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Images and Chronology
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31 October 2009

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Flows consumed more of the kipuka north of the Kalapana access road, leaving a path of downed trees and sparse fires.
Being only a day old, the interior of the flow that went through the kipuka was still very hot.  This window into the flow interior was provided by a small tree burning through.  The hole extends about a yard and a half down.
Left. Flows consumed more of the kipuka north of the Kalapana access road, leaving a path of downed trees and sparse fires. Right.Being only a day old, the interior of the flow that went through the kipuka was still very hot. This window into the flow interior was provided by a small tree burning through. The hole extends about a yard and a half down.

29 October 2009

Activity at the Coast remained active

Surface flows remained active on the coastal plain today.  In the lower right of the photograph, smoke originates from vegetation burning as the active flows invade a large kipuka.  Just one hundred yards to the east (right in this photograph), the trailhead of the County lava viewing area is marked by a white structure on the Kalapana access road.  On the left side of the photograph, the Waikupanaha ocean entry marks the location where lava in the tube system enters the water.  Both the ocean entry and the breakouts on the coastal plain are fed by a tube system that can be seen marked by two lines of fume on the pali, in the upper right portion of the photograph.
Close-up view of the active breakout just west of the County lava viewing trail.  The trailhead, just a hundred yards east of the active flows, is marked by the white structure on the road.  The flows today were slowly advancing southeast into the vegetated kipuka, sparking scattered fires.
Left. Surface flows remained active on the coastal plain today. In the lower right of the photograph, smoke originates from vegetation burning as the active flows invade a large kipuka. Just one hundred yards to the east (right in this photograph), the trailhead of the County lava viewing area is marked by a white structure on the Kalapana access road. On the left side of the photograph, the Waikupanaha ocean entry marks the location where lava in the tube system enters the water. Both the ocean entry and the breakouts on the coastal plain are fed by a tube system that can be seen marked by two lines of fume on the pali, in the upper right portion of the photograph. Right. Close-up view of the active breakout just west of the County lava viewing trail. The trailhead, just a hundred yards east of the active flows, is marked by the white structure on the road. The flows today were slowly advancing southeast into the vegetated kipuka, sparking scattered fires.

25 October 2009

Reduced surface flow activity and consumed kipuka

Surface flow activity was reduced on Sunday, likely due to the ongoing deflation-inflation cycle, but sporadic breakouts—like this one—were still active near the Kalapana access road and lava viewing trailhead.
The flows advanced a few tens of yards over the past day on the Kalapana access road, and are now 100 yards west of the viewing area trailhead.  The County lava viewing trail, which is elevated several yards above the level of the flows, remains open.
Left. Surface flow activity was reduced on Sunday, likely due to the ongoing deflation-inflation cycle, but sporadic breakouts—like this one—were still active near the Kalapana access road and lava viewing trailhead. Right. The flows advanced a few tens of yards over the past day on the Kalapana access road, and are now 100 yards west of the viewing area trailhead. The County lava viewing trail, which is elevated several yards above the level of the flows, remains open.
Lava continued to consume the vegetated kipuka, just south of the access road.  Scattered fires and small methane explosions were common.
Lava continued to consume the vegetated kipuka, just south of the access road. Scattered fires and small methane explosions were common.

24 October 2009

Active lobe of lava covered more of the Kalapana access road

An active lobe of lava covered more of the Kalapana access road, about 200 yards west of the lava viewing trailhead.  The trail remains open to the public.
Breakouts continued around the area of the Kalapana access road, within view of the lava viewing trailhead.  The structures at the trailhead are in the upper right of the photograph.
Left. An active lobe of lava covered more of the Kalapana access road, about 200 yards west of the lava viewing trailhead. The trail remains open to the public.Right. Breakouts continued around the area of the Kalapana access road, within view of the lava viewing trailhead. The structures at the trailhead are in the upper right of the photograph.
Flows consumed more of the kipuka around the access road, leaving a broad area of scattered fires, smoldering vegetation and downed trees.
The flows sparked fires that extended a short distance out from the flow front, burning underbrush but leaving this stand of hala trees.  This area was covered by lava the next day.
Left. Flows consumed more of the kipuka around the access road, leaving a broad area of scattered fires, smoldering vegetation and downed trees. Right. The flows sparked fires that extended a short distance out from the flow front, burning underbrush but leaving this stand of hala trees. This area was covered by lava the next day.

23 October 2009

Lava flow crossed the former Kalapana access road

A lava flow crossed the former Kalapana access road around 1:45 am on October 23, 2009.  Although this flow was not moving by the afternoon, the road continued to burn.
A lava flow crossed the former Kalapana access road around 1:45 am on October 23, 2009. Although this flow was not moving by the afternoon, the road continued to burn.

22 October 2009

Aerial view of the summit and surface flows at the coast

Aerial view into the Halema`uma`u Overlook vent.  A single glowing hole on the floor of the vent was visible due to the steep angle and temporary break in fume.  The glowing hole is the faint orange dot a little below the center of the photograph.
Surface flows on the coastal plain are burning vegetation in the kipuka adjacent to the former Kalapana access road.  The eastern most active flow (the shiny area putting off smoke and fume just below the center of the photo), has not yet reached the old road.
Left. Aerial view into the Halema`uma`u Overlook vent. A single glowing hole on the floor of the vent was visible due to the steep angle and temporary break in fume. The glowing hole is the faint orange dot a little below the center of the photograph. Right. Surface flows on the coastal plain are burning vegetation in the kipuka adjacent to the former Kalapana access road. The eastern most active flow (the shiny area putting off smoke and fume just below the center of the photo), has not yet reached the old road.

October 22 TEB flow field shows growth

Photographs of the TEB flow field on October 16 and October 22, 2009.  The October 22 photo shows the growth of the flow field toward the east over the past week.
Photographs of the TEB flow field on October 16 and October 22, 2009. The October 22 photo shows the growth of the flow field toward the east over the past week.

21 October 2009

Awesome image!—a narrow finger invades a thickly vegetated kipuka

A persistent breakout on the pali has fed a narrow lobe of pahoehoe lava that has slowly advanced across the coastal plain over the past week.  This active lobe today was within 50 yards of the former location of the Kalapana access road, which is about 700 yards north of the coast.  This breakout was largely flowing over the existing flow field, so there was no significant flow field expansion.
Minor fingers of lava active on the edge of the existing flow field caused small areas of flow field expansion, amounting to no more than a few tens of yards.  Here, a narrow finger invades a thickly vegetated kipuka, cascading down a steep slope and ponding in a small depression.  Hissing and crackling sounds, and small methane bursts, were common.
Left. A persistent breakout on the pali has fed a narrow lobe of pahoehoe lava that has slowly advanced across the coastal plain over the past week. This active lobe today was within 50 yards of the former location of the Kalapana access road, which is about 700 yards north of the coast. This breakout was largely flowing over the existing flow field, so there was no significant flow field expansion. Right. Minor fingers of lava active on the edge of the existing flow field caused small areas of flow field expansion, amounting to no more than a few tens of yards. Here, a narrow finger invades a thickly vegetated kipuka, cascading down a steep slope and ponding in a small depression. Hissing and crackling sounds, and small methane bursts, were common.

16 October 2009

Plumes at Halema`uma`u Overlook and Pu`u `Ō `ō

View of the Halema`uma`u Overlook vent looking southwest.  Although the plume looks relatively thin, it is still too thick to see into the vent with the naked eye
Due to a northerly wind direction, a glimpse of the south wall of Pu`u `Ō `ō can be seen through the fume.  The very distinct plume in the bottom of the picture is coming from the east wall vent.
Left. View of the Halema`uma`u Overlook vent looking southwest. Although the plume looks relatively thin, it is still too thick to see into the vent with the naked eye. Right. Due to a northerly wind direction, a glimpse of the south wall of Pu`u `Ō `ō can be seen through the fume. The very distinct plume in the bottom of the picture is coming from the east wall vent.

