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Kilauea

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Images and Chronology
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31 July 2008

Huge skylight at Waikupanaha ocean entry and explosive debris

Huge skylight inland from the Waikupanaha ocean entry.
Explosion debris (dark spots on shiny lava at center frame) were deposited up to 110 meters (yards) inland from the edge of the collapse scar during a recent delta collapse. This is 100 meters (yards) inland from the older, pre-Waikupanaha sea cliff, and illustrates why it is important to avoid the ocean entry area.
Left. Huge skylight inland from the Waikupanaha ocean entry. Right. Explosion debris (dark spots on shiny lava at center frame) were deposited up to 110 meters (yards) inland from the edge of the collapse scar during a recent delta collapse. This is 100 meters (yards) inland from the older, pre-Waikupanaha sea cliff, and illustrates why it is important to avoid the ocean entry area.
Debris was also deposited on the east spillway of Pu`u `Ō `ō cone after a recent explosion from the vent on the east wall of Pu`u `Ō `ō crater. Pretty much every rock dotting the spillway surface in explosion debris.
The explosion blew rocks up to 125 meters (yards) to the southeast of the vent (debris field outlined by dashed line. There was minor damage to equipment deployed on the east spillway.
Left. Debris was also deposited on the east spillway of Pu`u `Ō `ō cone after a recent explosion from the vent on the east wall of Pu`u `Ō `ō crater. Pretty much every rock dotting the spillway surface in explosion debris. Right. The explosion blew rocks up to 125 meters (yards) to the southeast of the vent (debris field outlined by dashed line. There was minor damage to equipment deployed on the east spillway.

25 July 2008

Views at Waikupanaha ocean entry

View to the east of the Waikupanaha ocean entry. The recent breakout just inland from the entry is so shiny it appears white in this photo.
Westward view of the recent breakout at the Waikupanaha ocean entry.
Left. View to the east of the Waikupanaha ocean entry. The recent breakout just inland from the entry is so shiny it appears white in this photo. Right. Westward view of the recent breakout at the Waikupanaha ocean entry.

17 July 2008

View into TEB and blankets of paper-thin limu o Pele at Waikupanaha

The top of the TEB collapsed in the past week, permitting a view into the vent for the first time in several weeks. Lava was rushing from left to right, in this view, then turning abruptly toward the top of the photo where it enters the tube system.
Flows in the past week expanded eastward and consumed more of the Royal Gardens subdivision. One house, at lower right, narrowly avoided destruction, while two more structures, near the burned trees in the center of the photo, were buried completely.
Left. The top of the TEB collapsed in the past week, permitting a view into the vent for the first time in several weeks. Lava was rushing from left to right, in this view, then turning abruptly toward the top of the photo where it enters the tube system.Right. Flows in the past week expanded eastward and consumed more of the Royal Gardens subdivision. One house, at lower right, narrowly avoided destruction, while two more structures, near the burned trees in the center of the photo, were buried completely.
The Waikupanaha plume was more modest today, illustrating the erratic behavior of the ocean entry. Shortly after this photo was taken, large explosions resumed and the plume grew again to enormous size. Notice the thick haze in the background. This the volcanic plume from Pu`u `Ō `ō out of site at upper right.
The frequent littoral explosions at Waikupanaha have blanketed the down-wind lava surface with paper-thin limu o Pele fragments. Notice the abrupt boundary between the brown limu o Pele fallout and the shiny pahoehoe. Limu o Pele is composed, basically, of pieces of bubble walls.  It forms when lava bubbles burst and when wind blows laterally through sheets of molten lava thrown up during the explosions.
Left. The Waikupanaha plume was more modest today, illustrating the erratic behavior of the ocean entry. Shortly after this photo was taken, large explosions resumed and the plume grew again to enormous size. Notice the thick haze in the background. This the volcanic plume from Pu`u `Ō `ō out of site at upper right.Right. The frequent littoral explosions at Waikupanaha have blanketed the down-wind lava surface with paper-thin limu o Pele fragments. Notice the abrupt boundary between the brown limu o Pele fallout and the shiny pahoehoe. Limu o Pele is composed, basically, of pieces of bubble walls. It forms when lava bubbles burst and when wind blows laterally through sheets of molten lava thrown up during the explosions.
Besides the blanket of limu of Pele described above, the large explosions at Waikupanaha have also built a littoral spatter cone in an arc around the ocean entry. The cone is not obvious in the photo on the left due to the oblique angle and shadowing from the plume. In the infrared (IR) image on the right, the portion of the littoral cone built on the beach shows up nicely just below image center.  A small littoral explosion, hidden by fume in the photo, is apparent just right of image center in the IR image. The bright dots scattered around on the littoral cone in the IR image are hot blobs of recently-ejected spatter.
Besides the blanket of limu of Pele described above, the large explosions at Waikupanaha have also built a littoral spatter cone in an arc around the ocean entry. The cone is not obvious in the photo on the left due to the oblique angle and shadowing from the plume. In the infrared (IR) image on the right, the portion of the littoral cone built on the beach shows up nicely just below image center. A small littoral explosion, hidden by fume in the photo, is apparent just right of image center in the IR image. The bright dots scattered around on the littoral cone in the IR image are hot blobs of recently-ejected spatter.

