Friday, June 18, 2010

Kilauea magma deflation may slow surface eruptions

(Click on the image to open a larger view window)

The photo above was taken last night directly behind my lava photo display booth, which is located at the visitors parking area for the Hawaii County lava-viewing hike down highway 130. This image, taken at 7:50 PM with a 16mm camera lens, shows the surface lava reflecting into low clouds across the top edge of the pali above the old Royal Gardens subdivision, as well as the surface lava glowing into its own fumes. The bright star is the planet Venus.

The photo below, taken from the near same spot at 10:00 PM shows the same scene except Venus has set and we see my lens has turned the setting crescent moon into a large star ;)

Shown in the graph below, and as I indicate in my title, a serious drop in magma pressures continues for a second day as registered by the USGS/HVO tilt monitors at both Halema’uma’u and Pu`u O`o craters, as pictured below at 9:30 this morning. According the USGS Kilauea update status page, this drop in magma pressure has already registered as a lessoning of activity within the two active craters. It may also slow down the advancing surface flow of lava we have begun to watch along the upper mountain ridge these past few days.

This surface lava is being fed by lava tubes from the TEB eruption site far above the edge of the pali where the lava is resurfacing as A`a and pahoehoe breakouts.

There are no active lava breakouts on coastal flats and no ocean entry lava at this time.

I will update these blog postings next when there are some significant changes or newsworthy reports to offer you :)

Active lava viewing prospects for the public:
1) The Halema’uma’u crater has been degassing sulfur dioxide fumes by day and glowing strongly at times after dark from lava deep within the craters pit vent. Great views are from the Jaggar Museum balcony within the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, depending on the weather; the park is open to the public 24 hours a day.

2) Coastal viewing: A one mile walk to the very end of highway 130; this is the same location where lava came onto the highway there on May 5th, 2010 but the lava there has now cooled, though is still hot a short distance away. The lava fuming/degassing can be seen coming down the distant pali during the day. After dark lava glow can possibly be seen in two or three places high atop the mountain slopes.

Official viewing hours are from 2:00 PM until around 9/9:30 PM - everyday, with last car allowed in at 8:00 PM. On site are security personnel, a few port-o-potties at both the parking lot and at the end of the road, vendors occasionally have drinking water but it is best to bring some with you and also some decent walking shoes. The road is open to all traffic on all other hours.

No comments:

Post a Comment