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Kilauea

Note: Check Photo Glossary or a good dictionary for any terms unfamiliar to you.

Images and Chronology
Looking for images you could swear you saw here but can't find now? Check Image Archive

29 December 2006

New ocean entries at Kamokuna

the new ocean entry at Kamokuna.
The eastern-most of the three entry points at Kamokuna was the most vigorous at the end of December.
Left. This picture, looking eastward through fume, shows the new ocean entry at Kamokuna. The entry is composed of three separate entry points, each building a small lava delta. The plume from the East Ka`ili`ili ocean entry is visible in the distance. Photo by permission of Ralf Krug. Right. The eastern-most of the three entry points at Kamokuna was the most vigorous at the end of December. This is a view of that entry point taken from atop the sea cliff. Photo by permission of Ralf Krug.

21 December 2006

Pu`u `O`o crater

View of Pu`u `O`o crater from the Northeast.
View of Pu`u `O`o crater from the Northeast -- Labeled
View of Pu`u `O`o crater from the Northeast.

Overflowed Drainhole vent

Sometime between December 8 and December 20, the Drainhole vent filled with lava and overflowed. The overflow partly filled the deep subsidence trough that runs between the South Wall complex and Dave's Pit.
Sometime between December 8 and December 20, the Drainhole vent filled with lava and overflowed. The overflow partly filled the deep subsidence trough that runs between the South Wall complex and Dave's Pit. -- Labeled
Sometime between December 8 and December 20, the Drainhole vent filled with lava and overflowed. The overflow partly filled the deep subsidence trough that runs between the South Wall complex and Dave's Pit.

Lava entry at East Lae`apuki

Lava continues to pour into the ocean at East Lae`apuki, where the lava delta is about 60 acres.
Lava continues to pour into the ocean at East Lae`apuki, where the lava delta is about 60 acres.

Formation of a new tube

At the end of November, breakouts from the upper PKK lava tube formed a new tube. This tube remains active nearly a month later, sending lava flows a short distance downslope at the base of Pu`u `O`o's flank shield..
At the end of November, breakouts from the upper PKK lava tube formed a new tube. This tube remains active nearly a month later, sending lava flows a short distance downslope at the base of Pu`u `O`o's flank shield. -- Labeled
At the end of November, breakouts from the upper PKK lava tube formed a new tube. This tube remains active nearly a month later, sending lava flows a short distance downslope at the base of Pu`u `O`o's flank shield.

30 November 2006

Voggy day on Kilauea

Pu`u `O`o is enveloped in volcanic fume
The vog forms a solid backdrop to the ocean entries.
Left. Pu`u `O`o is enveloped in volcanic fume in this aerial view from the northwest, taken early in the morning. The crater is the source of the warm, convecting vertical plume, which flattens and is carried southwest by weak trade winds as it cools. A lesser contribution of gas rises from the flank vents and the PKK lava tube to the right of the cone. Right. The vog forms a solid backdrop to the ocean entries. Both the East Ka`ili`ili entry, in the foreground and the East Lae`puki entry, in the distance, are still going strong. In the last month, the area of the small bench at East Ka`ili`ili has expanded to about 4 acres.

17 November 2006

Two views of the East Pond vent in Pu`u `O`o crater

the crust on the lava pond in the East Pond vent shows a roughly polygonal pattern of cracks
a strong current has developed in the pond, resulting in a striped pattern of linear cracks, parallel to the direction of flow
Left. In an aerial view taken at 8:48 a.m., the crust on the lava pond in the East Pond vent shows a roughly polygonal pattern of cracks, typical of a pond surface that is in motion but lacks a strong current. The long dimension of the pond is about 30 m. Right. By 2:08 p.m., a strong current has developed in the pond, resulting in a striped pattern of linear cracks, parallel to the direction of flow. Lava is upwelling near the right (north) edge of the pond and flowing to the left end, where it sloshes against a ledge. It is not uncommon for the circulation pattern in lava ponds to reverse from one day to the next.

8 November 2006

On a clear day you can see Mauna Loa

On a rare clear day at Pu`u `O`o, Mauna Loa looms in the distance, as fume rises from several vents inside the crater.
Mauna Loa forms the backdrop to Kilauea's southern coastline and the ocean entry at East Lae`apuki.
Left. On a rare clear day at Pu`u `O`o, Mauna Loa looms in the distance, as fume rises from several vents inside the crater. The East Pond vent, at right, is the most visible. Right. Mauna Loa forms the backdrop to Kilauea's southern coastline and the ocean entry at East Lae`apuki. The brown plume drifting along the top of the pali is from Pu`u `O`o. Photos taken November 8, 2006.