Shots of TEB flow field and Waikupanaha lava delta

A wide shot of the TEB flow field and Waikupanaha lava delta.  Recent breakouts have made it to the coastal plain on the eastern margin of the flow (light gray colored flow in the middle of the photo).
The lava is entering the ocean in two places along the Waikupanaha lava delta.  Since the two entries are so close to each other, the plume can either look like one or two entries, from a distance.
Left. A wide shot of the TEB flow field and Waikupanaha lava delta. Recent breakouts have made it to the coastal plain on the eastern margin of the flow (light gray colored flow in the middle of the photo). Right. The lava is entering the ocean in two places along the Waikupanaha lava delta. Since the two entries are so close to each other, the plume can either look like one or two entries, from a distance.

8 October 2009

Lava continues to flow at the Waikupanaha ocean entry

Steep aerial view of the Waikupanaha ocean entry with lava entering the water along a broad front.
Southerly winds pushed much of the fume out of the Pu`u `Ō `ō crater, permitting some of the best views of the crater since July 2007. The Pu`u `Ō `ō webcam is a small, light-colored dot on the crater rim at the upper left corner of the photo. The view is toward the east.
Left. Steep aerial view of the Waikupanaha ocean entry with lava entering the water along a broad front. Right. Southerly winds pushed much of the fume out of the Pu`u `Ō `ō crater, permitting some of the best views of the crater since July 2007. The Pu`u `Ō `ō webcam is a small, light-colored dot on the crater rim at the upper left corner of the photo. The view is toward the east.
View from over Kīlauea's southwest rift zone looking east at the plume rising from Halema'uma'u.
View of the fuming collapse crater in Halema'uma'u. The Halema'uma'u overlook-not open to tourist visitation-is at the upper right corner of the photo.
Left. View from over Kīlauea's southwest rift zone looking east at the plume rising from Halema'uma'u. Right. View of the fuming collapse crater in Halema'uma'u. The Halema'uma'u overlook-not open to tourist visitation-is at the upper right corner of the photo.

3 October 2009

Quicktime movie showing the disappearance of the lava pond within Halema`uma`u

This Quicktime movie shows the disappearance of the lava pond deep within the Halema`uma`u vent cavity during the early morning hours of October 3.  The lava surface undergoes two filling and draining cycles, and then retreats to deeper levels in the conduit, completely out of view, around 2 am.
This Quicktime movie shows the disappearance of the lava pond deep within the Halema`uma`u vent cavity during the early morning hours of October 3. The lava surface undergoes two filling and draining cycles, and then retreats to deeper levels in the conduit, completely out of view, around 2 am.

2 October 2009

Quicktime movie showing cycles of filling and draining within Halema`uma`u

This Quicktime movie shows lava pond activity within the Halema`uma`u vent cavity captured with the low-light camera situated at the Halema`uma`u Overlook.  The entire night of Oct 1-2, 2009, is shown here in 26 seconds, so the speed of the video is increased considerably.  You can see many cycles of filling and draining, with each cycle lasting about two hours.  There is also alternating vigor at two distinct spattering sources (one on the right side of the image, and a second near the center of the image).  The process controlling filling and draining cycles is not fully understood, but is thought to be related to variations in gas content in the conduit.  Images from this camera can be viewed in real-time by clicking on the link for 'webcams' at the top of this page and choosing the Halema`uma`u Overlook camera.
This Quicktime movie shows lava pond activity within the Halema`uma`u vent cavity captured with the low-light camera situated at the Halema`uma`u Overlook. The entire night of Oct 1-2, 2009, is shown here in 26 seconds, so the speed of the video is increased considerably. You can see many cycles of filling and draining, with each cycle lasting about two hours. There is also alternating vigor at two distinct spattering sources (one on the right side of the image, and a second near the center of the image). The process controlling filling and draining cycles is not fully understood, but is thought to be related to variations in gas content in the conduit. Images from this camera can be viewed in real-time by clicking on the link for "webcams" at the top of this page and choosing the Halema`uma`u Overlook camera.

1 October 2009

Lava continues to flow at the Waikupanaha ocean entry

Lava continues to flow through a tube to the ocean, reaching the water at the Waikupanaha ocean entry.  This photo shows the Waikupanaha plume, emanating from three streams of lava entering the water at the front of the lava delta.
A closer view of the Waikupanaha delta, where each plume source represents a separate stream of lava entering the water.
Left. Lava continues to flow through a tube to the ocean, reaching the water at the Waikupanaha ocean entry. This photo shows the Waikupanaha plume, emanating from three streams of lava entering the water at the front of the lava delta. Right. A closer view of the Waikupanaha delta, where each plume source represents a separate stream of lava entering the water.
Breakouts restarted several days ago at the top of Royal Gardens subdivision, after a brief hiatus earlier this week.  This photo has captured a small finger of pāhoehoe flowing into an old skylight.  An associated Quicktime movie posted on this page shows the motion of the flow.
An HVO geologist uses a rock hammer to sample an active pāhoehoe toe for geochemical analysis.  The lava is immediately quenched in a bucket of water to freeze the sample in its pristine state.
Left. Breakouts restarted several days ago at the top of Royal Gardens subdivision, after a brief hiatus earlier this week. This photo has captured a small finger of pāhoehoe flowing into an old skylight. An associated Quicktime movie posted on this page shows the motion of the flow. Right. An HVO geologist uses a rock hammer to sample an active pāhoehoe toe for geochemical analysis. The lava is immediately quenched in a bucket of water to freeze the sample in its pristine state.

Quicktime movie showing fluid motion of pāhoehoe flow at Royal Gardens subdivision

This video shows the remarkable fluid motion of a finger of pāhoehoe flowing into an old skylight at the top of Royal Gardens subdivision.  The movement of the viscous lava resembles that of soft-serve ice cream.
This video shows the remarkable fluid motion of a finger of pāhoehoe flowing into an old skylight at the top of Royal Gardens subdivision. The movement of the viscous lava resembles that of soft-serve ice cream.

30 September 2009

Quicktime movie showing vigorous spattering deep within Halema`uma`u vent

This Quicktime movie shows vigorous spattering at the northeast margin of the lava pond that is deep within the Halema`uma`u vent cavity.  The lava surface, cut by incandescent cracks, is slowly migrating towards the southeast (down in this image).  The lava pond has been visible the last several nights in the Halema`uma`u Overlook webcam (see 'webcams' link above).
This Quicktime movie shows vigorous spattering at the northeast margin of the lava pond that is deep within the Halema`uma`u vent cavity. The lava surface, cut by incandescent cracks, is slowly migrating towards the southeast (down in this image). The lava pond has been visible the last several nights in the Halema`uma`u Overlook webcam (see 'webcams' link above).

Quicktime movie showing collapse of the unstable walls within Halema`uma`u vent

This Quicktime movie shows spattering on the northeast margin of a small lava pond deep within the Halema`uma`u vent cavity.  The video was shot in 'nightshot' mode, which provides improved views through the thick fume at night.  Each spatter burst represents a gas bubble, or bubbles, breaking at the surface.
This Quicktime movie shows two separate rockfalls impacting and disrupting the active lava pond in Halema`uma`u. Rockfalls here result from collapse of the unstable walls of the vent cavity, and are a common occurrence. The first rockfall impacts the lava surface vertically, while the second features small vertical impacts followed by a slide of material that forces the lava surface to slosh towards the north.

29 September 2009

Quicktime movie showing spattering deep within Halema`uma`u vent

This Quicktime movie shows spattering on the northeast margin of a small lava pond deep within the Halema`uma`u vent cavity.  The video was shot in 'nightshot' mode, which provides improved views through the thick fume at night.  Each spatter burst represents a gas bubble, or bubbles, breaking at the surface.
This Quicktime movie shows spattering on the northeast margin of a small lava pond deep within the Halema`uma`u vent cavity. The video was shot in "nightshot" mode, which provides improved views through the thick fume at night. Each spatter burst represents a gas bubble, or bubbles, breaking at the surface.

