of lava visible through Son of Cookie Monster skylight.
Small hornito (informally called carlito) near Son of Cookie Monster, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Small hornito (informally called carlito) near Son of Cookie Monster, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Small hornitos (affectionately known by the informal term, carlito) near Son of Cookie Monster. Can you see an elephant with its trunk raised as if to better sniff the sulfurous air? Width of image, about 1.5 m. Right. More bizarre carlitos in Son of Cookie Monster area. Tallest hornito, about 30 cm high.

26 March 2003

Lava in Kohola flow near huge ahu

Toe of lava in Kohola flow, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Toe of lava in Kohola flow, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Toe of lava working its way down moderate slope from breakout point in inflating Kohola flow, 50 m from huge ahu. Width of toe front, about 1 m. 0616. Right. Same toe as in left image but almost 4 minutes later, poised to drop into small crack. Width of front, about 20 cm. 0619:45.
Toe of lava in Kohola flow, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Huge ahu and nearby tree in kipuka surrounded by Kohola flow, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Same toe as above right but 10 seconds later, just after lava started to drop slowly into crack. Note that wrinkles are already forming in crust, as lava abuts against opposite side of crack 0619:55. Right. Huge ahu and dead `ohi`a tree in small kipuka surrounded by Kohola flow. An ahu is a pile of rocks; most ahu are less than 1 m high. This one is 2 m high and serves as a marker along a land boundary. This ahu has been a landmark for years; it is now endangered as the surrounding Kohola flow inflates and nears it.

28 March 2003

New breakout in Kohola flow

Wrinkled toe of lava in Kohola flow, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Inflating lobes of lava in Kohola flow, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Lava developing deeply furrowed crust as it spills from new breakout across buried Chain of Craters Road. Width of view, about 2 m. 0617. Right. Several inflating toes, three of which are having small breakouts. Width of view nearest camera, about 3 m. 0622.
Toe of lava gushing from inside Kohola flow, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Toe of lava in Kohola flow, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Lava spilling from within inflating flow and trying to decide which way to go. Note folds in crust at lava abuts sloping surface. Wrinkled toe is about 1 m wide. 0626. Right. Two minutes later, small toe near base of left image has blossomed into larger toe that is carrying most of lava. Width of toe, about 1 m. 0628.
Burning asphalt below Kohola flow produces  flame and smoke, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Lava in Kohola flow filling in roadway, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Breakout has buried tiny kipuka of Chain of Craters Road. Asphalt burns, flame and dirty smoke appearing through crack in crust. Flame is 20-30 cm high. 0619. Right. Lava flow following along road cut, with more lava in distance. 0625.

30 March 2003

Lava in Kohola flow at end of road

Lava in Kohola flow near end of road and in main Mother's Day flow on Pulama pali, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Lava in Kohola flow near end of road, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Lava nears graveled shoulder at current end of Chain of Craters Road. In background, incandescent surface lava, fume, and smoke are visible on Pulama pali. 0608. Right. Looking west along roadway, showing proximity of active lava flow. "No Parking" sign has meaning this morning. 0610.
Active lava toe in Kohola flow near end of road, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Wrinkled crust on lava in Kohola flow near end of road, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Active lava toe within conversation distance of road. 0612. Right. Deeply furrowed crust on moving toe along western edge of new breakout near road. Width of view, about 2 m. 0614.
Active lava toe in Kohola flow burning grass near end of road, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Sun through mist above Kohola flow near end of road, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Lava sets fire to clumps of grass along western edge of breakout in Kohola flow near end of Chain of Craters Road. 0618. Right. Rising sun, muted through mist, looks down on sluggish breakout near end of road. 0620.