31 October 2006

Two ocean entries and East Pond vent still going strong

Plumes rise from the East Lae`apuki (foreground) and East Ka`ili`ili (in distance) ocean entries.
The east rim of the crater is visible on the right-hand side of the photograph.
Left. Plumes rise from the East Lae`apuki (foreground) and East Ka`ili`ili (in distance) ocean entries. Right. Another murky day in the crater of Pu`u `O`o, with not much visible except the East Pond vent. The east rim of the crater is visible on the right-hand side of the photograph. Photos taken October 31, 2006.

West side of Pu`u `O`o cone continues to evolve

Spatter cones top flank vents in the West gap and Puka Nui, and at the MLK vent.
A recent view of the cone shows that collapse pits have claimed all of the spatter cones visible in the earlier photograph.
Left. The west side of the cone in early 2005. Spatter cones top flank vents in the West gap and Puka Nui, and at the MLK vent. Photo taken March 13, 2005. Right. A recent view of the cone shows that collapse pits have claimed all of the spatter cones visible in the earlier photograph. Note that the south rim of the cone (to the right of Puka Nui) is substantially lower in this picture, due to slumping that occurred in October 2005. The eruption cycles between periods when the flank vents produce lava flows and spatter cones, and periods when a well-developed lava tube-such as the current PKK tube-accommodates all of the lava from the flank vents. When this happens, the magma column beneath the flank vents gradually lowers, causing subsidence at the surface. Collapse pits in the West gap and Puka Nui area have formed and refilled repeatedly in the last decade. Photo taken October 15, 2006.

24 October 2006

Breakouts from the Campout tube

a multi-channeled breakout at the 1100-ft elevation on the steep slope of Pulama pali
breakout from the Campout tube spreads out at the 350-ft elevation
Left. A helicopter provides scale for a multi-channeled breakout at the 1100-ft elevation on the steep slope of Pulama pali. The flow field borders a large forested kipuka. Right. Another breakout from the Campout tube spreads out at the 350-ft elevation. The plume from the East Ka`ili`ili ocean entry rises in the distance. Photos taken October 24, 2006.

Shatter ring at East Lae`apuki

small surface flows
Viewed from the east, the new shatter ring is 55 m long and about 2.5 m high
Left. For several weeks, small surface flows have been breaking out of the lava tube just inland of the seacliff at East Lae`apuki, forming a swath of silver pahoehoe. The dark circular feature in the middle of the new flows is a shatter ring-a circular rampart of broken rock that forms over a lava tube when lava pressure in the tube repeatedly exceeds the strength of the overlying rock. Repeated flexing of the lava-tube roof breaks the rock around the edges of the mobile area. Photo taken October 24, 2006. Right. Viewed from the east, the new shatter ring is 55 m long and about 2.5 m high. Through last week, breakouts were occurring intermittently from the base of the shatter ring. Photo taken October 18, 2006.

16 October 2006

Small landslides from the sea cliffs south of Kilauea's summit after earthquake

Plume of brown water at the base of the pali between Ka`aha and Halape, on Kilauea's south flank, marks the location of rock slides triggered by the earthquake.
Plume of brown water at the base of the pali between Ka`aha and Halape, on Kilauea's south flank, marks the location of rock slides triggered by the earthquake. Halape is visible in the background.

13 October 2006

Now you see 'em, now you don't: West Gap collapse pit swallows cones

Aerial view of Pu`u `O`o taken in July shows the two spatter cones in the West Gap of the cone.
 Aerial view taken on October 13 shows the new collapse pit in the West Gap.
Left. Aerial view of Pu`u `O`o taken in July shows the two spatter cones in the West Gap of the cone. Right. Aerial view taken on October 13 shows the new collapse pit in the West Gap. The bottom of the pit, which formed on the night of October 10, is hidden by fume.
View from the ground of the West Gap cones gives a better sense of scale.
View from the ground of the West Gap cones gives a better sense of scale.