26 September 2009

Quicktime movie showing a brown plume event within the Halema`uma`u vent cavity

This Quicktime movie shows a brown plume event resulting from a collapse within the Halema`uma`u vent cavity.  Later views into the vent cavity with a thermal camera revealed that the floor of the vent cavity—at about 200 yards below the vent rim—had fallen away, deepening the vent cavity even further.
This Quicktime movie shows a brown plume event resulting from a collapse within the Halema`uma`u vent cavity. Later views into the vent cavity with a thermal camera revealed that the floor of the vent cavity—at about 200 yards below the vent rim—had fallen away, deepening the vent cavity even further.

24 September 2009

Spectacular views of Kīlauea's Summit and East Rift Zone

This wide-angle shot shows the Halema`uma`u plume rising from the vent and drifting towards the southwest.  Weak to moderate glow has been observed at the vent over the last week.
On Kīlauea's east rift zone, lava continues to flow through a tube to the ocean.  Sporadic breakouts from the tube have fed surface flows, like this one, over the past few weeks.  A common source of recent breakouts has been a spot at the top of Royal Gardens subdivision.  This image shows a small finger of pāhoehoe on the east margin of this breakout.
Left. This wide-angle shot shows the Halema`uma`u plume rising from the vent and drifting towards the southwest. Weak to moderate glow has been observed at the vent over the last week. Right. On Kīlauea's east rift zone, lava continues to flow through a tube to the ocean. Sporadic breakouts from the tube have fed surface flows, like this one, over the past few weeks. A common source of recent breakouts has been a spot at the top of Royal Gardens subdivision. This image shows a small finger of pāhoehoe on the east margin of this breakout.

17 September 2009

Quicktime movie showing an explosion from the vent in Halema`uma`u

An explosion at 3:13am from the vent in Halema`uma`u ejected hot particles about a hundred yards above the vent rim, and several tens of yards above the Halema`uma`u Overlook.  This Quicktime movie (shown at x2 speed) shows the event captured by a low-light camera in the HVO observation tower.
An explosion at 3:13am from the vent in Halema`uma`u ejected hot particles about a hundred yards above the vent rim, and several tens of yards above the Halema`uma`u Overlook. This Quicktime movie (shown at x2 speed) shows the event captured by a low-light camera in the HVO observation tower.
This image shows a frame captured during the 3:13am explosion by the low-light webcam situated at the Halema`uma`u Overlook.  The camera here looks directly downwards into the vent.  Hot particles can be seen deep in the cavity (the small white dots in the center of the image), as well as zooming in front of the camera (particle traces in the upper right portion of the image).  The camera survived the event unscathed.
This image shows a frame captured during the 3:13am explosion by the low-light webcam situated at the Halema`uma`u Overlook. The camera here looks directly downwards into the vent. Hot particles can be seen deep in the cavity (the small white dots in the center of the image), as well as zooming in front of the camera (particle traces in the upper right portion of the image). The camera survived the event unscathed.

Tephra sample from 3:13am explosion and view from TEB

An example of tephra ejected during the 3:13am explosion and deposited around the Halema`uma`u Overlook.  The largest particle collected was almost five inches in size, but most particles were less than an inch in size.  The texture indicates these particles were ejected from a fluid lava column, and solidified in the air before impacting the ground.
Lava continues to erupt from the TEB vent on Kīlauea's east rift zone.  The vent is on the skyline in the upper right, and points of fume mark the current lava tube.  Lava empties from the tube into the sea at the Waikupanaha ocean entry, shown by the plume in the upper left portion of the photo.  In the foreground are residences in Kalapana.
Left. An example of tephra ejected during the 3:13am explosion and deposited around the Halema`uma`u Overlook. The largest particle collected was almost five inches in size, but most particles were less than an inch in size. The texture indicates these particles were ejected from a fluid lava column, and solidified in the air before impacting the ground. Right. Lava continues to erupt from the TEB vent on Kīlauea's east rift zone. The vent is on the skyline in the upper right, and points of fume mark the current lava tube. Lava empties from the tube into the sea at the Waikupanaha ocean entry, shown by the plume in the upper left portion of the photo. In the foreground are residences in Kalapana.

Thermal movie showing a view inside the Halema`uma`u vent cavity

This Quicktime movie shows a view into the Halema`uma`u vent cavity with a thermal camera.  To the naked eye, the vent is entirely obscured by thick fume, but the thermal camera can 'see' through much of this and provide views of the cavity interior.  These views show four puffing holes on the floor of the cavity.  North is to the right.  The 3:13am explosion originated from one of the southerly holes.
This Quicktime movie shows a view into the Halema`uma`u vent cavity with a thermal camera. To the naked eye, the vent is entirely obscured by thick fume, but the thermal camera can 'see' through much of this and provide views of the cavity interior. These views show four puffing holes on the floor of the cavity. North is to the right. The 3:13am explosion originated from one of the southerly holes.

13 September 2009

Quicktime movie showing two degassing holes on the floor of Halema`uma`u

This Quicktime movie shows two degassing holes on the floor of the Halema`uma`u cavity. Lava is just below the rim of the two holes, creating frequent spattering which falls around their rims. Within the larger of the two (on the right), lava can be seen vigorously sloshing. For scale, these openings are about 10 yards wide. The first half of the movie is shown in normal mode, with the second half shown in 'nightshot' mode.
This Quicktime movie shows two degassing holes on the floor of the Halema`uma`u cavity. Lava is just below the rim of the two holes, creating frequent spattering which falls around their rims. Within the larger of the two (on the right), lava can be seen vigorously sloshing. For scale, these openings are about 10 yards wide. The first half of the movie is shown in normal mode, with the second half shown in 'nightshot' mode.

11 September 2009

Stunning views of Kīlauea's Summit and East Rift Zone vents

View of Halema`uma`u crater from the air, looking west.  Kīlauea's summit vent, which has been active since March 2008, is situated at the south end of the crater.  Today the vent was emitting a robust white plume, which drifted towards the southwest.
Kīlauea's east rift zone vent, named the Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) vent due to its start on November 21, 2007, is also hosting ongoing activity.  Lava rises from depth at this location, but is normally out of view due to the low shield built over the vent.  Rare views deep into the pit crater, visible here, have shown lava flowing swiftly southwards into the tube system.
Left. View of Halema`uma`u crater from the air, looking west. Kīlauea's summit vent, which has been active since March 2008, is situated at the south end of the crater. Today the vent was emitting a robust white plume, which drifted towards the southwest. Right. Kīlauea's east rift zone vent, named the Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) vent due to its start on November 21, 2007, is also hosting ongoing activity. Lava rises from depth at this location, but is normally out of view due to the low shield built over the vent. Rare views deep into the pit crater, visible here, have shown lava flowing swiftly southwards into the tube system.

9 September 2009

Quicktime movie showing Halema`uma`u changing of the typical white to dusty brown plume

This Quicktime movie shows a recent instance of the Halema`uma`u changing from its typical white to a dusty brown.  The brown plume events are normally associated with collapses of the cavity walls.
This Quicktime movie shows a recent instance of the Halema`uma`u changing from its typical white to a dusty brown. The brown plume events are normally associated with collapses of the cavity walls.

3 September 2009

Actual speed Quicktime movie showing TEB lava stream through a skylight

This Quicktime movie shows a view into the Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) lava tube, thanks to a skylight (a hole in the roof of the tube).  The lava stream, which is about two yards below the skylight, is moving swiftly downhill (the video is shown at actual speed), towards the Waikupanaha ocean entry.
This Quicktime movie shows a view into the Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) lava tube, thanks to a skylight (a hole in the roof of the tube). The lava stream, which is about two yards below the skylight, is moving swiftly downhill (the video is shown at actual speed), towards the Waikupanaha ocean entry.

