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Images and Chronology
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29 September 2008

High plume at Waikupanaha ocean entry and skylight on the coastal plain

Slack winds permitted the Waikupanaha ocean entry plume to rise to great heights today, where higher-level winds sheared the plume top.  The plume was relatively robust today, with a few brief fluctuations in vigor.  Small littoral explosions were occasionally observed.
A skylight on the coastal plain provided a view of lava flowing through the tube, with the lava surface about five feet below the rim.
Left. Slack winds permitted the Waikupanaha ocean entry plume to rise to great heights today, where higher-level winds sheared the plume top. The plume was relatively robust today, with a few brief fluctuations in vigor. Small littoral explosions were occasionally observed. Right. A skylight on the coastal plain provided a view of lava flowing through the tube, with the lava surface about five feet below the rim.

26 September 2008

Halema`uma`u lava lake and a small collapse at TEB opens a skylight

The surface of the lava lake within the Halema`uma`u overlook vent was visible from the air again today. This was the second confirmed sighting, having first been seen on September 5, 2008. The lake surface was barely visible through fume, as the faint reddish glow in the picture indicates, but bubbling on the lake surface could be seen with the naked eye.
A small collapse at the head of pool 1 of the perched channel opened a new skylight in the TEB vent area.  The collapse probably happened during one of the two DI events earlier this week.  No moving lava was visible through the intense glow. This may be the surface of a small lava pond that extends between the head of the old perched channel and the start of the lava tube beneath the TEB vent. Heavy fuming has been coming from this area for several months now, suggesting that lava has been hidden beneath the surface there for quite some time.
Left. The surface of the lava lake within the Halema`uma`u overlook vent was visible from the air again today. This was the second confirmed sighting, having first been seen on September 5, 2008. The lake surface was barely visible through fume, as the faint reddish glow in the picture indicates, but bubbling on the lake surface could be seen with the naked eye. Right. A small collapse at the head of pool 1 of the perched channel opened a new skylight in the TEB vent area. The collapse probably happened during one of the two DI events earlier this week. No moving lava was visible through the intense glow. This may be the surface of a small lava pond that extends between the head of the old perched channel and the start of the lava tube beneath the TEB vent. Heavy fuming has been coming from this area for several months now, suggesting that lava has been hidden beneath the surface there for quite some time.
Moving lava could be seen deep beneath a much larger skylight at the top of rootless shield 2 along the TEB tube.  This skylight is about 20 feet across, and the lava stream, traveling from upper right to lower left, is probably 75 to 100 feet down.
Despite a couple of brief pauses early in the week associated with DI events at Kīlauea summit, lava continues to pour into the ocean at Waikupanaha. Fume delineates the lava tube across the coastal plain and up and over the pali to where the tube originates at the TEB vent. The TEB vent is just to the right of Pu`u `O`o, which is the low mound on the skyline immediately right of center frame.
Left. Moving lava could be seen deep beneath a much larger skylight at the top of rootless shield 2 along the TEB tube. This skylight is about 20 feet across, and the lava stream, traveling from upper right to lower left, is probably 75 to 100 feet down. Right. Despite a couple of brief pauses early in the week associated with DI events at Kīlauea summit, lava continues to pour into the ocean at Waikupanaha. Fume delineates the lava tube across the coastal plain and up and over the pali to where the tube originates at the TEB vent. The TEB vent is just to the right of Pu`u `Ō `ō, which is the low mound on the skyline immediately right of center frame.

19 September 2008

Marked points of fume and lava breakout from the past week

Points of fume mark the path of the lava tube through Royal Gardens subdivision—the forested area in the top center of the photograph—and across the coastal plain to the sea.  The ocean entry point produced a vigorous plume today, fed by small littoral explosions.  A sediment plume in the ocean is visible emanating from the entry.  The lava viewing area is in the lower right corner of the photograph.
The shiny, lighter-colored pad of lava at the center of the photograph is a breakout from this past week, immediately inland from the ocean entry and its plume.  A small, fuming skylight can be seen at the source of the breakout.
Left. Points of fume mark the path of the lava tube through Royal Gardens subdivision—the forested area in the top center of the photograph—and across the coastal plain to the sea. The ocean entry point produced a vigorous plume today, fed by small littoral explosions. A sediment plume in the ocean is visible emanating from the entry. The lava viewing area is in the lower right corner of the photograph. Right. The shiny, lighter-colored pad of lava at the center of the photograph is a breakout from this past week, immediately inland from the ocean entry and its plume. A small, fuming skylight can be seen at the source of the breakout.

