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Kilauea

5 November 2003

Continued activity at and near Pu`u `O`o

Lava flows in and into Puka Nui, Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Overturned surface on pond in Puka Nui, Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Looking across floor of Puka Nui on southwest side of Pu`u `O`o, showing new lava pond in crater, new flow descending far (west) crater wall, and fuming 55 cone-pit in background. All black flows were emplaced in past day or two. Floor of Puka Nui is 30-40 m across. 0940.  Right. Closer view of crusted lava pond in Puka Nui, looking east. Relatively smooth crust indicates at least one episode of crustal overturning on stagnant lava pond. 0941.
Humble vent in crater of Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Spattering east cone in West Gap Pit, Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. View of incandescent Humble vent at base of southwest crater wall of Pu`u `O`o. New lava flows coat floor of crater, and heated rain water rises as steam. View from north rim of crater. 1044. Right. Spattering eastern cone in filled West Gap Pit, viewed from near west rim of Pu`u `O`o crater. 1314.

7 November 2003

Gloomy views near rootless shields

Spitting skylight building hornito downtube of Cookie Monster, Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Spitting skylight building hornito downtube of Cookie Monster, Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Spitting skylight building a new hornito about 70 m downstream from Cookie Monster. 0943.  Right. Closer view of hornito under construction, showing large clots of spatter still incandescent after falling to ground. 0950.
Flank of rootless shield on upper Mother's Day lava tube, Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Lava flow on flank of rootless shield on upper MOther's Day tube, Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Gentle slope of new rootless shield (background) with lava flow wending its way down flank facing camera (right side of image). Shield is about 200 m wide. 1049.  Right. Front of flow coming down flank of shield in left view. Front is 45 m wide. 1200.

14 November 2003

Pu`u `O`o to rootless shield

Aerial view of incandescence in East Pond Vent, Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
New `a`a flow from West Gap Pit along edge of Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Aerial view, almost vertical, of incandescent and fuming East Pond Vent in crater of Pu`u `O`o. Incandescent vent is several meters wide. 0851.  Right. Looking southward up new `a`a flow that was erupted from filled West Gap Pit (top) and flowed 700 m northward along edge of Pu`u `O`o (reddish cinder and spatter). 0850.
Small hornitos and carlitos, site of former Cookie Monster on upper Mother's Day lava tube, Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Volunteer sampling lava the easy way, Okita rootless shield on upper Mother's Day lava tube, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Small hornitos and building carlito at site of former Cookie Monster skylight on upper Mother's Day lava tube. Incandescent hole is several centimeters across. 1032.  Right. HVO volunteer sampling lava the easy way--using long-handled hoe rather than hammer or trowel. Crust on shelly pahoehoe flow was broken through to enable sampling of molten interior. Site is on northernmost rootless shield (Okita shield) about 130 m downtube from Cookie Monster. 1043.

21 November 2003

Pu`u `O`o and upper Mother's Day tube

Aerial view looking west across crater of Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Incandescent interior of cavernous pahoehoe flow on Shatter Ring rootless shield, Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Aerial view looking west across crater of Pu`u `O`o. Largest gas plume comes from East Pond Vent. 0931.  Right. Incandescent interior of cavernous pahoehoe flow on new rootless shield near prominent shatter ring along Mother's Day lava tube 2.5 km south of Pu`u `O`o. Width of view, 4 m. 1216.
More easy sampling of lava from rootless shield, Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Fresh black lava flows from West Gap Pit and Puka Nui, Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Grabbing sample of lava from flow from one of rootless shields along Mother's Day tube south of Pu`u `O`o. 1002.  Right. Aerial view looking across southern part of Puka Nui (lower right) to filled West Gap Pit with two spatter cones (upper center). Reddish edifice in lower left is 55 cone, its crater filled with black lava flow. Crater of Pu`u `O`o is just right of West Gap Pit. Note dark flows that came from at least two sources: one flow from West Gap Pit cascaded into Puka Nui, and another was erupted in Puka Nui itself. Both flows are several weeks old but still look fresh. 1017.

