In yesterday’s blog post I voiced concern about where inflated lava may be flowing after a decrease in volume at the ocean entries. Some of the answer to that may be in what appeared last evening: By 9:30 PM last night a bright and growing breakout of surface lava became easily visible from the county lava viewing area located at the current end of the access road beyond highway 130. I guesstimated this lava was around the 800 to 1000-foot elevation, and others further up the pali but seen only as reflective glow. I snapped these pictures from there with a 300mm lens at 10:00 PM.
Less bright, but also easily spotted in the darkness, were a series of smaller lava breakouts scattered across the coastal flats from the base of the pali. One of these is pictured below and in it we can see forest fires (that look like large trees in the image)and/or asphalt smoke from that small remnant of pavement left near the old intersection of highways' 130 & 137, judging by how dense the smoke appears to be (click on the image for a large size): Due to darkness it was difficult to pinpoint exactly where these lower breakouts were, but they appeared to be located along the western edges of the tubing system between the pali base and old quarry area; a few others looked to be southeast of there, but all of these were well away from the access road and homes.
All these new breakouts, especially the upper Pulama pali one, may be helping to ease the inflation of the large hot mass of crusted lava adjacent to Kalapana Gardens; further reprieve for nervous homeowners there.
The breakouts may possibly also be lessoning the amount of lava entering the sea; the eastern ocean entry, which had recently been advancing quite strongly, remains stagnated, though the main ocean entry remains fairly strong. I took this photo below of it from the same location on the access road in Kalapana Gardens as the above images, also at 10:00 PM last night:
The USGS/HVO electronic tilt monitors are continuing to register steady inflation in a sort of holding pattern right now:
The Hawaii County lava viewing area is open between 2:00 PM and 10:00 PM daily; last car allowed in to park is 8:00 PM. Viewing area information can be found at 961-8093.