12 September 2008

Four distinct vents in Pu`u `Ō `ō crater and Waikupanaha plume

Light winds provide a nice view of separate gas plumes from at least four distinct fuming vents in Pu`u `Ō `ō crater.
The ocean entry at Waikupanaha continues to create a sizable plume with sporadic littoral explosions.  The dark concentric circle in the middle of the photograph is an area of upwelling, where warm water heated from the lava entering below rises through the colder ocean water and comes to the surface.
Left. Light winds provide a nice view of separate gas plumes from at least four distinct fuming vents in Pu`u `Ō `ō crater. Right. The ocean entry at Waikupanaha continues to create a sizable plume with sporadic littoral explosions. The dark concentric circle in the middle of the photograph is an area of upwelling, where warm water heated from the lava entering below rises through the colder ocean water and comes to the surface.

9 September 2008

Vigorous plume from littoral explosions at Waikupanaha ocean entry

Littoral explosions at the Waikupanaha ocean entry created a vigorous plume today.  At the base of the plume, on the right, is the littoral cone built by recent ejecta. On the left is a littoral explosion casting tephra to about 10 yards height.
A very broad explosion throws coarse ejecta and fine ash onto the ocean entry.
Left. Littoral explosions at the Waikupanaha ocean entry created a vigorous plume today. At the base of the plume, on the right, is the littoral cone built by recent ejecta. On the left is a littoral explosion casting tephra to about 10 yards height. Right. A very broad explosion throws coarse ejecta and fine ash onto the ocean entry.
A more vertically-directed explosion casts ejecta onto the littoral cone, out of view on the right.  A few incandescent particles are visible at the base of the jet.
Moments after the main burst of a littoral explosion, a few high-reaching particles fall out of the plume.
Left. A more vertically-directed explosion casts ejecta onto the littoral cone, out of view on the right. A few incandescent particles are visible at the base of the jet. Right. Moments after the main burst of a littoral explosion, a few high-reaching particles fall out of the plume.

5 September 2008

PRESS RELEASE - Sloshing lava lake viewed within Halema'uma'u vent

Vigorously bubbling lava surface beneath Halema`uma`u vent

This Quicktime movie shows a roiling, bubbling lava surface approximately 100 yards beneath the rim of the vent within Halema`uma`u.  This is the first clear view of lava within the vent, which opened on March 19, 2008.  The video was taken from a helicopter hovering over the Halema`uma`u overlook area.  The overhanging rim at the right side of the frame is the floor of Halema`uma`u crater.
This Quicktime movie shows a roiling, bubbling lava surface approximately 100 yards beneath the rim of the vent within Halema`uma`u. This is the first clear view of lava within the vent, which opened on March 19, 2008. The video was taken from a helicopter hovering over the Halema`uma`u overlook area. The overhanging rim at the right side of the frame is the floor of Halema`uma`u crater.
This near-vertical view reveals a vigorously bubbling lava surface below the rim of the vent within Halema`uma`u crater.  Continuous spattering was casting globs of lava across the lake surface and onto the conduit walls.
This near-vertical view reveals a vigorously bubbling lava surface below the rim of the vent within Halema`uma`u crater. Continuous spattering was casting globs of lava across the lake surface and onto the conduit walls.
This image was taken on April 1, soon after the March 19 explosion that marked the opening of the Halema`uma`u Overlook vent.  Compare this picture to the next, which was taken on September 3.
After 6 significant explosive eruptions from the Halema`uma`u Overlook vent, the vent has more than doubled in size.  The vent opening is now approximately 65 meters across (~215 feet).
Left. This image was taken on April 1, soon after the March 19 explosion that marked the opening of the Halema`uma`u Overlook vent. Compare this picture to the next, which was taken on September 3. Right. After 6 significant explosive eruptions from the Halema`uma`u Overlook vent, the vent has more than doubled in size. The vent opening is now approximately 65 meters across (~215 feet).

