Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Inflation returning ~ High surf warning posted ~ Volcanic haze

Yesterday and into last night there were no visual signs of molten lava or ocean entry steam plumes. The long lasting low magma pressure deflation under Kilauea Volcano had caused a complete cessation of eruptive lava.
But as this mornings graph indicates, inflation has returned and will likely produce visual signs along the 6 ½ mile run between the eruption site up near Pu`u O`o’s crater vent and the Waikupanaha ocean entry point. There is a chance that as lava pressure returns to the extensive pluming of lava tubes the molten rock may either not re-fill the existing tubes or it might also rupture blocked tubes and produce new surface flows or even molten lava fountains; only time and pressure will reveal what comes next.It usually takes at least 12 hours for inflationary magma pressures under Kilauea to show surface results down the coastal flats and ocean entry areas.
(Phone the Hawaii Island Civil Defense Lava Viewing Area Update phone number(808) 961-8093 after 3:00 PM to find out of it will be open. Lately they opened the area even if there is no visual lava, in hopes it will return during viewing hours. Tonight that is a possibility)

Wind direction along the southeast shores of the Big Island have changed little in the last three days- blowing from the south-southwest and even from the west – all these directions are not the norm for the Island of Hawaii. It is these wind directions that have kept the East sides of the Big Island blanketed by volcanic gasses and caused mounting health issues in some areas. This morning I can see a vog line from my home here at Cape Kumukahi. It runs from the two venting craters, Kilauea and Pu’u O`o, directly north-northeast towards the summits of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa; skirting just above and behind Hilo and vicinity. For a short time I could actually see through the haze and make out the top of Mauna Loa volcano, which for days has been hidden day & night by thick vog. Forecasters are continuing to call for these unusual winds to persist.

Sulfur dioxide (SO2) monitors on Kilauea caldera are continuing to register wind and toxic plume directions, giving us a heads-up as to where volcanic haze is going. This site updates every 10 minutes.

High surf warnings are posted for a large north-northwest ocean swell coming in to all Hawaii Islands today and tonight, with surf heights reaching 25 to 35 feet on some exposed north & west-facing shores.

Pele the Volcano Goddess is beautifully described by Keola Awong in this video provided by Videographer David Corrigan (David has provide some excellent videos for us all this past year; covering very local events superbly!)

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