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Kilauea

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Images and Chronology
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31 March 2008

From the summit to the sea

A double rainbow takes form as evening clouds move into Kilauea caldera.
A double rainbow takes form as evening clouds move into Kilauea caldera.
Strong trade winds fan the gas-and-ash plume from Halema`uma`u in this early morning photo from the Steaming Bluff overlook.
Strong trade winds fan the gas-and-ash plume from Halema`uma`u in this early morning photo from the Steaming Bluff overlook.
Four plumes rise from the ocean entries at the coast, with a new black sand beach in the foreground.  The first two plumes are from the Ki entry; those in the background are from the Waikupanaha entry.  The most distant plume is the largest.
Steaming blocks litter the beach at the Ki entry.  These are chunks of lava that were set adrift in the surf zone and then were carried back on shore by the next wave.
Left. Four plumes rise from the ocean entries at the coast, with a new black sand beach in the foreground. The first two plumes are from the Ki entry; those in the background are from the Waikupanaha entry. The most distant plume is the largest. Right. Steaming blocks litter the beach at the Ki entry. These are chunks of lava that were set adrift in the surf zone and then were carried back on shore by the next wave.

30 March 2008

Halema`uma`u at night

Night and day views of the vent in the south wall of Halema`uma`u Crater, taken by a time-lapse camera on the southeast rim of the crater. These photographs were captured on March 23, and as of last night, the view was about the same.  The nighttime frame shows the incandescent particles ejected from the vent and deposited on the slope above it.  Enlarge the photo to see the faint red/orange trails left by the incandescent ejecta as it was hurled from the vent.
Night and day views of the vent in the south wall of Halema`uma`u Crater, taken by a time-lapse camera on the southeast rim of the crater. These photographs were captured on March 23, and as of last night, the view was about the same. The nighttime frame shows the incandescent particles ejected from the vent and deposited on the slope above it. Enlarge the photo to see the faint red/orange trails left by the incandescent ejecta as it was hurled from the vent.

29 March 2008

Ki ocean entry's small explosion and Halema`uma`u plume color reverts to white

A small explosion of lava and steam at the Ki ocean entry.
A small explosion of lava and steam at the Ki ocean entry.
View of Halema`uma`u from the Jaggar Museum overlook at 4 p.m.  The plume color switched from brown to white about 24 hrs ago and has been mainly white since.  The white plume still carries ash, but the rock fragments are hydrothermally altered lava that is white in color.
Close-up of the vent and the base of the plume.
Left. View of Halema`uma`u from the Jaggar Museum overlook at 4 p.m. The plume color switched from brown to white about 24 hrs ago and has been mainly white since. The white plume still carries ash, but the rock fragments are hydrothermally altered lava that is white in color. Right. Close-up of the vent and the base of the plume.

28 March 2008

Ash-laden plume roils from Halema`uma`u and lava continues to enter the ocean

View of Halema`uma`u plume from Steaming Bluffs captures rainbow in the early morning light.
View of Halema`uma`u plume from Steaming Bluffs captures rainbow in the early morning light.
Aerial views of Halema`uma`u.  Ash-laden plume billows from the new vent on the south wall of the crater.
Aerial views of Halema`uma`u.  Ash-laden plume billows from the new vent on the south wall of the crater.
Aerial views of Halema`uma`u. Ash-laden plume billows from the new vent on the south wall of the crater.
Rising plume hugs the south wall of Halema`uma`u crater adjacent to the former overlook--the fenced area on the rim.  Much of the fence was destroyed in the March 19 explosion.
 The plume drifts over the deserted Halema`uma`u parking lot, which is now coated in brown ash.
Left. Rising plume hugs the south wall of Halema`uma`u crater adjacent to the former overlook--the fenced area on the rim. Much of the fence was destroyed in the March 19 explosion. Right. The plume drifts over the deserted Halema`uma`u parking lot, which is now coated in brown ash.
Smoke rises immediately makai of the coastal road, where the flow continues to nibble away at the large kipuka. The Ki entry is in the foreground.
Three steam plumes rise from the active ocean entries.  The closest plume is from the Ki entry; the far plumes are both from the Waikupanaha entry. The visitor overlook is visible on the far left.
Left. Smoke rises immediately makai of the coastal road, where the flow continues to nibble away at the large kipuka. The Ki entry is in the foreground. Right. Three steam plumes rise from the active ocean entries. The closest plume is from the Ki entry; the far plumes are both from the Waikupanaha entry. The visitor overlook is visible on the far left.
A skylight in the main lava tube at the top of the pali reveals the lava stream that is feeding the ocean entries in the distance.
Close-up of a skylight on coastal plain, with lava stalactites forming on the roof of the tube.
Left. A skylight in the main lava tube at the top of the pali reveals the lava stream that is feeding the ocean entries in the distance. Right. Close-up of a skylight on coastal plain, with lava stalactites forming on the roof of the tube.