3 September 2009

Surface lava flows near Royal Gardens subdivison and a skylight

After several weeks without surface lava on the flow field, a new breakout started yesterday (Wednesday, Sept 2, 2009) near the top of the pali above the Royal Gardens subdivision (the shiny patch of lava just above the center of the photo). The flow was picturesque, but not large, and had not traveled very far despite having been active for nearly a day.
A skylight on the lava tube above the top of the pali allowed views of the lava stream flowing down-slope. Velocity measurements showed the lava stream to be traveling at 27.5 kph (17 mph).
Left. After several weeks without surface lava on the flow field, a new breakout started yesterday (Wednesday, Sept 2, 2009) near the top of the pali above the Royal Gardens subdivision (the shiny patch of lava just above the center of the photo). The flow was picturesque, but not large, and had not traveled very far despite having been active for nearly a day. Right. A skylight on the lava tube above the top of the pali allowed views of the lava stream flowing down-slope. Velocity measurements showed the lava stream to be traveling at 27.5 kph (17 mph).

Infilled delta at Waikupanaha with narrow streams of lava entering the ocean

A small delta collapse at Waikupanaha last Friday (August 28, 2009) had largely been filled in by today. The infilled delta is the lighter colored lava at the center of the photo and is bounded on its left by a small scarp. Several narrow streams of lava were pouring into the ocean along the front of the reconstructed part of the delta creating a broad plume.
A small delta collapse at Waikupanaha last Friday (August 28, 2009) had largely been filled in by today. The infilled delta is the lighter colored lava at the center of the photo and is bounded on its left by a small scarp. Several narrow streams of lava were pouring into the ocean along the front of the reconstructed part of the delta creating a broad plume.

27 August 2009

Active terrace of the Waikupanaha delta and a bright skylight

The lower, active terrace of the Waikupanaha delta, seen here, has grown seaward over the last several days, becoming about as large it has ever been. Last year, growth like this often ended with delta collapses that blasted rocks up to a few hundred meters (yards) inland. Though conditions may have changed, the situation at the current delta may especially hazardous.
Holes in the roof of a lava tube, like this one here, are called skylights. The deep red incandescence is the surface of the lava stream as it flows toward the ocean at Waikupanaha. The tube roof surrounding this skylight, which is about a meter (yard) across, is very thin, and aerial views show a large cavity beneath the surface in all directions. Skylights like this one should absolutely be avoided.
Left. The lower, active terrace of the Waikupanaha delta, seen here, has grown seaward over the last several days, becoming about as large it has ever been. Last year, growth like this often ended with delta collapses that blasted rocks up to a few hundred meters (yards) inland. Though conditions may have changed, the situation at the current delta may especially hazardous. Right. Holes in the roof of a lava tube, like this one here, are called skylights. The deep red incandescence is the surface of the lava stream as it flows toward the ocean at Waikupanaha. The tube roof surrounding this skylight, which is about a meter (yard) across, is very thin, and aerial views show a large cavity beneath the surface in all directions. Skylights like this one should absolutely be avoided.

18 August 2009

View of Pu`u `Ō `ō, TEB and Waikupanaha ocean entry

View looking southeast at Pu`u `Ō `ō cone in the foreground, the TEB vent and upper tube system to the left, and the Waikupanaha ocean entry above Pu`u `Ō `ō in the background.
View looking south at the TEB tube and recent flows at the top of the pali. The small collapse pits delineate the trace of the tube in this area. The lighter-colored lava just beyond the pits is part of the series of surface flows that have usually been active on the pali since the beginning of June. None of these flows were active today, however.
Left. View looking southeast at Pu`u `Ō `ō cone in the foreground, the TEB vent and upper tube system to the left, and the Waikupanaha ocean entry above Pu`u `Ō `ō in the background. Right. View looking south at the TEB tube and recent flows at the top of the pali. The small collapse pits delineate the trace of the tube in this area. The lighter-colored lava just beyond the pits is part of the series of surface flows that have usually been active on the pali since the beginning of June. None of these flows were active today, however.
One of the more recent surface flows active on the pali burned a new path through the Royal Gardens subdivision along the western edge of the TEB flow field. These flows traveled only a short distance out on to the coastal plain before stagnating in recent days.
Though reduced in size, the Waikupanaha ocean entry was active today with a couple of small lava streams entering the ocean. The tube system carrying lava to the ocean can be traced back across the coastal plain and up the pali as a series of widely spaced fume sources. The recent flows on the pali show up much lighter in color than the older lava beneath. Pu`u `Ō `ō is visible on the skyline at the top center of the photo.
Left. One of the more recent surface flows active on the pali burned a new path through the Royal Gardens subdivision along the western edge of the TEB flow field. These flows traveled only a short distance out on to the coastal plain before stagnating in recent days. Right. Though reduced in size, the Waikupanaha ocean entry was active today with a couple of small lava streams entering the ocean. The tube system carrying lava to the ocean can be traced back across the coastal plain and up the pali as a series of widely spaced fume sources. The recent flows on the pali show up much lighter in color than the older lava beneath. Pu`u `Ō `ō is visible on the skyline at the top center of the photo.

10 August 2009

Thermal video showing the new gas vent in Halema`uma`u cavity

This Quicktime movie shows the new gas vent which opened yesterday on the floor of the cavity in Halema`uma`u.  Following this reawakening, very faint glow was observed last night for the first time since July 4.
This Quicktime movie shows the new gas vent which opened yesterday on the floor of the cavity in Halema`uma`u. Following this reawakening, very faint glow was observed last night for the first time since July 4.

7 August 2009

Breakouts in Royal Gardens subdivision and a small skylight over the lava tube

Breakouts in Royal Gardens subdivision continued this week on both the eastern and western margins of the TEB flow field.  The western breakout, shown here, has cut two swaths through the forest and reached the base of pali.  The flow, which was active this morning, crosses Plumeria Street about 400 yards east of the last occupied structure (red roof in upper left of image) in the subdivision.
A small skylight over the lava tube on the coastal plain.
Left. Breakouts in Royal Gardens subdivision continued this week on both the eastern and western margins of the TEB flow field. The western breakout, shown here, has cut two swaths through the forest and reached the base of pali. The flow, which was active this morning, crosses Plumeria Street about 400 yards east of the last occupied structure (red roof in upper left of image) in the subdivision. Right. A small skylight over the lava tube on the coastal plain.

Cool thermal/visible image of active flows in Royal Gardens

This image shows the distribution of active flows in Royal Gardens.  In the thermal image (top), active flows are shown as yellow.  Two major breakout areas are easily visible in the thermal image.  The western breakout has cut through vegetation to reach the base of the pali, with the flow front marked by letter A.  The eastern breakout has expanded the eastern margin of the flow field (point C), with the flow front at the base of the pali (point B).  Pu`u `Ō `ō can be seen fuming in the distance, in the upper left of the photograph.
This image shows the distribution of active flows in Royal Gardens. In the thermal image (top), active flows are shown as yellow. Two major breakout areas are easily visible in the thermal image. The western breakout has cut through vegetation to reach the base of the pali, with the flow front marked by letter A. The eastern breakout has expanded the eastern margin of the flow field (point C), with the flow front at the base of the pali (point B). Pu`u `Ō `ō can be seen fuming in the distance, in the upper left of the photograph.

