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Kilauea

3 October 2003

Lava has filled West Gap Pit

Aerial view of narrow lava flow leaving West Gap Pit on west side of Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Spattering vents and filled West Gap Pit, Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Lava started erupting yesterday afternoon or evening in West Gap Pit, in upper center of image, on west flank of Pu`u `O`o. Lava filled the pit and is now sending a narrow flow westward away from Pu`u `O`o. The flow is visible in this image, traceable back to the filled pit. 0919. Right. View of filled West Gap Pit, looking south from rim of pit (shoulder of Pu`u `O`o). Distance between the two erupting vents is 75 m or a little less. 1041.
Spattering vent and adjacent older but active hornito, West Gap Pit, Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Spattering vent at east end of West Gap Pit, Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Spitting hornito and spattering vent with spatter rim behind. This is southwest vent area of West Gap Pit. Hornito and spatter rim were present before this most recent activity. Spitting and huffing of the hornito was out of sync with the spattering vent and with the vent at the east end of the crater (image to right). Top of hornito fell off in next hour; see right image above, taken at 1041. 0933. Right. "Abandon hope, all ye who enter here." Dante's famous inscription above the gates of Hell is appropriate for this hellish scene, with spattering in front of sulfurous fume, hot ground, and treacherous terrain of Pu`u `O`o. East vent of West Gap Pit.
Spattering vent near hornito, West Gap Pit, Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Spattering vent near hornito, West Gap Pit, Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Two views of spattering from west vent in West Gap Pit. Spatter rim is about 6 m high. Left. 0936. Right. 0937.
Lava flow from West Gap Pit, Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
People with spattering vent behind, West Gap Pit, Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Channeled lava flow from West Gap Pit courses quickly downslope, as preparations are made to sample it. The sampling was done, successfully, by throwing a hammer tethered to a long stainless-steel cable into the flow and pulling it back. 0938. Right. Geologists and videographers all enjoying west vent, with slope of Pu`u `O`o behind. 0953.
Spattering from vent near hornito in West Gap Pit, Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Spattering from vent at east end of West Gap Pit, Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Spattering west vent in West Gap Pit, with lava flow fed by this and east vent just getting going. 1007. Right. Spattering from east vent has build low rampart and showered spatter on crust of lava filling pit. Height of crater rim, about 8 m. 1013.
Spatter from east-side vent littering surface of lava filling West Gap Pit, Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Spattering from vent at east end of West Gap Pit, Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. View of east end of filled West Gap Pit, showing east vent and spatter blanket coating crust on new lava. 1037. Right. More detail of east vent in West Gap Pit, showing well the new spatter rampart and a bursting bubble generating spatter. 1042.
Lava draining into west vent in West Gap Pit, Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Lava from west vent refilling West Gap Pit, Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Later in day, lava ponded in West Gap Pit is draining back into west vent. Such drainback takes place when lava supply to vent drops, so that lava ponded above the vent must pour back into the cavity. 1421. Right. Refilling of pit from west vent, only 16 minutes after left image was taken. Repeated filling, draining, filling, draining, etc. is common for this type of eruptive activity. Compare hornito in this image with that taken at 0933; it lost its top but widened its base. 1437.

10 October 2003

New features on a rainy day

Spatter cone active on October 3 at east end of West Gap Pit on west side of Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Large new hornito above Mother's Day lava tube, Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Final appearance of spatter cone at east end of West Gap Pit, active on October 3. See images for that day for early stage in growth of cone. 1100. Right. Looking east at big new hornito, about 3 m high, on up-tube side of Cookie Monster along Mother's Day lava tube. Note new lava flow in foreground. Both hornito and flow formed in past week. 1028.

16-17 October 2003

Pu`u `O`o crater and hissing hornitos

Aerial view looking west at Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Aerial view showing features on crater floor of Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. Aerial view looking west-southwest across crater of Pu`u `O`o. Fume rises from vents on crater floor and from West Gap Pit (most distant plume). In upper right are silhouettes of Mauna Ulu and smaller Pu`u Huluhulu, with wooded Kane Nui o Hamo nearer camera. 0842 Oct. 17. Right. View showing individual vents on floor of Pu`u `O`o crater. Largest plume comes from East Pond Vent. January vent is hidden by fume from East Pond Vent. Beehive vent is just right of upper center, and Drainhole vent gives off slight fume just left of Beehive. West Gap Pit, site of brief lava-lake activity on October 3 (see images below), emits strong fume cloud in upper right. Dark flows erupted from January vent and East Pond Vent in past month. 1231 Oct. 16.
Newly formed hornitos above upper Mother's Day tube near former Cookie Monster skylight, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
Small, actively forming hornito near site of former Cookie Monster skylight, Kilauea volcano, Hawai'i
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Left. New hornitos formed near site of former Cookie Monster skylight on top of upper Mother's Day lava tube. Hornitos grow as small quantities of lava are pushed up inside hollow hornito by rising gas. When lava reaches rim of hornito, gas boosts it upward above the rim, where the lava quenches within seconds in the relatively cool air. Hornitos thus grow incrementally whenever lava glob reaches rim. 1111 October 16. Right. Small but growing hornito (informally known to us as a carlito) on side of larger hornito. Hissing sound is strong from this and other growing hornitos. Height of active hornito is about 1 m. 0921 Oct. 17.

Video of eruptive activity

3 October 2003

Spattering from hornito and west vent in West Gap Pit, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i October 3, 2003; 0939. Nearly continuous spattering from west vent of West Gap Pit, and sporadic spatter bursting from tall hornito to left. Heaving pond of lava between camera and vent. Hand-held camera, so a bit shaky. Note especially the symmetrical burst from hornito at about 15 seconds. Noise is reasonable facsimile of the real thing, emphasizing the treble.

Spattering from east vent in West Gap Pit, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i October 3, 2003; 0941. Spattering from east vent in West Gap Pit, taken from same place as other video and also hand-held. Note the spatter rampart under construction by the falling spatter. Helicopter noise for first several seconds.

Maps of lava-flow field, Kilauea Volcano

Map of flows from Pu`u `O`o: 10 October 2003

Map of lava flows on south coastal part of Kilauea Volcano as of 10 October 2003

Map shows lava flows erupted during 1983-present activity of Pu`u `O`o and Kupaianaha (see large map). Red denotes Mother's Day flow, which began erupting on May 12, 2002 and continues to the present.

Through September and into early October,  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, the August 9 breakout stopped moving, the Kohola died back to a trickle, and the 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.



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Updated: 26 October 2003 (DAS)