31 March 2003

Lava on the pali and at the road

Glow from surface lava in main Mother's Day flow on Pulama pali, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Evidence of large methane explosion along active flow near road, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Long surface flow on Pulama pali, part of main Mother's Day flow, casts bright glow into misty sky. 0542. Right. Broken tumulus, with upended slabs of crust, indicates large methane explosion. This was present yesterday morning and was probably caused by nearby lava on Saturday night. Area is about 50 m or so from roadway. 0627.
Newly emplaced part of Kohola flow next to Chain of Craters Road, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Visitors watch lava from near end of Chain of Craters Road, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Visitors at point where, overnight, lava barely crept onto shoulder of Chain of Craters Road. Compare with upper right image taken on March 30. 0610. Right. Visitors stroll along pavement of Chain of Craters Road as lava breaks out from inflating flow a few meters away. This site is very near that of large methane explosions shown in upper right image. 0613.
Lava toe spilling from inflating Kohola flow, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Lava toe spilling from inflating Kohola flow, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Developing lava toe from exactly same tripod setup and camera magnification. Note the grass stem in both images. Width of image, about 50 cm. Left. Lava is pouring from break in crust of inflating flow (off top of image) and just touching flat, grassy surface. Note how wrinkles in crust are barely forming. 0615:29. Right. Fifty seconds later, crust has cooled, thickened, and developed definite corrugations as free flow of lava is impeded by flat, grassy surface. 0616:19.
Gush of lava spilling down flow front, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Gush of lava spilling down flow front, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Two views of sheet flow spilling down front of Kohola flow near Chain of Craters Road. Left. Wrinkles are starting to form as flow just touches flat surface and slows. Width of front of stream, about 40 cm. 0618:37. Right. Only 1.3 minutes later, front of flow has reached grassy flat and is rapidly spreading and developing wrinkled crust as it nestles against cooler flow margin. Width of front, about 1.5 m. 0620:00.

Video of eruptive activity

15 March 2003

Lava in Kohola flow moves beyond rope barrier at Wilipe`a, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i March 15, 2003; 0659. Broad toe of lava moves across rope that formed barrier for access to Wilipe`a lava delta.

Lava in Kohola flow rolls down slope near Wilipe`a, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i March 15, 2003; 0702. Lava breaks out of inflated toe and moves down moderate slope with rolling motion, top faster than bottom. See still images for this day; sagging rope gives scale.

Lava moves beyond rope, with muffled sounds of methane explosions, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i March 15, 2003; 0710. Continued movement of lava across rope barrier. Muffled sounds of a long-lasting, migrating methane explosion can be heard about two-thirds of the way through the clip, followed by a "Wow."

28 March 2003

Lava toe in Kohola flow, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i March 28, 2003; 0630. Lava moves rapidly from under crust of inflating flow and finally disappears under overhang. Length of flowing toe, about 1 m.

Maps of lava-flow field, Kilauea Volcano

Map of flows from Pu`u `O`o: 21 March 2003

Map of lava flows on south coastal part of Kilauea Volcano as of 21 March 2003

Map shows lava flows erupted during 1983-present activity of Pu`u `O`o and Kupaianaha (see large map). Red colors, both dark and light, denote Mother's Day flow, which began erupting on May 12, 2002. Different shades of red indicate different stages of activity of Mother's Day flow. These different stages are still considered part of Mother's Day flow, because they all come from same tube system near base of Pu`u `O`o.

Most recent--and ongoing--activity has produced two slender, dark red flows, one along western edge of flow field and one slightly farther east. Kohola flow, along western margin, entered sea late on Valentine's Day to form Kohola ocean entry. Lava is slowly widening Kohola flow eastward on March 21. Visitors now can drive to Holei Sea Arch, 1.1 km from Kohola flow, and walk to see flow.

Other dark red flow is also active part of Mother's Day flow. Fed by breakouts from lava tube in main Mother's Day flow, it had advanced along eastern margin of main flow and down Pulama pali to about 800-foot elevation by March 21. This flow is visible during darkness from Chain of Craters Road.

Lava from main Mother's Day flow (light red) reached sea at West Highcastle early on July 19, at Wilipe`a early on July 21, and at Highcastle on August 8. From near southwest base of Pu`u `O`o, Mother's Day flow passes along west side of flow field and into forest, where it started large wildfire in May that continued into late July. By June 10, Mother's Day flow had reached base of Paliuli, the steep slope and cliff below Pulama pali and just above coastal flat. At base of Paliuli, Mother's Day flow abruptly spread laterally in series of small budding flows to cover an area nearly 2 km wide, gradually moving seaward until West Highcastle and Wilipe`a lobes finally reached water and started building lava deltas. Activity at West Highcastle ended in early August, but entry began soon thereafter at Highcastle, eventually burying tiny kipuka of Chain of Craters Road. Wilipe`a entry died away slowly and had ended by mid-August. Highcastle and neighboring Highcastle Stairs entries ended on about August 23. For a time there were no active entries. Then Wilipe`a was reactivated on September 3 but stopped in December. West Highcastle likewise renewed activity on September 16-17, died away during night of September 18-19, and returned soon thereafter to continue through March 21. East arm of Mother's Day flow branched from Highcastle lobe in late October and sent three fingers into ocean at Highcastle on November 15, West Lae`apuki on November 19, and Lae`apuki on November 20. Lae`apuki entries had stopped by November 29. If this sounds like soap opera, the truth is even more confusing than the simplified version of activity given here.

 



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Updated: 3 April 2003 (DAS)