Breakouts at East Lae`apuki

The larger breakouts have cascaded over the seacliff onto the lava bench below.
For the last two weeks, small surface flows have been breaking out the lava tube just inland of the seacliff at East Lae`apuki. The larger breakouts have cascaded over the seacliff onto the lava bench below. The bench is now 55 acres in area.

29 September 2006

Campout flow stretches eastward to claim abandoned cars

Geologist mapping a new lobe of the Campout flow
Most of this part of Royal Gardens, at the base of the pali, was long since covered by lava.
Left. Geologist mapping a new lobe of the Campout flow, which reached Royal Gardens subdivision in the last few days. Royal Street climbs the pali in the background. Right. Most of this part of Royal Gardens, at the base of the pali, was long since covered by lava. The current lobe, however, found a small patch of unburied ground, and headed for the abandoned vehicles. By the time this picture was taken, the lobe was mostly stagnant.

Littoral explosions at East Ka`ili`ili

The ocean entry at East Ka`ili`ili has consolidated to a single point.
Small steam explosions at East Ka`ili`ili
Left. The ocean entry at East Ka`ili`ili has consolidated to a single point. The bench is not increasing in size because of constant, piecemeal collapse. The tube is feeding lava into the sea just below the water line. Dark, circular areas offshore of the steam plume result from upwelling heated water. Right. Small steam explosions at East Ka`ili`ili toss spatter several meters into the air. In the distance, a large plume rises from the East Lae`apuki entry. Photo taken 9-21-06.

20 September 2006

Breakout inland of East Lae`apuki steals show

Aerial view of  the lava bench at East Lae`apuki
Breakout from the lava tube
Left. Aerial view of the lava bench at East Lae`apuki, looking northeastward. The plume from the East Ka`ili`ili entry is drifting along shore toward the viewer. Silver lava at the top of the sea cliff near bench center marks the location of a brief breakout earlier in the day. Photo taken just before 2 p.m. Right. Breakout from the lava tube just inland of the sea cliff at East Lae`apuki resumed at about 3:30 p.m. This activity continued on-and-off until daybreak on September 21. Lava streamed over the sea cliff to fall about 15 meters onto the bench below.

Lava cascades produce both `a`a and pahoehoe

The breakout cascades over the sea cliff in two main branches.
The west and east flow-fronts advance neck-and-neck across the bench.
Left. The breakout cascades over the sea cliff in two main branches. The sea cliff to the west (left) is overhung, and the flow splits and freefalls in discrete globs that coalesce at the base of the cliff to form several braided streams. To the east, lava pours over the cliff in a single, broad sheet onto the bench. Right. The west and east flow-fronts advance neck-and-neck across the bench. The west flow is forming `a`a crust, while the crust on the east flow is mostly pahoehoe. The greater disruption of lava in the west stream as it goes over the sea cliff promotes the formation of `a`a.

12 September 2006

Fumed-wreathed new hole and East Lae`apuki lava bench

Wreathed in fume, a new hole at MLK venter
Lava bench at East Lae`apuki
Left. Wreathed in fume, a new hole (about one meter across) reveals the incandescent interior of an old spatter cone at the MLK vent. The photographer was standing above the vent, on the steep, cinder-covered slope on the south side of Pu`u `O`o. The MLK vent has not produced any lava flows for over a year, but magma is not far beneath the surface, as we know from incandescent areas that emit gases and a wide range of sounds, from sloshing to roaring to gas-jetting. Right. Lava bench at East Lae`apuki, with Pu`u `O`o cone on skyline at center. The bench has changed little in the last several weeks. A significant portion of its lava supply has been robbed by the Campout tube, which is feeding the East Ka`ili`ili entry. Fume from the latter entry is drifting past in the foreground.

Aerial view from Campout tube

Open channel wends its way past a forested kipuka on Pulama pali at the 800-ft elevation.
View looking downslope at a channeled flow near the 500-ft elevation.
Two aerial views of channeled flows that broke out from the Campout tube on September 10. Left. Open channel wends its way past a forested kipuka on Pulama pali at the 800-ft elevation. Right. View looking downslope at a channeled flow near the 500-ft elevation. The steam plume from the East Ka`ili`ili entry is visible in the distance.