A brief glimpse of the fume from the north crater wall of Pu`u `Ō`ō

A momentary clearing of the fume in Pu`u `Ō`ō crater reveals a brief glimpse of the north crater wall.
A momentary clearing of the fume in Pu`u `Ō`ō crater reveals a brief glimpse of the north crater wall.

3 September 2008

Spatter blankets parking lot and burns hole in the collector box

Spatter from an explosion on the evening of September 2 blankets Crater Rim Drive southeast of the Halema`uma`u parking area.
A tear catcher placed at the Halema`uma`u overlook to catch fallout from the plume and material ejected during explosions.  After ejecting from the vent, the large piece of spatter in the box was still hot enough to burn a hole in the collector.
Left. Spatter from an explosion on the evening of September 2 blankets Crater Rim Drive southeast of the Halema`uma`u parking area. Right. A tear catcher placed at the Halema`uma`u overlook to catch fallout from the plume and material ejected during explosions. After ejecting from the vent, the large piece of spatter in the box was still hot enough to burn a hole in the collector.
A time-lapse image from a camera on the rim of Halema`uma`u crater, looking into the vent.  This image was taken three hours before the explosion on September 2.  The orange line is the new edge of the vent after a large piece of the crater floor collapsed.  For scale, the boulder in the center of the photo is the size of a washing machine.
A close up view of the vent at Halema`uma`u on September 3, the morning after a collapse and explosion expanded the size of the vent.  Through the fume, the vent still appears to be overhanging on the crater side.
Left. A time-lapse image from a camera on the rim of Halema`uma`u crater, looking into the vent. This image was taken three hours before the explosion on September 2. The orange line is the new edge of the vent after a large piece of the crater floor collapsed. For scale, the boulder in the center of the photo is the size of a washing machine. Right. A close up view of the vent at Halema`uma`u on September 3, the morning after a collapse and explosion expanded the size of the vent. Through the fume, the vent still appears to be overhanging on the crater side.

2 September 2008

Nightshot movie showing the explosive eruption

 This Quicktime movie, in 'nightshot' mode and zoomed in on the Halema`uma`u vent, shows the explosive eruption which occurred at 8:13 pm.  This eruption carpeted the area around the Halema`uma`u crater rim with ejecta as large as 8 inches long.
This Quicktime movie, in 'nightshot' mode and zoomed in on the Halema`uma`u vent, shows the explosive eruption which occurred at 8:13 pm. This eruption carpeted the area around the Halema`uma`u crater rim with ejecta as large as 8 inches long.

31 August 2008

Movie showing pulse of ash and flashes of incandescence

This Quicktime video shows an ash-emission event at 6:53pm on August 31 from the vent in Halema`uma`u crater.  The event begins with a robust pulse of ash, followed shortly by flashes of bright incandescence that rise about 50 yards above the vent.
This Quicktime video shows an ash-emission event at 6:53pm on August 31 from the vent in Halema`uma`u crater. The event begins with a robust pulse of ash, followed shortly by flashes of bright incandescence that rise about 50 yards above the vent.

28 August 2008

Surveying height, east wall gas vent, and a billowing laze plume

Geologists surveying the height of the rootless shields with a theodolite.  Pu`u `Ō `ō is in the background, partially hidden behind the fume from the TEB vent.
View of Pu`u `Ō `ō cone from the northwest.  The fume from the east wall gas vent is visible just above the larger plume emanating from the crater.
Left. Geologists surveying the height of the rootless shields with a theodolite. Pu`u `Ō `ō is in the background, partially hidden behind the fume from the TEB vent. Right. View of Pu`u `Ō `ō cone from the northwest. The fume from the east wall gas vent is visible just above the larger plume emanating from the crater.
Lava continues to pour into the ocean at Waikupanaha, creating a billowing laze plume.  The shiny surface inland from the entry is from the August 10-12 breakouts.
Measuring the height of a seep on the east side of rootless shield 1. A seep is created when lava is stored in a rootless shield for a short period of time, then oozes out of the flank of the shield in a thick, toothpaste-like flow.
Left. Lava continues to pour into the ocean at Waikupanaha, creating a billowing laze plume. The shiny surface inland from the entry is from the August 10-12 breakouts. Right. Measuring the height of a seep on the east side of rootless shield 1. A seep is created when lava is stored in a rootless shield for a short period of time, then oozes out of the flank of the shield in a thick, toothpaste-like flow.