26 November 2003

Lava flow from filled West Gap Pit

Eastern spatter cone and flow it feeds, filled West Gap Pit, Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Western spatter cone and flow, West Gap Pit, Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Eastern spatter cone in filled West Gap Pit, with rim of Pu`u `O`o crater behind. Lava flow is fed mainly from upwelling at base of cone, but some lava and spatter comes from hole in side of cone. Cone is about 6 m high. 0649.  Right. Weakly active western spatter cone, with flow mainly fed from eastern cone rushing by. Festooned pahoehoe in foreground is warm and represents an earlier stage of the flow. Cone is about 7 m high. 0651.
Lava flow fed from West Gap Pit, Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Lava flow fed from West Gap Pit, Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Lava flow from West Gap Pit wends its way along base of Pu`u `O`o to distant terminus. Estimated length of flow in view, 800 m. 0657.  Right. Another view of flow from West Gap Pit. Note single channel, spillovers, and floating crust in middle of channel. 0702.

28 November 2003

From summit to rootless shield

Gas plume from Pu`u `O`o, viewed from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Recent lava flows from West Gap Pit, Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. View of gas plume from Pu`u `O`o and rootless shields as seen from Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, 20 km away. Pu`u `O`o is source of left-hand-most brown plume. Other sources to right come from rootless shields. Gas finally lifts off ground, and water vapor condenses to form cloud. White cloud bank is steam from 1959 lava lake in Kilauea Iki Crater. Other steam vents barely visible on floor of Kilauea's caldera. 0730. Right. Looking southeast across fresh lava flows, most recently active on November 26 (see images below), erupted from top of shield at West Gap Pit. Shoulder of Pu`u `O`o forms high area. 1359.
Hornito about 4 m high along upper Mother's Day lava tube, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Close up of hole in hornito about 4 m high along upper Mother's Day lava tube, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Hornito about 4 m high above upper Mother's Day lava tube. 1206. Right. Hole through base of hornito, probably formed by collapse after growth of hornito, judging from loose debris on ground surface. 1209.
Aerial view of perched lava pond on top of rootless shield along upper Mother's Day lava tube, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Ground view of perched lava pond on top of rootless shield along upper Mother's Day lava tube, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Smooth, shiny, hot crust on active perched lava pond on top of new rootless shield 2 km south of Pu`u `O`o. Pond is several hundred meters across. 1014. Right. Ground view showing smooth crust of perched lava pond. Large view shows small spatter jet from persistent site of spattering just left of center. 1115.

Map of flows from Pu`u `O`o: 15 December 2003

Map of lava flows on south coastal part of Kilauea Volcano as of 15 December 2003

Map shows lava flows erupted during 1983-present activity of Pu`u `O`o and Kupaianaha (see large map). Shades of red denote Mother's Day flow, which began erupting on May 12, 2002 and continues to the present. Darkest shade indicates lava flows erupted in November and December 2003. Yellow stars indicate centers of recently active, or still active, rootless shields. New shields often form, so it is hard to show all shields on this map.

Through September and into early October 2003, lava was moving along the east and west sides of the Mother's Day flow. The east-side lava (known as the August 9 breakout) came from the August 9 rootless shield, itself fed by the main Mother's Day tube from Pu`u `O`o. The west side lava, known as the Kohola arm of the Mother's Day flow, branched off the tube system below the rootless shield.

In early October 2003, the August 9 breakout stopped moving, the Kohola died back to a trickle, and the one labeled rootless shield gained prominence. By October 16, however, the shield had partly collapsed, leaving several drained perched ponds behind. Upstream from the shield, many hornitos and small flows formed over the Mother's Day tube. Soon thereafter, other rootless shields began to form over the Mother's Day, August 9, and Kohola tubes. These shields have been active throughout November and December.

Vents in West Gap Pit became active in early October, were quiet for 3 weeks, and then resumed intermittent activity that continued well into December. Other vents were also sporadically active in Puka Nui (near West Gap Pit) and in the crater of Pu`u `O`o.


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Updated: 25 December 2003 (DAS)