Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Map showing the areas covered by lava during the Pu`u `O`o eruption, Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i
Map shows lava flows erupted during the 1983-present activity of Pu`u `O`o and Kupaianaha. Active flows in May-July (shown in red) originated from two sources?the area of rootless shields and an area just southwest of Pu`u `O`o. The two flows from the rootless shields are the Boundary flow, the longer flow along the edge of the national park, and the HALP flow, which moved into Royal Gardens subdivision on May 21. Lava from the Mother's Day flow (red flow on west side of flow field) reached the sea at West Highcastle early on July 19, at Wilipe`a early on July 21, and at Highcastle on August 8.

From near the southwest base of Pu`u `O`o, the Mother's Day flow passes along the west side of the flow field and into the forest, where it started a large wildfire in May that continued into late July. By June 10, the Mother's Day flow had reached the base of Paliuli, the steep slope and cliff below Pulama pali and just above the coastal flat. At the base of Paliuli, the Mother's Day flow abruptly spread laterally in a series of small budding flows to cover an area nearly 2 km wide, gradually moving seaward until the West Highcastle and Wilipe`a lobes finally reached the ocean and started building benches.

Activity at West Highcastle ended in early August, but entry began soon thereafter at Highcastle, eventually burying tiny kipuka of the Chain of Craters Road. The Wilipe`a entry died away slowly and had ended by mid-August. Highcastle and neighboring Highcastle Stairs entries ended on about August 23. For a time there were no active entries. Then Wilipe`a was reactivated on September 3 and remains active as of September 19. West Highcastle likewise renewed its activity on September 16-17 but died away during the night of September 18-19. Not shown on the map is the new northeastern end of the Wilipe`a bench, which extends halfway to West Highcastle from the east end of the bench shown on the map.

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Updated: 29 October 2002 (srb)