27 August 2008

Movie of the fifth explosive eruption

This Quicktime movie shows a small explosive eruption, at 7:37 am, from the vent in Halema`uma`u crater.  The normal white degassing plume is rapidly overwhelmed by a more robust, ash-rich plume that rises rapidly from the vent.  This is the fifth explosive eruption since the new vent at Halema`uma`u appeared in mid-March.
This Quicktime movie shows a small explosive eruption, at 7:37 am, from the vent in Halema`uma`u crater. The normal white degassing plume is rapidly overwhelmed by a more robust, ash-rich plume that rises rapidly from the vent. This is the fifth explosive eruption since the new vent at Halema`uma`u appeared in mid-March.

21 August 2008

Lava lobe entering forested area, sediment plume, and obscured view into the TEB vent

The center of the photograph shows the results of a recent lobe of lava entering the forested region north of the access road, on the eastern margin of the Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) flow field.  The lobe was fed from a breakout which began on August 10, and had stalled by August 12.  The Waikupanaha ocean entry is visible at the top of the photograph.
In the center of the photograph, a narrow stream of lava emerges from the littoral cone and peacefully enters the ocean, creating a weak, diffuse steam plume at the Waikupanaha ocean entry.  Near the bottom of the photograph there is an inactive spatter cone with a deep hole.  The spatter cone was created in the last few days from violent bubble-bursting, which threw globs of spatter several tens of yards.  The bubble-bursting was audible more than a half-mile away.
Left. The center of the photograph shows the results of a recent lobe of lava entering the forested region north of the access road, on the eastern margin of the Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) flow field. The lobe was fed from a breakout which began on August 10, and had stalled by August 12. The Waikupanaha ocean entry is visible at the top of the photograph. Right. In the center of the photograph, a narrow stream of lava emerges from the littoral cone and peacefully enters the ocean, creating a weak, diffuse steam plume at the Waikupanaha ocean entry. Near the bottom of the photograph there is an inactive spatter cone with a deep hole. The spatter cone was created in the last few days from violent bubble-bursting, which threw globs of spatter several tens of yards. The bubble-bursting was audible more than a half-mile away.
The sediment plume (left) emanating from the active ocean entry paints a sharp contrast with the untouched seawater (right).
An obscured view into the TEB vent revealed two streams of lava entering the tube system.  The eastern stream is visible in this photograph.
Left. The sediment plume (left) emanating from the active ocean entry paints a sharp contrast with the untouched seawater (right). Right. An obscured view into the TEB vent revealed two streams of lava entering the tube system. The eastern stream is visible in this photograph.

20 August 2008

Awesome movie! Ash-rich phase

This Quicktime movie shows an example of an ash-rich phase at Halema`uma`u crater.  This event occurred at 3:40pm.  These sporadic ash-rich phases are probably due to small rockfalls within the vent.
This Quicktime movie shows an example of an ash-rich phase at Halema`uma`u crater. This event occurred at 3:40pm. These sporadic ash-rich phases are probably due to small rockfalls within the vent.

14 August 2008

Explosion debris from east wall of Pu`u `Ō `ō, and littoral explosions

Debris ejected from the east wall of Pu`u `Ō `ō crater during a small explosion around 8:30 pm on July 26.  Most of the rocks ejected were less than 10 cm (4 inches).
Geologists collect the explosion debris to weigh and measure the material.  The sampling squares, which are outlined by four tape measures, are 2 x 2 meters (6.6 x 6.6 feet).
Left. Debris ejected from the east wall of Pu`u `Ō `ō crater during a small explosion around 8:30 pm on July 26. Most of the rocks ejected were less than 10 cm (4 inches). Right. Geologists collect the explosion debris to weigh and measure the material. The sampling squares, which are outlined by four tape measures, are 2 x 2 meters (6.6 x 6.6 feet).
Intermittent littoral explosions continue at Waikupanaha ocean entry.
An oblique view of a lava stream in the TEB lava tube.  The tube carries the flow to the ocean at Waikupanaha.  The skylight is about 3 m (9.8 ft) across.
Left. Intermittent littoral explosions continue at Waikupanaha ocean entry. Right. An oblique view of a lava stream in the TEB lava tube. The tube carries the flow to the ocean at Waikupanaha. The skylight is about 3 m (9.8 ft) across.