27 March 2008

   ALL IN A DAY'S WORK....
Halema`uma`u bright white plume at 8:00 a.m., close-up view of the 35m-across vent, then reddish-brown plume at 4:20 p.m.

View of Halema`uma`u from the Jaggar Museum overlook at 4 p.m., showing the white, largely ash-free plume that prevailed from about 8 a.m. until 4:20 p.m. on the 27th.  During this time, the vent intermittently ejected small pieces of spatter.
View of Halema`uma`u from the Jaggar Museum overlook at 4 p.m., showing the white plume that prevailed from about 8 a.m. until 4:20 p.m. on the 27th. During this time, the vent intermittently ejected small pieces of spatter.
Close-up of the vent, which is about 35 m across.  One of the primary components in volcanic gas is water. Right at the vent, the plume is transparent, because it is very hot and the water is in vapor form.  A short distance above the vent, however, the plume cools and the water vapor condenses into tiny droplets.  This makes the plume an opaque white, just like regular clouds in the sky.
At approximately 4:20 p.m., the plume turned reddish brown, as it again began to loft ash--composed mainly of rock fragments--from the vent.  A small rockfall from the sides of the conduit could be the cause.
Left. Close-up of the vent, which is about 35 m across. One of the primary components in volcanic gas is water. Right at the vent, the plume is transparent, because it is very hot and the water is in vapor form. A short distance above the vent, however, the plume cools and the water vapor condenses into tiny droplets. This makes the plume an opaque white, just like regular clouds in the sky.Right. At approximately 4:20 p.m., the plume turned reddish brown, as it again began to loft ash--composed mainly of rock fragments--from the vent. A small rockfall from the sides of the conduit could be the cause.

26 March 2008

Lava streams into the ocean, and the solidified lava cascade over the old sea cliff

Lava streams into the ocean at the Ki entry, as seen from the lava viewing trail.
A recent solidified cascade of lava over the old sea cliff, just above the Ki ocean entry.
Left. Lava streams into the ocean at the Ki entry, as seen from the lava viewing trail. Right. A recent solidified cascade of lava over the old sea cliff, just above the Ki ocean entry.

24 March 2008

PRESS RELEASE - Halema`uma`u gas plume becomes ash-laden

Ash-rich plume in Halema`uma`u and damaged Halema`uma`u overlook

View of the ash-rich plume in Halema`uma`u from the northeast side of Kilauea Caldera.
View of the ash-rich plume in Halema`uma`u from the southeast side of Kilauea Caldera. Note the ash fallout down-wind of the plume.
Left. View of the ash-rich plume in Halema`uma`u from the northeast side of Kilauea Caldera.Right. View of the ash-rich plume in Halema`uma`u from the southeast side of Kilauea Caldera. Note the ash fallout down-wind of the plume.
View of the ash-rich plume from the northwest side Halema`uma`u. The Halema`uma`u overlook is visible, though not obvious, on top of the cliff to the left of the plume.
View of the damaged Halema`uma`u overlook with the plume behind. The plume is coming from a vent directly beneath the overlook.
Left. View of the ash-rich plume from the northwest side Halema`uma`u. The Halema`uma`u overlook is visible, though not obvious, on top of the cliff to the left of the plume.Right. View of the damaged Halema`uma`u overlook with the plume behind. The plume is coming from a vent directly beneath the overlook.