31 July 2009

Cool aerial views of Halema`uma`u and Pu`u `Ō `ō crater

View looking southeast toward Kīlauea's broad summit shield from above the northeast rift of Mauna Loa. The wimpy plume from the vent in Halema'uma'u crater is just above center frame.
Zoomed-in view of Kīlauea's summit and the plume from the vent in Halema'uma'u.
Left. View looking southeast toward Kīlauea's broad summit shield from above the northeast rift of Mauna Loa. The wimpy plume from the vent in Halema'uma'u crater is just above center frame. Right. Zoomed-in view of Kīlauea's summit and the plume from the vent in Halema'uma'u.
Aerial view looking east toward across Kīlauea's summit caldera toward the plume from Halema'uma'u. The summit and enormous southwest flank of Mauna Loa is in the background.
Looking down at the vent in Halema'uma'u. The partly-destroyed overlook fence is to the right and about 85 m (280 ft) above the vent opening in the crater floor. The vent opening is 132 m (430 ft) across measured from the lower left side to the upper right side of the photo. The opening is 125 m (410 ft) across measured from lower right to upper left. This view shows how crater floor on the north (upper left) side of the opening remains considerably overhung.
Left. Aerial view looking east toward across Kīlauea's summit caldera toward the plume from Halema'uma'u. The summit and enormous southwest flank of Mauna Loa is in the background. Right. Looking down at the vent in Halema'uma'u. The partly-destroyed overlook fence is to the right and about 85 m (280 ft) above the vent opening in the crater floor. The vent opening is 132 m (430 ft) across measured from the lower left side to the upper right side of the photo. The opening is 125 m (410 ft) across measured from lower right to upper left. This view shows how crater floor on the north (upper left) side of the opening remains considerably overhung.
View looking south into Pu`u `Ō `ō crater. Heavy fume prevents decent views into the crater, so this is about as good as it gets.
View of the heavily fuming TEB vent on Kīlauea's east rift zone. Lava erupts beneath this vent and enter the lava tube system—the string of fume sources leading off into the distance—before being visible at the surface. The tube system carries the lava to the ocean, about 11.5 km (7 miles) away, where it forms the Waikupanaha ocean entry.
Left. View looking south into Pu`u `Ō `ō crater. Heavy fume prevents decent views into the crater, so this is about as good as it gets.Right. View of the heavily fuming TEB vent on Kīlauea's east rift zone. Lava erupts beneath this vent and enter the lava tube system—the string of fume sources leading off into the distance—before being visible at the surface. The tube system carries the lava to the ocean, about 11.5 km (7 miles) away, where it forms the Waikupanaha ocean entry.
Lava breakouts have been active over the past week on the west side of the TEB flow field in the upper part of Royal Gardens. These are the lightest-colored flows in the upper right quadrant of the photo. A deflation/inflation cycle (DI event) at Kīlauea's summit overnight resulted in a slow-down in activity on the flow field, so there was only minor surface activity today. The flows are coming down to the east of the last occasionally-occupied house in the subdivision (the red-roofed structure in the photo).
Despite the slow-down in activity this morning, lava continues to enter the ocean at Waikupanaha where a small, unstable delta clings to the sea cliff. Fume and white staining at least partly traces the tube system upslope to the Royal Gardens subdivision on the slope in the upper left-hand side of the photo. Fume from the TEB vent is on the skyline just above the pali, and Pu`u `Ō `ō is the small cone on the skyline on the left edge of the photo.
Left. Lava breakouts have been active over the past week on the west side of the TEB flow field in the upper part of Royal Gardens. These are the lightest-colored flows in the upper right quadrant of the photo. A deflation/inflation cycle (DI event) at Kīlauea's summit overnight resulted in a slow-down in activity on the flow field, so there was only minor surface activity today. The flows are coming down to the east of the last occasionally-occupied house in the subdivision (the red-roofed structure in the photo).Right. Despite the slow-down in activity this morning, lava continues to enter the ocean at Waikupanaha where a small, unstable delta clings to the sea cliff. Fume and white staining at least partly traces the tube system upslope to the Royal Gardens subdivision on the slope in the upper left-hand side of the photo. Fume from the TEB vent is on the skyline just above the pali, and Pu`u `Ō `ō is the small cone on the skyline on the left edge of the photo.

29 July 2009

Large plume at Waikupanaha ocean entry and sampling from a large skylight

Wide shot of the TEB flow field on the pali.  Breakouts continue on the east and west flow field margins, along with minor activity in the interior.
The Waikupanaha ocean entry continues to produce a large plume, while the Kupapa`u entry (not pictured) remains inactive following last week's DI event on July 19.
Left. Wide shot of the TEB flow field on the pali. Breakouts continue on the east and west flow field margins, along with minor activity in the interior. Right. The Waikupanaha ocean entry continues to produce a large plume, while the Kupapa`u entry (not pictured) remains inactive following last week's DI event on July 19.
Large skylight just below the split in the main TEB lava tube.  The Waikupanaha ocean entry plume is in the background.
Geologist using the head of a sledge hammer attached to a cable to sample from the skylight.
Left. Large skylight just below the split in the main TEB lava tube. The Waikupanaha ocean entry plume is in the background. Right. Geologist using the head of a sledge hammer attached to a cable to sample from the skylight.

23 July 2009

Active surface flows in Royal Gardens subdivision and cool view of the channel forming a tube

Scattered surface flows continued to be active on the pali in Royal Gardens subdivision.  This flow was fed by a small, steep channel in the upper left of the photograph.  Portions of the flow were invading adjacent forest, sparking small fires.
A narrow channel directs lava down the pali into a small breakout.
Left. Scattered surface flows continued to be active on the pali in Royal Gardens subdivision. This flow was fed by a small, steep channel in the upper left of the photograph. Portions of the flow were invading adjacent forest, sparking small fires.Right. A narrow channel directs lava down the pali into a small breakout.
A close-up view of the channel, which is beginning to crust over to form a tube.
Another portion of the breakout, where lava cascades over a small break in slope.
Left. A close-up view of the channel, which is beginning to crust over to form a tube. Right. Another portion of the breakout, where lava cascades over a small break in slope.

16 July 2009

Small breakout near top of Royal Gardens subdivision and Waikupanaha ocean entry

A small breakout near the top of the Royal Gardens subdivision was burning trees near a remnant of Ali'i Avenue this morning. This breakout was coming from the western branch of the lava tube system which is the branch that supplies the Kupapa'u ocean entry. The lighter-colored lava from a breakout that approached Ali'i Avenue a few weeks ago is visible just upslope from the active flow.
Most of the active flows in recent weeks have been concentrated on the mid to lower pali in, and to the east of, Royal Gardens. In the past week, some of this activity followed the eastern margin of the TEB flow field, destroying yet another house in the subdivision. Compare this photo with similarly oriented photos from July 1 and June 26. The destroyed house is just a hair up and to the left of the image center.
Left. A small breakout near the top of the Royal Gardens subdivision was burning trees near a remnant of Ali'i Avenue this morning. This breakout was coming from the western branch of the lava tube system which is the branch that supplies the Kupapa'u ocean entry. The lighter-colored lava from a breakout that approached Ali'i Avenue a few weeks ago is visible just upslope from the active flow.Right. Most of the active flows in recent weeks have been concentrated on the mid to lower pali in, and to the east of, Royal Gardens. In the past week, some of this activity followed the eastern margin of the TEB flow field, destroying yet another house in the subdivision. Compare this photo with similarly oriented photos from July 1 and June 26. The destroyed house is just a hair up and to the left of the image center.
This up-slope view shows the new flows that expanded the eastern margin of the TEB flow field. The destroyed house is just below and to the right image center.
In this close-up of the burned structure, notice how the metal roofing is on top of the lava. The lava had apparently flowed through this part of the building, which was probably a garage, before the framing completely burned and the roof collapsed.
Left. This up-slope view shows the new flows that expanded the eastern margin of the TEB flow field. The destroyed house is just below and to the right image center.Right. In this close-up of the burned structure, notice how the metal roofing is on top of the lava. The lava had apparently flowed through this part of the building, which was probably a garage, before the framing completely burned and the roof collapsed.
Despite an abundance of surface activity on the pali, there is still enough flow to supply lava to two ocean entries—Waikupanaha in the foreground and Kupapa'u in the distance. The lower terrace of the Waikupanaha delta seaward of the main sea cliff scarp is about 225 m (245 yards) long and extends 75 m (80 yards) out into the water. The main scarp, as well as the smaller scarp on the lower terrace, were created by delta collapses over the past several months.
A beautiful breakout was active on the Waikupanaha delta when we flew over this morning. The lava was pouring into the ocean and creating small littoral explosions that tossed fragmented lava into the air.
Left. Despite an abundance of surface activity on the pali, there is still enough flow to supply lava to two ocean entries—Waikupanaha in the foreground and Kupapa'u in the distance. The lower terrace of the Waikupanaha delta seaward of the main sea cliff scarp is about 225 m (245 yards) long and extends 75 m (80 yards) out into the water. The main scarp, as well as the smaller scarp on the lower terrace, were created by delta collapses over the past several months.Right. A beautiful breakout was active on the Waikupanaha delta when we flew over this morning. The lava was pouring into the ocean and creating small littoral explosions that tossed fragmented lava into the air.