16 July 2008

Cool incandescent parabolic arcs from ejecta at Waikupanaha ocean entry

Incandescent parabolic arcs trace the path of ejecta cast out during explosions at the Waikupanaha ocean entry early Wednesday morning.  This was a relatively small explosion, reaching a few tens of meters height, while the largest explosions this morning approached 70 meters in height.  At the bottom of the photograph is the rim of the littoral cone built up by explosion deposits.
The incandescent arcs in this photograph are partially obscured by the persistent steam plume emanating from the ocean entry.
Left. Incandescent parabolic arcs trace the path of ejecta cast out during explosions at the Waikupanaha ocean entry early Wednesday morning. This was a relatively small explosion, reaching a few tens of meters height, while the largest explosions this morning approached 70 meters in height. At the bottom of the photograph is the rim of the littoral cone built up by explosion deposits.Right. The incandescent arcs in this photograph are partially obscured by the persistent steam plume emanating from the ocean entry.

14 July 2008

Channelized `a`a flow and vigorous plume at Waikupanaha ocean entry

Channelized `a`a flow at the lower east margin of Royal Gardens subdivision.  The flow carried lava down King Avenue and stalled 1 km (0.6 mi) from the base of the pali.
The Waikupanaha ocean entry produces a vigorous plume with constant littoral explosions.  The debris from the explosions become entrained in the plume and eventually rain out beneath it.
Left. Channelized `a`a flow at the lower east margin of Royal Gardens subdivision. The flow carried lava down King Avenue and stalled 1 km (0.6 mi) from the base of the pali. Right. The Waikupanaha ocean entry produces a vigorous plume with constant littoral explosions. The debris from the explosions become entrained in the plume and eventually rain out beneath it.

