Friday, December 3, 2010

~ New rootless shields forming above Pulama Pali ~

I was hoping to fly into the surface flow zone on the rootless shield today but strong gusty winds and rain have grounded that plan. But we have some great coverage of the new developments already because yesterday the USGS geologists were flown to the area and documented the following findings on their images page today. The photos and captions posted below are directly from their site (with the acceptance of the aerial image on which I have added some rough notes). And it is this new major breakout that has severed lava from flowing through the July Quarry Flow tube system, which had supplied lava to the coastal plains and into the ocean for the previous four months:Above: A new breakout began overnight on Nov 28-29 along the upper section of the TEB tube. The breakout continues to produce lava flows, creating a new rootless shield among the string of previously formed shields.

Below: A close-up of the breakout point on the newly formed shield. The flow is moving from right to left from the breakout point until it branches in several directions near the center of the photograph.
Below: A gas-rich lava flow on the northwest margin of the new shield.
Below: November 18th: Nine days before the lava flow to the coast ceased; fuming pali and rigorous ocean entry.

Below: December 2nd: The current activity above the pali, lava flows on the coastal plain, as well as the Puhi-o-Kalaikini ocean entry, are inactive.
My notes on the aerial added today. Click on any of these images for a larger size and visit the USGS/HVO images page for further images and updates.


  1. Thanks for the notes on that last pic. Makes a lot more sense, although still scary/fascinating.
    Steve G

  2. Leigh, thanks very much for the labeled photograph. It makes the eruption status much clearer.

    Thanks again!