10 July 2009

TEB flow field in the upper part of Royal Gardens subdivision

View of the TEB flow field in the upper part of the Royal Gardens subdivision. The only active lava flows seen this morning, visible at the center of the photo, were burning trees along the east side of the TEB flow field. The TEB tube and vent are the fume sources in the background.
Ground view of lava flows slowly consuming a small forested kipuka.
Left. View of the TEB flow field in the upper part of the Royal Gardens subdivision. The only active lava flows seen this morning, visible at the center of the photo, were burning trees along the east side of the TEB flow field. The TEB tube and vent are the fume sources in the background. Right. Ground view of lava flows slowly consuming a small forested kipuka.

4 July 2009

Happy Fourth of July!

Quicktime movie of Halema`uma`u showing the lava surface deep within the cavity

This Quicktime movie shows the lava surface deep within the Halema`uma`u cavity.  The lava surface is relatively sluggish, with little movement and only one spattering source.
This Quicktime movie shows the lava surface deep within the Halema`uma`u cavity. The lava surface is relatively sluggish, with little movement and only one spattering source.
View of the lava surface within the Halema`uma`u cavity showing a crusted lava surface with spattering from a single source along the northeast margin.
A long exposure taken a little later reveals more of the lava surface.
Left. View of the lava surface within the Halema`uma`u cavity showing a crusted lava surface with spattering from a single source along the northeast margin. Right. A long exposure taken a little later reveals more of the lava surface.

3 July 2009

Quicktime movie of Halema`uma`u showing spattering and sloshing at the ponded lava surface

This Quicktime movie shows a source of minor spattering at the margin of the ponded lava surface within the Halema`uma`u cavity.  Weak sloshing of the lava surface can be seen around the spattering source.
This Quicktime movie shows a source of minor spattering at the margin of the ponded lava surface within the Halema`uma`u cavity. Weak sloshing of the lava surface can be seen around the spattering source.

1 July 2009

East rift zone eruption site from vent to ocean entry

View of the east rift zone eruption site from vent to ocean entry. The TEB vent, where the lava erupts and enters the lava tube system, is the large fume source in foreground. The prominent plumes in the background are the ocean entries, with the larger Waikupanaha entry to the left of the smaller Kupapa`u entry. The smaller fume sources between the vent and the ocean entries define the trace of the lava tube system carrying lava across the upper flow field.
For the last several weeks, lava flows have been advancing along the eastern side of the active flow field-that part of the flow field created since July 21, 2007, when the current vent first erupted. These flows, seen here as the silvery flows in the center of the photo, remain active near the base of the pali on the eastern edge of the Royal Gardens subdivision. The unoccupied house seen in the photo remains safe for now.
Left. View of the east rift zone eruption site from vent to ocean entry. The TEB vent, where the lava erupts and enters the lava tube system, is the large fume source in foreground. The prominent plumes in the background are the ocean entries, with the larger Waikupanaha entry to the left of the smaller Kupapa`u entry. The smaller fume sources between the vent and the ocean entries define the trace of the lava tube system carrying lava across the upper flow field. Right. For the last several weeks, lava flows have been advancing along the eastern side of the active flow field-that part of the flow field created since July 21, 2007, when the current vent first erupted. These flows, seen here as the silvery flows in the center of the photo, remain active near the base of the pali on the eastern edge of the Royal Gardens subdivision. The unoccupied house seen in the photo remains safe for now.

Kīlauea's summit in perspective to smaller view of Halema`uma`u crater

Only minor activity, such as that shown here, was active on Thursday morning (July 1), but Civil Defense officials reported that the amount of activity had increased substantially by nightfall.
The active vent at Kīlauea's summit looks relatively small from this perspective, occupying only small portion of the southeast side of Halema`uma`u crater.
Left. Only minor activity, such as that shown here, was active on Thursday morning (July 1), but Civil Defense officials reported that the amount of activity had increased substantially by nightfall. Right. The active vent at Kīlauea's summit looks relatively small from this perspective, occupying only small portion of the southeast side of Halema`uma`u crater.
The visitor overlook-the brown fence at the top of the cliff above the vent opening-offers a sense of scale to the actual size of the summit vent.
A wispy plume from the summit vent, a consequence of the collapses that occurred on Tuesday, June 30, allowed aerial views into the vent. The Halema`uma`u crater wall is on the left side of the photo with the crater floor to the right. A talus slope is visible extending down from the base of the cliff on the left (southeast) side of the vent to a deeper opening on the right (northwest) side of the vent. Rubble is barely visible within this deeper opening where the lava surface had been visible prior to the collapses.
Left. The visitor overlook-the brown fence at the top of the cliff above the vent opening-offers a sense of scale to the actual size of the summit vent. Right. A wispy plume from the summit vent, a consequence of the collapses that occurred on Tuesday, June 30, allowed aerial views into the vent. The Halema`uma`u crater wall is on the left side of the photo with the crater floor to the right. A talus slope is visible extending down from the base of the cliff on the left (southeast) side of the vent to a deeper opening on the right (northwest) side of the vent. Rubble is barely visible within this deeper opening where the lava surface had been visible prior to the collapses.

Before and after collapses of Halema`uma`u crater

A comparison of photos from before and after the collapses, taken by a time-lapse camera positioned on the NE rim of Halema`uma`u Crater, show considerable expansion of the vent opening. The black line in this image shows the shape of the vent rim a few days before the collapses. The vent is now 123 meters (404 feet) wide from this perspective, having increased by 23 meters (75 feet).
A comparison of photos from before and after the collapses, taken by a time-lapse camera in the HVO observation tower, also show considerable expansion of the vent opening. Again, the black line in this image shows the shape of the vent rim a few days before the collapses. The vent is now 132 meters (430 feet) wide from this view, representing an increase of 9 meters (30 feet).
Left. A comparison of photos from before and after the collapses, taken by a time-lapse camera positioned on the NE rim of Halema`uma`u Crater, show considerable expansion of the vent opening. The black line in this image shows the shape of the vent rim a few days before the collapses. The vent is now 123 meters (404 feet) wide from this perspective, having increased by 23 meters (75 feet). Right. A comparison of photos from before and after the collapses, taken by a time-lapse camera in the HVO observation tower, also show considerable expansion of the vent opening. Again, the black line in this image shows the shape of the vent rim a few days before the collapses. The vent is now 132 meters (430 feet) wide from this view, representing an increase of 9 meters (30 feet).

30 June 2009

Widening of Halema`uma`u vent from a series of collapses

On Tuesday afternoon, June 30, a series of collapses within the vent in Halema`uma`u  led to considerable widening of the vent and choked the vent with rubble. This photo is of the ash cloud from the initial collapse at 1:39 pm.
A time-lapse camera about 300 meters (yards) northeast of the vent captured this ash cloud, from a collapse at 2:20 pm, just at it emerged from the vent.
Left. On Tuesday afternoon, June 30, a series of collapses within the vent in Halema`uma`u led to considerable widening of the vent and choked the vent with rubble. This photo is of the ash cloud from the initial collapse at 1:39 pm. Right. A time-lapse camera about 300 meters (yards) northeast of the vent captured this ash cloud, from a collapse at 2:20 pm, just at it emerged from the vent.