10 July 2008

Near vertical view into Pu`u `Ō `ō crater and the fountain on rootless shield 3

This near vertical view shows incandescent and spattering vents in Pu`u `Ō `ō crater. The north rim of Pu`u `Ō `ō is at the top of the photo, and the east spillway of the cone and the heavily fuming east wall vent are at the far right. The vent just left of center frame, on the western side of the crater, had bursts of spatter every few seconds.
Heavy fume prevented clear views of the vents on the crater floor of Pu`u `Ō `ō. This close-up of the spattering vent on the western side of the crater is about as good as it got. The long axis of the vent opening is probably about 5 m, and the cone itself is estimated at 8-10 m high.
Left. This near vertical view shows incandescent and spattering vents in Pu`u `Ō `ō crater. The north rim of Pu`u `Ō `ō is at the top of the photo, and the east spillway of the cone and the heavily fuming east wall vent are at the far right. The vent just left of center frame, on the western side of the crater, had bursts of spatter every few seconds. Right. Heavy fume prevented clear views of the vents on the crater floor of Pu`u `Ō `ō. This close-up of the spattering vent on the western side of the crater is about as good as it got. The long axis of the vent opening is probably about 5 m, and the cone itself is estimated at 8-10 m high.
View looking southeast over the TEB flow field toward the coast. The TEB vent is just out of site at the lower right side of the photo. The fountain on rootless shield 3 remains active just above center frame. The trace of the heavily fuming TEB tube is beyond the fountain. The TEB tube carries lava to the ocean at Waikupanaha where lava entering the ocean is responsible for the large plume in the background.
View looking northwest over the TEB flow field. The fountain on rootless shield 3 is just above center frame. The TEB vent is the fume source to the right of the erupting vent,  Pu`u `Ō `ō is behind and slightly left of the fountain, and Halema`uma`u at the summit of Kilauea is the source of the prominent plume in the distance.
Left. View looking southeast over the TEB flow field toward the coast. The TEB vent is just out of site at the lower right side of the photo. The fountain on rootless shield 3 remains active just above center frame. The trace of the heavily fuming TEB tube is beyond the fountain. The TEB tube carries lava to the ocean at Waikupanaha where lava entering the ocean is responsible for the large plume in the background. Right. View looking northwest over the TEB flow field. The fountain on rootless shield 3 is just above center frame. The TEB vent is the fume source to the right of the erupting vent, Pu`u `Ō `ō is behind and slightly left of the fountain, and Halema`uma`u at the summit of Kilauea is the source of the prominent plume in the distance.
The vigor of the fountain on rootless shield 3 has decreased markedly since its peak a few days ago. Today the vent was characterized by a low dome fountain 2-3 m high.
The rootless shield 3 fountain fed a channelized `a`a flow earlier in the week that reached about 4 km southeast from the vent. The flow's terminus, now stagnant, is the dark flow extending up from the lower left side of the photo. The TEB tube crosses the upper right side of the photo, and the Waikupanaha plume is visible in the distance.
Left. The vigor of the fountain on rootless shield 3 has decreased markedly since its peak a few days ago. Today the vent was characterized by a low dome fountain 2-3 m high. Right. The rootless shield 3 fountain fed a channelized `a`a flow earlier in the week that reached about 4 km southeast from the vent. The flow's terminus, now stagnant, is the dark flow extending up from the lower left side of the photo. The TEB tube crosses the upper right side of the photo, and the Waikupanaha plume is visible in the distance.
Quicktime movie showing the low dome fountain on TEB rootless shield 3; video of spattering from the vent on the west side of Pu`u `Ō `ō crater taken with thermal camera; and video of the vent on the east wall of Pu`u `Ō `ō crater taken with thermal camera.
Quicktime movie showing the low dome fountain on TEB rootless shield 3; video of spattering from the vent on the west side of Pu`u `Ō `ō crater taken with thermal camera; and video of the vent on the east wall of Pu`u `Ō `ō crater taken with thermal camera.

7 July 2008

Lava fountain arch at rootless shield 3

Quicktime movie (9.6 Mb) showing the fountaining on shield 3.
Quicktime movie (9.6 Mb) showing the fountaining on shield 3.
Lava continues to gush from the upper TEB tube. Rootless shield 3, at center frame hosted a small lava fountain that fed several streams of lava. Pu`u `Ō `ō continued to fume heavily in the background, with the plume from Halema`uma`u, at Kilauea's summit, in the distance beyond.
The breakout on shield 3 was actually comprised of three separate breakout points, as seen in this photo.
Left. Lava continues to gush from the upper TEB tube. Rootless shield 3, at center frame hosted a small lava fountain that fed several streams of lava. Pu`u `Ō `ō continued to fume heavily in the background, with the plume from Halema`uma`u, at Kilauea's summit, in the distance beyond. Right. The breakout on shield 3 was actually comprised of three separate breakout points, as seen in this photo.
The lava fountain on shield 3 was 12-15 m high.
What is not obvious in the photos is that the fountain was creating an arch. Though fumey, the arch can be made out in this photo. Lava is fountaining from the base of the rampart on the right, and landing in front of the rampart on the left.
Left. The lava fountain on shield 3 was 12-15 m high. Right. What is not obvious in the photos is that the fountain was creating an arch. Though fumey, the arch can be made out in this photo. Lava is fountaining from the base of the rampart on the right, and landing in front of the rampart on the left.
The `a`a flow active over the weekend on the west side of the flow field in Royal Gardens came within 50-70 m of the structure in the photo. Fires sparked by the lava came even closer---within a few meters.
The large breakouts upslope robbed most of the lava supply to the lower part of the tube system. Moving lava was still visible in skylights and a few tiny lava streams continued to reach the ocean at the Waikupanaha entry.
Left. The `a`a flow active over the weekend on the west side of the flow field in Royal Gardens came within 50-70 m of the structure in the photo. Fires sparked by the lava came even closer---within a few meters. Right. The large breakouts upslope robbed most of the lava supply to the lower part of the tube system. Moving lava was still visible in skylights and a few tiny lava streams continued to reach the ocean at the Waikupanaha entry.

