As of yesterday, there were three main leading edges to this ongoing and sprawling coastal flats lava flow:
(Click on any image for a larger view size) Above: #1 -- Small remnant patches of brush and trees left behind from previous flows (named kipuka’s –pronounced key-pooh-kah) are overtaken by advancing lava due west of Kalapana access road and due north a few hundred feet of where the barricades on that road were destroyed and covered by lava days ago.
#2: Below, the old Waikupanaha viewing area trail and site near the coast. This flow front was breaking out fast and hot Wednesday night but had nearly stalled by yesterday. This leading edge shown here is right on top the view site and about 300-feet from reaching the ocean.Those of you who walked that trail from March 2008 to when that entry stopped on January 3rd this year will recognized those foot-path markers covering the ¾ mile hike from the access road.
#3: Above & Below, Gary Sleik’s house site and moving east of there last night. For those who follow this blog a bit you will recall Gary held a little party right there on October 3rd for those who were there supporting him when lava overtook his home July 25th this year. If you missed the original big story you can get a full recap here on my> October 3rd post and scroll down to the lava-at-the-house-images.
But what I found amazing is that between Wednesday night and yesterday afternoon molten lava had completely surrounded Gary’s last stand, his picnic table & chairs and salvaged gazebo roof, but not harmed any of these things! The lava next to there is even higher than the table site!
As you can see from these photos the lava is still busting out pretty good. Lava pressures seem to be pulsing through the lava tube system and out of the breakouts in almost a rhythmic fashion: ocean entry strong – surface flows slow down, ocean entry lava drops off to a trickle and surface lava gets stronger quickly.
Two of these breakouts were visible from the public view site at roads end. Many people were opting to pay a few dollars to get the various local guided tours to see lava up close. Those tours can be found at the vendors area at the end of highway 130.Above: lava has past Gary's site and moved further east toward Kalapana Gardens homes. These surface flows are filling in low areas and also creating new higher mounds as they go.