31 August 2006

Pu`u `O`o cone crater and lava bench entry point

Aerial view looking across Pu`u `O`o crater
Lava bench at East Lae`apuki
Left. Aerial view looking across Pu`u `O`o crater to the southwest. A spot of red is visible in the East Pond vent, at the left end of the crater, where an active lava pond is sloshing about 20 m below the rim of the vent. In the distance, fume marks the course of the PKK lava tube; in the far distance a larger plume rises from where the tube reaches the sea at East Lae`apuki. Right. Lava bench at East Lae`apuki now has a single entry point on its western side. The bench is 960 m long by 340 m wide, with an area of 54 acres. The haze in the background is caused by the plume of volcanic gas and particulates from Pu`u `O`o. The trade winds typically blow the plume across the pali just west of the flow field.

Ocean entries and Campout skylight

Aerial view from the top of Pulama pali
Skylight near the head of the Campout tube
Left. Aerial view from the top of Pulama pali includes the two widely spaced ocean entries, which are 3 km apart. The East Ka`ili`ili entry, on the left, is fed by the Campout tube, which branches off of the main PKK tube at the 2300-ft elevation. The main PKK tube reaches the ocean at East Lae`apuki (right). Right. Skylight near the head of the Campout tube reveals the stream of lava within. The widest part of the stream is about 2.5 m in this view, which is looking down-tube.

8 August 2006

East Ka`ili`ili lava benches merge
One of several benches at East Ka`ili`ili, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
The flow atop the East Ka`ili`ili seacliff has widened from 80 m on August 5 to 425 m. Lava is going over the cliff along most of this width, and the three separate benches of August 5 have merged into one long bench measuring about 315 m long and 35-40 m wide. The newest finger to go over the cliff, on the east side of the flow, is forming yet another bench, shown here. It is 20-25 m wide, and up to 80 m long.

5 August 2006

Campout flow forms several benches at East Ka`ili`ili

Lava benches at East Ka`ili`ili, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
Lava entering sea, East Ka`ili`ili, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
Left. View is toward the southwest along the coast of Kilauea Volcano at the eastern edge of the new lava entry. Note multiple benches forming at base of seacliff, which is about 20 m tall. Right. Close view of lava spilling into the sea at nearest bench in left photo.

Inflation along margin of the Campout flow

Close view of margin of Campout flow, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
Lava spills from margin of Campout flow, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
Left. The margins of the Campout flow within about 1 km of the coast afford many opportunities to observe the way in which an active pahoehoe flow advances and inflates when lava continues to move beneath a flows hardened surface. The crust on this flow has been uplifted and cracked since it was emplaced. Lava is moving below the hardened crust, forcing the surface upward, and leaking from the edge. The margin is about 30 cm tall. Right. Close view of the same inflation offset about 1 minute later with lava leaking quickly from the edge of the flow. This process is occurring along the margins and middle of the Campout flow. Inflation can cause the surface of a flow to rise from tens of centimeters to meters within a few days.

4 August 2006

Campout flow reaches the ocean

Aerial view of lava entering sea, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
Aerial view of lava entering sea, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
Left. Campout flow finally reaches the sea in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, forming small bench at base of sea cliff. The new bench is about 55 m long and 8 m wide. Royal Gardens subdivision visible in top middle of photo. Right. Close view of lava spilling over sea cliff and growing bench.

Bite taken out of East Lae`apuki lava delta July 30

Aerial view of East Lae`apuki, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
At 12:47 p.m. on July 30, a 10-acre chunk of the west side of the bench broke off and fell into the water. Black line marks approximate edge of the bench before the collapse. During the collapse explosive activity bombarded the older lava delta and sea cliff on the western side of the bench, sending spatter and rock debris up to about 40 m inland—nearly half the distance to the rope barricade.

2 August 2006

Campout flow winding its way to the coast

Close view of margin of Campout flow, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
Close view of margin of Campout flow, Kilauea volcano, Hawai`i
Left. One of dozens of slowly advancing lobes of the Campout flow about 500 m from the ocean. The lobes are filling in the low areas of earlier paheohoe flows and tumuli (see cracked surface in upper left-hand corner) as they steadily make their way seaward. Pulama pali and Royal Gardens subdivision are visible in upper right. Right. Close view of active flow margin of a lobe of the Campout flow; lava is spilling from the edge of a flow that ruptured as the hardened crust was pushed upwards by lava moving below.

Eruption-viewing opportunities change constantly, so refer to this page often. Those readers planning a visit to Kilauea or Mauna Loa volcanoes can get much useful information from Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.


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Updated: 5 January 2007 (pnf)