5 July 2008

Narrow `a`a flow in Royal Gardens and exposed clinkers

A narrow `a`a flow crept along the west margin of the current flow field in Royal Gardens subdivision on Saturday, covering the pre-existing pahoehoe surface and igniting small fires at the forest boundary.  The flow was fed by a tube breakout approximately one half mile north of the subdivision boundary.
Portions of the molten flow interior were exposed as clinker (`a`a crust fragments) sloughed off the slowly moving flow front.
Left. A narrow `a`a flow crept along the west margin of the current flow field in Royal Gardens subdivision on Saturday, covering the pre-existing pahoehoe surface and igniting small fires at the forest boundary. The flow was fed by a tube breakout approximately one half mile north of the subdivision boundary. Right. Portions of the molten flow interior were exposed as clinker (`a`a crust fragments) sloughed off the slowly moving flow front.

2 July 2008

Source of a breakout and a look down in Pu`u `Ō `ō

One of several new breakouts on the rootless shield complex.  The breakouts were first reported on Friday evening, June 27.  The billowing plume in the background is from the Waikupanaha ocean entry.
Close up of the source of a breakout between the TEB vent and rootless shield 1.  A rampart is forming over the spattering vent.
Left. One of several new breakouts on the rootless shield complex. The breakouts were first reported on Friday evening, June 27. The billowing plume in the background is from the Waikupanaha ocean entry. Right. Close up of the source of a breakout between the TEB vent and rootless shield 1. A rampart is forming over the spattering vent.
Looking down into Pu`u `Ō `ō crater at the May 23 gas vent.  The vent, which is on the east side of the crater, has not substantially changed since it was first observed.
A minor bench collapse claimed 3.3 acres of the Waikupanaha delta.  Unusual seismic signals in the area were recorded this morning between 1 and 2 a.m., but the timing of the collapse has not yet been confirmed.  The ocean entry continues to host persistent littoral explosions and a voluminous plume.
Left. Looking down into Pu`u `Ō `ō crater at the May 23 gas vent. The vent, which is on the east side of the crater, has not substantially changed since it was first observed. Right. A minor bench collapse claimed 3.3 acres of the Waikupanaha delta. Unusual seismic signals in the area were recorded this morning between 1 and 2 a.m., but the timing of the collapse has not yet been confirmed. The ocean entry continues to host persistent littoral explosions and a voluminous plume.

30 June 2008

Awesome littoral explosions at dusk, and weak winds at Halema`uma`u

A large group gathers at the county viewing area to watch activity at the Waikupanaha ocean entry Sunday night.
Left. A large group gathers at the county viewing area to watch activity at the Waikupanaha ocean entry Sunday night.
A littoral explosion at dusk.  Explosions such as this have been common throughout the last several weeks at the Waikupanaha entry.
Another explosion of incandescent particles on Sunday night.
Left. A littoral explosion at dusk. Explosions such as this have been common throughout the last several weeks at the Waikupanaha entry. Right. Another explosion of incandescent particles on Sunday night.
At the summit, Monday's weak winds resulted in portions of the plume stagnating within Halema`uma`u crater.
Left. At the summit, Monday's weak winds resulted in portions of the plume stagnating within Halema`uma`u crater.