21 March 2008

TEB large skylight, channelized `a`a flow in Royal Gardens, Waikupanaha and Ki ocean entries, Halema`uma`u heavily fuming vent, and the explosion pit

Large skylight on the TEB tube near the top of Royal Gardens subdivision. The lava is flowing to the left, and small bubbles and other detail can be seen on the surface of the lava stream. The dark spots are bits of cooled lava crust being blown into the skylight by the helicopter.
Small channelized `a`a flow at about the middle of Royal Gardens subdivision.
Left. Large skylight on the TEB tube near the top of Royal Gardens subdivision. The lava is flowing to the left, and small bubbles and other detail can be seen on the surface of the lava stream. The dark spots are bits of cooled lava crust being blown into the skylight by the helicopter.Right. Small channelized `a`a flow at about the middle of Royal Gardens subdivision.
View of the Waikupanaha and Ki ocean entries and deltas looking east.
View of the Waikupanaha and Ki ocean entries and deltas looking west.
Left. View of the Waikupanaha and Ki ocean entries and deltas looking east. Right. View of the Waikupanaha and Ki ocean entries and deltas looking west.
Looking north at the heavily fuming vent in Halema`uma`u crater. Ash and debris ejected by the March 19 explosive eruption makes a light-colored swath that crosses the Halema`uma`u parking area and extends off to the left in the photo.
View of the explosion pit on the southeast wall of Halema`uma`u crater from the March 19 explosion. Photo is from a time-lapse camera in the HVO observation tower.
Left. Looking north at the heavily fuming vent in Halema`uma`u crater. Ash and debris ejected by the March 19 explosive eruption makes a light-colored swath that crosses the Halema`uma`u parking area and extends off to the left in the photo. Right. View of the explosion pit on the southeast wall of Halema`uma`u crater from the March 19 explosion. Photo is from a time-lapse camera in the HVO observation tower.

19 March 2008

PRESS RELEASE - Explosive eruption is first since 1924

Explosive eruption in Halema`uma`u Crater, Kilauea Volcano

View looking northwest at explosion debris on the Crater Rim Drive near the Halema`uma`u Overlook parking area. The largest fragments at this distance from the source vent (~350 m) are about 2 cm in diameter. Notice that the yellow stripes on the road are barely visible.
View of the Halema`uma`u Overlook parking area. The paved surface of the parking area was completely buried by a thin layer of debris.
Left. View looking northwest at explosion debris on the Crater Rim Drive near the Halema`uma`u Overlook parking area. The largest fragments at this distance from the source vent (~350 m) are about 2 cm in diameter. Notice that the yellow stripes on the road are barely visible. Right. View of the Halema`uma`u Overlook parking area. The paved surface of the parking area was completely buried by a thin layer of debris.
The largest block to be blasted out of Halema`uma`u was almost a meter across. It landed on the steel cable of the barrier adjacent to the trail adjacent to the Halema`uma`u Overlook.
The wooden fence of the overlook itself was bombarded by rocks. Nearly every rock on the surface in this photo was deposited by the explosion.
Left. The largest block to be blasted out of Halema`uma`u was almost a meter across. It landed on the steel cable of the barrier adjacent to the trail adjacent to the Halema`uma`u Overlook. Right. The wooden fence of the overlook itself was bombarded by rocks. Nearly every rock on the surface in this photo was deposited by the explosion.
Rocks ejected by the explosion created impact craters when they hit. Finer grained material was blown away during the impact.
Another view of an impact crater created by an ejected rock. Other impact craters can be seen in the background.
Left. Rocks ejected by the explosion created impact craters when they hit. Finer grained material was blown away during the impact.Right. Another view of an impact crater created by an ejected rock. Other impact craters can be seen in the background.
View of the small explosion crater, emitting fume, on the southeast wall of Halema`uma`u. The light gray material to the right of the fuming pit is part of the ash and debris deposit from the explosion. Halema`uma`u Overlook can be seen at the left edge of the frame.
Near vertical view down into the explosion crater. The crater is estimated at roughly 30 m across
Left. View of the small explosion crater, emitting fume, on the southeast wall of Halema`uma`u. The light gray material to the right of the fuming pit is part of the ash and debris deposit from the explosion. Halema`uma`u Overlook can be seen at the left edge of the frame.Right. Near vertical view down into the explosion crater. The crater is estimated at roughly 30 m across.

