Friday, March 12, 2010

Update for Kilauea Volcano and lava activity

Halema’uma’u crater as seen from the Jaggar Museum crater cam (Click on it for a larger size)

Another D/I – Deflation-Inflation cycle
of magma pressures, as recorded on the USGS HVO deformation graphs are currently showing a strong surge upward, which should translate into brighter glow within the Halema’uma’u crater vent in the Park, as well as some better chances to see active lava spots running down the pali and onto the coastal lava flats at. The pali views are best seen at dusk into to dark from the Civil Defense viewing area off the lava-severed terminus of highway 130 near Kalapana.

Caption & Image courtesy of USGS This image was collected from a thermal camera at the Halema`uma`u Overlook, and shows the current activity at the summit. The active lava pond, about 40 yards across, is situated deep within the vent cavity, at a depth of about 200 yards. The lava surface consists of slowly migrating crustal plates, with a spattering source on the east margin of the pond. The lava surface is slightly deeper than its usual level, owing to deflation during the current deflation-inflation (DI) cycle.
The USGS HawaiianVolcano Observatory imagery page has two recent additions, this image above and its caption, and also a QuickTime Movie of the pit vent in action, and this caption with it: This Quicktime movie shows the active lava pond deep within the Halema`uma`u vent cavity. The lava is upwelling at the northern margin of the pond (the upper margin in this view), and slowly migrating south towards the bottom of the image, where it sinks out of view. The pond is about 50 yards wide. Small spattering sources appear and disappear occasionally. This video was taken with a thermal camera (white is hot, dark blue is cold), which is able to see through the thick fume. No views were possible with the naked eye today due to the fume, and only loud gas roaring sounds could be heard.

Lava viewing summary:
Weather permitting, the Halema’uma’u crater within the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park may be the best opportunity to see active volcanic activity. Views of the crater in the daytime will be similar to the image at the top of the page here, and after dark, weather permitting, you may see a pretty nice red glow coming up out of that crater (As in the photo below I took there a few weeks ago). The Park is open all night and the Jaggar museum is by far the best vantage point. The museum offers very interesting displays and worth checking out if you have not done so.

Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park phone Visitor Information
Lava Viewing Hotline for coastal lava information: 961-8093

NOTE: I will not be updating this blog daily due to little change in lava activity and a busy schedule for me these days. I will add updates if conditions radically change,
-Click on the image for larger size

1 comment:

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