27 June 2008

Waikupanaha ocean entry vigorous plume continues

The Waikupanaha entry continues to produce a vigorous plume as it flows into the ocean.  There are no surface flows on the coastal plain, but the lava tube trace is visible due to the fuming areas between the ocean and Royal Gardens subdivision.
Closer view of the Waikupanaha ocean entry, with a fresh flow coating the lava delta.
Left. The Waikupanaha entry continues to produce a vigorous plume as it flows into the ocean. There are no surface flows on the coastal plain, but the lava tube trace is visible due to the fuming areas between the ocean and Royal Gardens subdivision. Right. Closer view of the Waikupanaha ocean entry, with a fresh flow coating the lava delta.

24 June 2008

A vigorous plume at Waikupanaha ocean entry

While the rest of the flow field was relatively quiet, a vigorous plume emanated from the Waikupanaha ocean entry today.
The broad plume base hosted persistent explosions, casting coarse bits of lava up to 30 yards in height.
Left. While the rest of the flow field was relatively quiet, a vigorous plume emanated from the Waikupanaha ocean entry today. Right. The broad plume base hosted persistent explosions, casting coarse bits of lava up to 30 yards in height.

13 June 2008

Through the tube to the sea

Geologist sets up a time lapse camera near a skylight at the top of Royal Gardens.  Lava in this tube travels downslope until it reaches the ocean at Waikupanaha, creating the steam plume in the background.
The time lapse camera, which takes an image every two minutes, was set up to record changes in lava levels inside the tube.
Left. Geologist sets up a time lapse camera near a skylight at the top of Royal Gardens. Lava in this tube travels downslope until it reaches the ocean at Waikupanaha, creating the steam plume in the background. Right. The time lapse camera, which takes an image every two minutes, was set up to record changes in lava levels inside the tube.

10 June 2008

Waikupanaha ocean entry

The Waikupanaha ocean entry plume was very meager this morning at 11:30, with no significant explosions at the entry.  Photo taken from the lava viewing area, which is about a half mile east of the entry.
Just an hour later - around 12:30pm - the Waikupanaha ocean entry plume was enormous, attesting to the variability that can occur at ocean entries.  Larger plumes, like this one, are often tied to more vigorous explosive activity at the ocean entry.  This increase in explosive activity may be related to the resumption of normal lava supply following a recent deflation-inflation event at Kilauea's summit.  Photo taken from Kaimu, approximately 3 miles east of the entry.
Left. The Waikupanaha ocean entry plume was very meager this morning at 11:30, with no significant explosions at the entry. Photo taken from the lava viewing area, which is about a half mile east of the entry.Right. Just an hour later - around 12:30pm - the Waikupanaha ocean entry plume was enormous, attesting to the variability that can occur at ocean entries. Larger plumes, like this one, are often tied to more vigorous explosive activity at the ocean entry. This increase in explosive activity may be related to the resumption of normal lava supply following a recent deflation-inflation event at Kilauea's summit. Photo taken from Kaimu, approximately 3 miles east of the entry.

4 June 2008

A vigorous plume at Waikupanaha and a skylight reveals

A vigorous plume is formed by the Waikupanaha ocean entry.  Near the bottom of the photograph, narrow lines of steam originate from hot chunks of lava floating on the water's surface.  In the background, fume can be seen from lava traveling down through Royal Gardens subdivision.
A skylight reveals a narrow stream of lava deep within one of the rootless shields, situated near Fissure D.
Left. A vigorous plume is formed by the Waikupanaha ocean entry. Near the bottom of the photograph, narrow lines of steam originate from hot chunks of lava floating on the water's surface. In the background, fume can be seen from lava traveling down through Royal Gardens subdivision. Right. A skylight reveals a narrow stream of lava deep within one of the rootless shields, situated near Fissure D.

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: 31 July 2008 (pnf)