'Nightshot' mode Quicktime movie of lava surface within the cavity of Halema`uma`u

This Quicktime movie shows the lava surface within the cavity at Halema`uma`u.  Keeping an eye on the lower left portion of the screen, one can see a large rock impacting the lava surface.  This impact appears to trigger degassing and overturning that migrates across a large portion of the lava surface.
This Quicktime movie shows the lava surface within the cavity at Halema`uma`u. Keeping an eye on the lower left portion of the screen, one can see a large rock impacting the lava surface. This impact appears to trigger degassing and overturning that migrates across a large portion of the lava surface.

29 June 2009

Awesome early morning view of glow in Halema`uma`u crater

Early morning view of glow from the vent in Halema`uma`u crater.
Closer view of glow from the vent in Halema`uma`u crater.
Left. Early morning view of glow from the vent in Halema`uma`u crater. Right. Closer view of glow from the vent in Halema`uma`u crater.

Breakouts in the Royal Gardens subdivision

Over the past several days, breakouts in the Royal Gardens subdivision have continued to expand the east margin of the flow field.  The flows are slowly covering what is left of several small kipuka.
Another view of the active flows as they continue toward the coastal plain.  The shiny flow through the center of the kipuka is no longer active, but the three shiny lobes to the right continue to expand the margin.
Left. Over the past several days, breakouts in the Royal Gardens subdivision have continued to expand the east margin of the flow field. The flows are slowly covering what is left of several small kipuka. Right. Another view of the active flows as they continue toward the coastal plain. The shiny flow through the center of the kipuka is no longer active, but the three shiny lobes to the right continue to expand the margin.

26 June 2009

Silvery patches dot the flow field

Dozens of small breakouts, seen here as the silvery patches, dot the flow field near the top of the Royal Gardens subdivision. Tuberose Street and Pakalana Street, which would cross the photo from top to bottom, are buried somewhere beneath these flows.
Active flows narrowly missed this abandoned house just off of Queen Avenue between Plumeria Street and Paradise Street.
Left. Dozens of small breakouts, seen here as the silvery patches, dot the flow field near the top of the Royal Gardens subdivision. Tuberose Street and Pakalana Street, which would cross the photo from top to bottom, are buried somewhere beneath these flows. Right. Active flows narrowly missed this abandoned house just off of Queen Avenue between Plumeria Street and Paradise Street.
View looking up at the TEB flow field where it crossed through the center of the Royal Gardens subdivision on Pūlama pali.
This abandoned house, just off of Paradise Street between Royal Avenue and King Avenue, was burned by lava-sparked fires months ago but buried by new flows in the past few weeks. All that remains are the water tanks, completely surrounded by lava.
Left. View looking up at the TEB flow field where it crossed through the center of the Royal Gardens subdivision on Pūlama pali. Right. This abandoned house, just off of Paradise Street between Royal Avenue and King Avenue, was burned by lava-sparked fires months ago but buried by new flows in the past few weeks. All that remains are the water tanks, completely surrounded by lava.
Fragments of pāhoehoe lava, tossed by helicopter rotor wash, get blown into this skylight near the top of Royal Gardens subdivision.
Lava continues to pour into the ocean at the Waikupanaha and Kupapa'u ocean entries.
Left. Fragments of pāhoehoe lava, tossed by helicopter rotor wash, get blown into this skylight near the top of Royal Gardens subdivision. Right. Lava continues to pour into the ocean at the Waikupanaha and Kupapa'u ocean entries.
Lava samples, for chemical analyses, are collected nearly each week using little more than a rock hammer and a bucket of water.
The molten lava, when collected, is about 1150 <sup>o</sup>C (2100 <sup>o</sup>F) and  instantly boils air-temperature water.
Left. Lava samples, for chemical analyses, are collected nearly each week using little more than a rock hammer and a bucket of water. Right. The molten lava, when collected, is about 1150 oC (2100 oF) and instantly boils air-temperature water.

25 June 2009

'Nightshot' mode Quicktime movie of Halema`uma`u crusted lava surface and occasional spatter

This Quicktime movie shows activity of the lava surface deep within the Halema`uma`u cavity.  The crusted lava surface is moving slowly from northeast to southwest, with occasional bursts of spatter from the margins and cracks.  The first half of the movie is shown at actual speed, with the second half shown at x10 speed to convey the sense of movement and illustrate the oscillations of the lava surface.
This Quicktime movie shows activity of the lava surface deep within the Halema`uma`u cavity. The crusted lava surface is moving slowly from northeast to southwest, with occasional bursts of spatter from the margins and cracks. The first half of the movie is shown at actual speed, with the second half shown at x10 speed to convey the sense of movement and illustrate the oscillations of the lava surface.

23 June 2009

Tephra collectors collect typical daily sample and depict a cute smiley face

A typical daily sample from one of the tephra collectors near the Halema`uma`u Overlook vent.  The samples collected are often small in amount, and dominantly ash sized (< 2 mm, or < 0.08 in).  The collector id, time, and date collected are noted on the sample bag.
Several pieces of tephra were picked from the sample in the previous picture to show an example of the material found in the collectors.  When the lava level in the vent is high, there are usually spheres, tears, and hair in the sample.  The white pieces in the picture are lithic fragments, which are also found in the collectors and come from the walls of the vent opening.  Since the tephra is so small, this image was taken with a microscope camera.  The tick marks on the top are 1 mm (0.04 in) apart.
Left. A typical daily sample from one of the tephra collectors near the Halema`uma`u Overlook vent. The samples collected are often small in amount, and dominantly ash sized (< 2 mm, or < 0.08 in). The collector id, time, and date collected are noted on the sample bag. Right. Several pieces of tephra were picked from the sample in the previous picture to show an example of the material found in the collectors. When the lava level in the vent is high, there are usually spheres, tears, and hair in the sample. The white pieces in the picture are lithic fragments, which are also found in the collectors and come from the walls of the vent opening. Since the tephra is so small, this image was taken with a microscope camera. The tick marks on the top are 1 mm (0.04 in) apart.

22 June 2009

'Nightshot' mode Quicktime movie of Halema`uma`u crusted and sluggish lava surface

This Quicktime movie shows the lava surface within the Halema`uma`u cavity, again using 'nightshot' mode to see through the fume.  The lava surface this evening was considerably more crusted and sluggish than on previous nights, and had risen a minor amount compared to much of last week.  The lava migrates from the top of screen towards the bottom, with occasional bubble bursts disrupting the surface.
This Quicktime movie shows the lava surface within the Halema`uma`u cavity, again using 'nightshot' mode to see through the fume. The lava surface this evening was considerably more crusted and sluggish than on previous nights, and had risen a minor amount compared to much of last week. The lava migrates from the top of screen towards the bottom, with occasional bubble bursts disrupting the surface.

19 June 2009

TEB lava tube breakout and finger of pāhoehoe invades Royal Gardens

A breakout, active over the past several weeks, from the TEB lava tube overruns more of Royal Gardens subdivision, burning vegetation and burying abandoned structures.  In the distant upper left is the TEB vent, with a line of fuming sources tracing the path of the lava tube.  In the lower right is the intersection of Queen Avenue and Orchid Street.
A finger of pāhoehoe invades and buries an abandoned structure in Royal Gardens, near Queen Avenue, as other fingers ignite nearby vegetation.
Left. A breakout, active over the past several weeks, from the TEB lava tube overruns more of Royal Gardens subdivision, burning vegetation and burying abandoned structures. In the distant upper left is the TEB vent, with a line of fuming sources tracing the path of the lava tube. In the lower right is the intersection of Queen Avenue and Orchid Street. Right. A finger of pāhoehoe invades and buries an abandoned structure in Royal Gardens, near Queen Avenue, as other fingers ignite nearby vegetation.
An HVO geologist takes a sample of lava from an active pāhoehoe lobe in the upper reaches of Royal Gardens subdivision.
The two ocean entries—Waikupanaha and Kupapa`u—remained active this week.  This photo shows several small streams of lava entering the water at the front of the Waikupanaha delta.
Left. An HVO geologist takes a sample of lava from an active pāhoehoe lobe in the upper reaches of Royal Gardens subdivision. Right. The two ocean entries—Waikupanaha and Kupapa`u—remained active this week. This photo shows several small streams of lava entering the water at the front of the Waikupanaha delta.