15 March 2008

New gas vent at Halema`uma`u crater, and beautiful early morning views

View of the new gas vent at the base of the eastern wall of Halema`uma`u crater on March 14, 2008 from the Jaggar Museum overlook.
Closeup of the fume being emitted through rubble on March 14, 2008. The white fume is a mixture of condensed water vapor, sulfur trioxide, and invisible sulfur dioxide. The fume takes a pale bluish color if it contains very tiny sulfur particles (in center of fuming area). The fume takes on a yellowish tint if the sulfur particles are a bit larger.
Left. View of the new gas vent at the base of the eastern wall of Halema`uma`u crater on March 14, 2008 from the Jaggar Museum overlook. Right. Closeup of the fume being emitted through rubble on March 14, 2008. The white fume is a mixture of condensed water vapor, sulfur trioxide, and invisible sulfur dioxide. The fume takes a pale bluish color if it contains very tiny sulfur particles (in center of fuming area). The fume takes on a yellowish tint if the sulfur particles are a bit larger.
Early morning view of the fuming area on March 15, 2008 displaying dull red incandescence.
The gas plume at sunrise on March 15, 2008.
Left. Early morning view of the fuming area on March 15, 2008 displaying dull red incandescence. Right. The gas plume at sunrise on March 15, 2008.

14 March 2008

Visual/Infrared of channelized `a`a flow and exquisite view of Waikupanaha ocean entry

A channelized `a`a flow cascades down the east margin of the current flow field in Royal Gardens subdivision. The breakout source is near the former location of the Royal Ave. - Orchid St. intersection.  The channel, about 4 yards wide, merges into a broad distributary fan near the base of King Ave - the thermal image shows that the west lobe of the fan was active at this time.  View is to the north.
A channelized `a`a flow cascades down the east margin of the current flow field in Royal Gardens subdivision. The breakout source is near the former location of the Royal Ave. - Orchid St. intersection. The channel, about 4 yards wide, merges into a broad distributary fan near the base of King Ave - the thermal image shows that the west lobe of the fan was active at this time. View is to the north.
The east margin of the flow continues to expand on the coastal plain, burning into a kipuka on the east side of the active flow field. In this photo, the smooth, treeless surface of a surviving remnant of Highway 130 provides a nice pathway for lava to follow. The remnants of a destroyed structure are visible just right of center. View is to the southeast, and a sliver of the ocean is visible in the upper right corner.
View to west of the Waikupanaha ocean entry. The new delta has a surface area of about 13.5 acres. Flows encroaching into a kipuka along the east margin of the flow field traveled nearly 250 meters (~820 ft) in the last day and were within striking distance of the coast at noon today. Barring upslope changes, this flow lobe will reach the ocean later today or early tomorrow within 300 meters (~985 ft) of the lava viewing area.
Left. The east margin of the flow continues to expand on the coastal plain, burning into a kipuka on the east side of the active flow field. In this photo, the smooth, treeless surface of a surviving remnant of Highway 130 provides a nice pathway for lava to follow. The remnants of a destroyed structure are visible just right of center. View is to the southeast, and a sliver of the ocean is visible in the upper right corner. Right. View to west of the Waikupanaha ocean entry. The new delta has a surface area of about 13.5 acres. Flows encroaching into a kipuka along the east margin of the flow field traveled nearly 250 meters (~820 ft) in the last day and were within striking distance of the coast at noon today. Barring upslope changes, this flow lobe will reach the ocean later today or early tomorrow within 300 meters (~985 ft) of the lava viewing area.

11 March 2008

Steaming Waikupanaha ocean entry and the bench with three entries

Aerial view of the Waikupanaha ocean entry (steaming) and the ligh-colored pahoehoe flows that bring lava to the coast in the middle of the photo. The new trail and viewing area are located on the early 1990 pahoehoe flow in the foreground.
A closer look at the Waikupanaha delta, or bench showing at least three separate entries, some black patches of fresh pahoehoe on its surface, and a sliver of black sand along its edge. Note the Royal Gardens subdivision (this flow goes through the middle of what remains) and the plume from Pu`u `O`o over the horizon.
Left. Aerial view of the Waikupanaha ocean entry (steaming) and the ligh-colored pahoehoe flows that bring lava to the coast in the middle of the photo. The new trail and viewing area are located on the early 1990 pahoehoe flow in the foreground. Right. A closer look at the Waikupanaha delta, or bench showing at least three separate entries, some black patches of fresh pahoehoe on its surface, and a sliver of black sand along its edge. Note the Royal Gardens subdivision (this flow goes through the middle of what remains) and the plume from Pu`u `O`o over the horizon.

