Sunday, August 1, 2010

~ Two Kalapana homes in imminent danger from lava ~ End of highway 130 closed ~ USGS aerials/thermals ~

The USGS/HVO personnel have done an excellent job of documenting this Kalapana lava flow from the air using both still photos and thermal imagery. Mahalo Nui to them for the tremendous effort of getting such good photos, doing thermal overlays and offering these to the public. Click on the photos to see their larger sizes for easier viewing.
I was hiking many of the leading edges of the flow fronts, including late yesterday. I have taken the liberty of placing notations on their images based on my findings on the ground, including the lava advancing very near to two residences (These are rough notations only).
You can view the original aerials with their captions on the USGS/HVO images web page by clicking on the highlighted text here.

Some temporarily reprieve from the coastal lava advance at this time may come from the continued drop in magma reservoir pressure beneath Kilauea as reflected by USGS/Hawaii Volcanoes Observatory’s sensitive deformation monitors.
Typically: a rise in pressure (D/I-Inflation) = more lava movement within the Halema’uma’u pit vent, accompanying earth tremors, and more active advancement of lava throughout the eruptive system supplying lava to the Pu’u O’o Crater and its adjacent network of tubes, shields and surface flows; from mountain to sea. A drop in magma chamber pressures (D/I-Deflation) = a lessoning of eruptive lava movement throughout the entire network: more earth tremors, a reduction of molten lava breakouts along the lava tubes coming down the Pulama Pali, a lowering of surface flow front inflation and breakouts like those that are presently threatening the Kalapana vicinity, and weaker ocean entry lava flow.

Public lava viewing closed - yesterday - but open today:
Hawai`i County Viewing Area status can be found at 961-8093

Yesterday the entire west end of highway 130, which leads to the Kalapana Gardens access roads and the Hawaii County public lava viewing area, was closed to all but local resident traffic, Civil Defense, emergency vehicles and Janguard security personnel.

This closure was deemed necessary by Civil Defense after a meeting on 130 with local Kalapana Gardens property owners and various other interests. Some expressed frustrations about sightseers trespassing on private and State lands at all hours of the day and night. Others voiced the safety concerns of having literally thousands of visitors walking all over the rough roadways and adjacent lands at night. Also, homeowners on the lava affected area may need to evacuate at any time in the days ahead, requiring a public-free, un-cluttered evacuation route in and out of the community.

The road access off the end of highway 130 is being screened by both Janguard security (hired by the county to oversee public lava viewing), as well as police at times. The entrance gate into Kalapana Gardens subdivision has also been padlocked by order of Civil Defense. These access restrictions may remain, or be lifted at any time. But for now there is zero public access or lava viewing on the end of highway 130. The ocean entry steam plumes can be seen from other nearby vantage points such as the western end of highway 137.

(And thanks for your suggestions and links in helping me to solve my computer crash problem... I am operating on a temporary fix for now... but hope to do a complete fix soon, mahalo for your help with this!),
~~~ Leigh


  1. These are really informative updates Leigh- you provide a completely different angle to the information, and I really appreciate that. Your images are awesome too- keep up the good work. I'd like to add a link to your blog from mine, if you don't mind.

  2. Mahalo ;)
    Links are welcome ;)