17 June 2009

'Nightshot' mode Quicktime movie of Halema`uma`u rolling lava surface

This Quicktime movie shows the roiling lava surface within the cavity in Halema`uma`u.  The video was captured in 'nightshot' mode in order to see through the fume, which obscured viewing by the naked eye.  Vigorous upwelling occurs in the northeast (upper right) corner of the opening, with the southwest corner consisting of passively sloshing, and partly crusted lava.
This Quicktime movie shows the roiling lava surface within the cavity in Halema`uma`u. The video was captured in 'nightshot' mode in order to see through the fume, which obscured viewing by the naked eye. Vigorous upwelling occurs in the northeast (upper right) corner of the opening, with the southwest corner consisting of passively sloshing, and partly crusted lava.

13 June 2009

Quicktime movie of Halema`uma`u lava lake draining event

This Quicktime movie shows a draining event in the Halema`uma`u lava lake.  Filling and draining cycles have been observed before here, but this video is one of the clearest examples thus far.  The video is shown at actual speed, with draining taking about 40 seconds.  Note the draining is highly unsteady, and proceeds in a step-wise fashion.  These cycles of filling and draining are due to the episodic release of accumulated gas in the conduit.
This Quicktime movie shows a draining event in the Halema`uma`u lava lake. Filling and draining cycles have been observed before here, but this video is one of the clearest examples thus far. The video is shown at actual speed, with draining taking about 40 seconds. Note the draining is highly unsteady, and proceeds in a step-wise fashion. These cycles of filling and draining are due to the episodic release of accumulated gas in the conduit.

11 June 2009

Active terminus in Royal Gardens and large plumes from Waikupanaha and Kupapa`u ocean entries

Geologist replaces an existing time-lapse camera after several recent camera failures. The camera looks at the current ocean entries of Waikupanaha (left) and Kupapa`u (right).
 The terminus of an active portion of a breakout from the May 29 DI event.  The lava is burning trees and shrubs as it flows through the Royal Gardens subdivision.
Left. Geologist replaces an existing time-lapse camera after several recent camera failures. The camera looks at the current ocean entries of Waikupanaha (left) and Kupapa`u (right). Right. The terminus of an active portion of a breakout from the May 29 DI event. The lava is burning trees and shrubs as it flows through the Royal Gardens subdivision.
The Waikupanaha and Kupapa`u ocean entries continue to produce moderate to large steam plumes. The county viewing area is visible between the groups of trees in the lower right corner of the photograph.
 A close-up of several lava streams entering the ocean at Waikupanaha.
Left. The Waikupanaha and Kupapa`u ocean entries continue to produce moderate to large steam plumes. The county viewing area is visible between the groups of trees in the lower right corner of the photograph. Right. A close-up of several lava streams entering the ocean at Waikupanaha.

8 June 2009

Picturesque view of Halema`uma`u crater

Good weather allows for a clear view of Halema`uma`u crater and the eruption plume.
Good weather allows for a clear view of Halema`uma`u crater and the eruption plume.

4 June 2009

Another rare look into Halema`uma`u crater

This Quicktime video shows another rare view of the active lava surface deep within the cavity in Halema`uma`u crater.  The lava is approximately 100 m below the floor of Halema`uma`u.  The lava surface is disrupted by waves, splashes, bubbling and upwelling, with overall lava movement from the upper right to the lower left.
This Quicktime video shows another rare view of the active lava surface deep within the cavity in Halema`uma`u crater. The lava is approximately 100 m below the floor of Halema`uma`u. The lava surface is disrupted by waves, splashes, bubbling and upwelling, with overall lava movement from the upper right to the lower left.

Small breakout near Kupapa`u ocean entry and at Royal Gardens subdivision

A deflation-inflation (DI) event produced a surge of lava over the past several days, creating a small breakout on the coastal plain, a few hundred meters inland from the Kupapa`u ocean entry.  The breakout appears as two silvery fingers, one of which has reached the sea cliff.  Between the two fingers, an area of active fuming marks the location of the lava tube feeding the ocean entry.
 The surge of lava over the past several days has also created a breakout at the top of Royal Gardens subdivision.  Today, the breakout was still active, and was feeding a number of small channelized pāhoehoe flows radiating out from the breakout point.
Left. A deflation-inflation (DI) event produced a surge of lava over the past several days, creating a small breakout on the coastal plain, a few hundred meters inland from the Kupapa`u ocean entry. The breakout appears as two silvery fingers, one of which has reached the sea cliff. Between the two fingers, an area of active fuming marks the location of the lava tube feeding the ocean entry.Right. The surge of lava over the past several days has also created a breakout at the top of Royal Gardens subdivision. Today, the breakout was still active, and was feeding a number of small channelized pāhoehoe flows radiating out from the breakout point.
In this close-up view of the breakout at the top of Royal Gardens, a vigorous lobe of pāhoehoe - fed by a small channel upstream - advances over older flows.
 An HVO geologist collects a fresh sample of the active breakout at the top of Royal Gardens, using a rock hammer and water bucket for quenching.  Because the lava was coming directly out of the tube, it was remarkably gas-rich, and had the consistency of marshmallow fluff.
Left. In this close-up view of the breakout at the top of Royal Gardens, a vigorous lobe of pāhoehoe - fed by a small channel upstream - advances over older flows. Right. An HVO geologist collects a fresh sample of the active breakout at the top of Royal Gardens, using a rock hammer and water bucket for quenching. Because the lava was coming directly out of the tube, it was remarkably gas-rich, and had the consistency of marshmallow fluff.

Gas sampling site on Halema`uma`u Crater

Geologist sampling gas from a fumarole on the north side of Halema`uma`u Crater.
 A second gas sampling site on the west side of Halema`uma`u Crater, informally called the 'smiley face fumarole.'
Left. Geologist sampling gas from a fumarole on the north side of Halema`uma`u Crater. Right. A second gas sampling site on the west side of Halema`uma`u Crater, informally called the "smiley face fumarole."

3 June 2009

Rare view into Halema`uma`u vent

Conditions provided a rare view of active lava in the Halema`uma`u vent.  This photograph is looking down into the cavity, and gives a sense of how deep the lava was.  The small area of active, circulating lava was about 100 meters below the crater floor.
 Close-up view of the active lava surface.  Lava was emerging in the upper right and flowing at a remarkable rate towards the lower left, where it would disappear from sight.
Left. Conditions provided a rare view of active lava in the Halema`uma`u vent. This photograph is looking down into the cavity, and gives a sense of how deep the lava was. The small area of active, circulating lava was about 100 meters below the crater floor. Right. Close-up view of the active lava surface. Lava was emerging in the upper right and flowing at a remarkable rate towards the lower left, where it would disappear from sight.

Awesome Quicktime movie of Halema`uma`u crater

Conditions provided a rare view of active lava in the Halema`uma`u vent.  This photograph is looking down into the cavity, and gives a sense of how deep the lava was.  The small area of active, circulating lava was about 100 meters below the crater floor.
This Quicktime movie shows the behavior of the active lava at the base of the cavity in Halema`uma`u crater. Lava emerged in the upper right and flowed towards the lower left. The surface was disrupted by a chaos of waves, splashes, bubble bursts and spattering. The video is shown at actual speed.

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: 1 November 2009 (pnf)