7 March 2008

Fast-moving `a`a channel, creation of a long delta, an active `a`a flow, and pahoehoe moves through forest in Royal Gardens subdivision

A fast-moving channel of `a`a two yards wide flows through Royal Gardens subdivision, over the former location of Royal Avenue.
New lava entering the sea has created a long delta over the past two days.  The new flows can be discerned by their lighter appearance compared to older lavas.
Left. A fast-moving channel of `a`a two yards wide flows through Royal Gardens subdivision, over the former location of Royal Avenue. Right. New lava entering the sea has created a long delta over the past two days. The new flows can be discerned by their lighter appearance compared to older lavas.
An active `a`a flow covers a recent pahoehoe flow in Royal Gardens, near the intersection of Royal Avenue and Orchid Street.
Pahoehoe moves through forest beside Prince Avenue in Royal Gardens subdivision.
Left. An active `a`a flow covers a recent pahoehoe flow in Royal Gardens, near the intersection of Royal Avenue and Orchid Street. Right. Pahoehoe moves through forest beside Prince Avenue in Royal Gardens subdivision.

6 March 2008

Lava reached the ocean, small delta, and path where crossed the coastal plain

Lava entered the ocean yesterday for the first time since June 2007. A small delta, extending for about 100 m along the face of the sea cliff, had been constructed by this morning.
A more distant view of the new ocean entry. The lighter colored lava extending from the ocean entry to the large kipuka in the background (site of the Royal Gardens subdivision) shows the path that the lava took as it crossed the coastal plain.
Left.Lava entered the ocean yesterday for the first time since June 2007. A small delta, extending for about 100 m along the face of the sea cliff, had been constructed by this morning. Right.A more distant view of the new ocean entry. The lighter colored lava extending from the ocean entry to the large kipuka in the background (site of the Royal Gardens subdivision) shows the path that the lava took as it crossed the coastal plain.

5 March 2008

Pahoehoe flow crosses lava access road and beautiful view of pahoehoe lava field

View to the northwest with Royal Gardens subdivision in the background. The active flow extends from the base of the pali at the subdivision and reaches to within about 100 meters of the gray-colored road just to the right of the intersection with the red-colored road.
Closer view of the terminus of the active flow approaching the resident access road. The margin of the flow has been outlined in red.
Left.Pahoehoe lava flow overruns the old access gravel road. Right.View of pahoehoe lava field.

4 March 2008

Active flow outlined in red, pahoehoe breakout and draining

View to the northwest with Royal Gardens subdivision in the background. The active flow extends from the base of the pali at the subdivision and reaches to within about 100 meters of the gray-colored road just to the right of the intersection with the red-colored road.
Closer view of the terminus of the active flow approaching the resident access road. The margin of the flow has been outlined in red.
Left.View to the northwest with Royal Gardens subdivision in the background. The active flow extends from the base of the pali at the subdivision and reaches to within about 100 meters of the gray-colored road just to the right of the intersection with the red-colored road. Right.Closer view of the terminus of the active flow approaching the resident access road. The margin of the flow has been outlined in red.
Pahoehoe breakouts like this one adorn the margin of the flow, especially near the flow terminus.
Another nice view of a pahoehoe draining into a low area along the flow margin.
Left.Pahoehoe breakouts like this one adorn the margin of the flow, especially near the flow terminus. Right.Another nice view of a pahoehoe draining into a low area along the flow margin.

1 March 2008

`A`a channel splits then joins together again and TEB flow advances across coastal plain

An `a`a channel splits only to come together again in the lower portion of the Royal Gardens subdivision.
The TEB flow advances eastward across the coastal plain, with a view of the remains of the Royal Gardens subdivision in the background.
Left.An `a`a channel splits only to come together again in the lower portion of the Royal Gardens subdivision. Right.The TEB flow advances eastward across the coastal plain, with a view of the remains of the Royal Gardens subdivision 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: 31 March 2008 (pnf)