12 August 2008

Vigorous plume at Waikupanaha ocean entry and pahoehoe breakouts

The main Waikupanaha ocean entry hosted occasional littoral explosions, which fed a moderately vigorous plume.  On the right side of the photo, the small ocean entry plume formed by surface flows on August 10 was still active today.
Pahoehoe breakouts pushed through thick vegetation on the eastern margin of the TEB flow field near the coast.   These breakouts, relatively minor in extent, were a few hundred yards north of the access road.
Left. The main Waikupanaha ocean entry hosted occasional littoral explosions, which fed a moderately vigorous plume. On the right side of the photo, the small ocean entry plume formed by surface flows on August 10 was still active today. Right. Pahoehoe breakouts pushed through thick vegetation on the eastern margin of the TEB flow field near the coast. These breakouts, relatively minor in extent, were a few hundred yards north of the access road.

10 August 2008

Lava returns to TEB tube

Lava flowing north from TEB vent toward Pu`u Kahauale`a.
Lava pond atop one of the rootless shields. Lava wells up in a dome fountain and cascades into a drain on the far side of the pond.
Left. Lava flowing north from TEB vent toward Pu`u Kahauale`a. Right. Lava pond atop one of the rootless shields. Lava wells up in a dome fountain and cascades into a drain on the far side of the pond.
A slabby pahoehoe channel from a breakout on the coastal plain enters the ocean this morning to the west of the Waikupanaha entry.
Closeup of the lava channel entering the ocean.
Left. A slabby pahoehoe channel from a breakout on the coastal plain enters the ocean this morning to the west of the Waikupanaha entry. Right. Closeup of the lava channel entering the ocean.

8 August 2008

View into the TEB vent and a clear view of the littoral cone at the Waikupanaha ocean entry

A deflation event at Kilauea's summit, starting on August 5, cut off supply to the Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) lava tube, resulting in a completely inactive ocean entry area.  Inflation began today, suggesting that lava is on its way to return to the TEB flow field.
The lack of steam at the Waikupanaha ocean entry permits a clear view of the littoral cone and tube outlet area.  The small cave-like feature near the center of the photograph may have been one of the main tubes feeding the ocean entry explosions.
Left. A deflation event at Kilauea's summit, starting on August 5, cut off supply to the Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) lava tube, resulting in a completely inactive ocean entry area. Inflation began today, suggesting that lava is on its way to return to the TEB flow field. Right. The lack of steam at the Waikupanaha ocean entry permits a clear view of the littoral cone and tube outlet area. The small cave-like feature near the center of the photograph may have been one of the main tubes feeding the ocean entry explosions.
Despite the lava supply being cut off the last few days, plenty of heat remained in the tube system.  Here, a view deep into the TEB vent reveals a fresh-looking lava surface beside hot, glowing rubble.
Despite the lava supply being cut off the last few days, plenty of heat remained in the tube system. Here, a view deep into the TEB vent reveals a fresh-looking lava surface beside hot, glowing rubble.

Small rim collapse at Halema`uma`u vent on August 1

The Halema`uma`u vent enlarged slightly due to a small rim collapse on the night of August 1.  The vent now exhibits a rectangular shape.  Just above the vent, on the rim of Halema`uma`u crater, the remains of the Halema`uma`u overlook fence are visible.  Crater Rim Drive is in the background.
The Halema`uma`u vent enlarged slightly due to a small rim collapse on the night of August 1. The vent now exhibits a rectangular shape. Just above the vent, on the rim of Halema`uma`u crater, the remains of the Halema`uma`u overlook fence are visible. Crater Rim Drive is in the background.

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: 29 Sept 2008 (pnf)