Friday, June 25, 2010

Surface lava high on pali expands but with little downhill advancement ~ Full Moon

While many sections of the Hawaii Islands face drought conditions and wildfire threat, lower Puna district has been getting some nice Trade Showers, which often produce morning and afternoon rainbows too. Those visitors walking the highway 130 lava-viewing road at Kalapana Gardens saw some nice double rainbows the past few days.

Ever notice how double rainbow color bands are mirror opposites of each other? (Click on the images to open a larger view window)

Below is what we are seeing up high on the mountain to the northwest from highway 130 lava walk road after dark on most nights. I took this photo at 10:00 PM last night and if we compare this with previous nights this past week (the last image below) we can see the small advancement the lava has made along the edge of the pali. Apparently the surface lava up there is swelling and expanding around itself but not heading down slope by much. This type of shield-building lava does have the potential of suddenly breaking out and moving quickly. Above: June 24th

Above: June 19th from same location.

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. The broiling molten lava moves up and down inside this massive eruptive vent by hundreds of feet at times, in kind of a pistoning action. This raising and lowering of lava has the potential to breach the floor of the crater and likely will do so in the future. Great views of this impressive crater are from the Jaggar Museum balcony within the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, depending on the weather; and the park is open to the public 24 hours a day with a nominal entrance fee by 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 and flashlights but it is best to bring both these things with you and also some decent walking shoes. The road is open to all traffic on all other hours.

Full Moon today

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