Friday, December 17, 2010

~ Moonlit molten lavascape dazzles spectators – worries nearby homeowners ~

The entire active lavascape from the top of the Pulama Pali to the county lava viewing barricades are seen in this moonlit scene.
Taken at 9:30 PM last night with an ever-growing moonlight, I slightly over exposed the image so that we could see both the landscape and lava & forest burning colors. (Similar result as achieved with my layered images earlier last week when there was no moon and that I repost for comparison below)

Click on the above image for a large size (Then click on the opened photo to zoom-in)and look for these following things:
On the far lower left you can see the Hawaii County lava viewing barricades and a little bit of the access road. (Just a short distance to our left in the photo is where Jean’s house stood before burned by lava Nov 27th) The illuminated Quonset-style building is Peggy’s home, situated desperately close to the advancing lava beyond.

The bright yellower flames are where the molten lava is encroaching & burning through patches of brush and forests left behind from previous flows like islands of green; locally known as kipuka (key-pooh-kah). And all the way the Pulama Pali we continued surface breakouts of mostly pahoehoe lava.

I find it is interesting that the upper breakouts have not crusted over as the leading edge of the flow front comes down the mountain; usually the moving lava quickly create an insulated layer as it proceeds, which can form over time into established lava tubes. But this flow seems to be doing that much slower than the April-May, or July through November flows.

Compare the opening image above of the lava flow as it looks today with the earlier images I took over the past eighteen days as the neww surface flow advanced shown here below:
Lava breaks out to the surface at around the 1100-foot elevation and begins down the Pulama Pali.
Lava advances at down the pali at rate of about 100-foot elevation drop per day.

I randomly set up my lava photo display booth down at a little vendor’s area on the edge of the county viewing parking lot a couple of days/nights each week. And lately I have had the pleasure of meeting many of you who follow this blog. It has been really nice for me to get a chance to share our mutual fascination with this ongoing lava flow with so many of you.

I try to write an update each day but occasionally I am too busy to do that. I also will be taking a little Hawaii vacation soon—what to they call those now – ‘a stay-vacation’ or ‘staycation’ ;) I’ll be doing some camping with family and friends… I’ll let you know when I am leaving my blog post and for how long, but likely in the next week.

For onsite coastal lava updates and reports you can phone the security management down at the Hawaii County lava viewing site after 2:00 PM: 430-1966 or 217-2215


  1. Ma-halo for all of your wonderful work.

    My sister from Massachusetts is arriving in February. She was last on the island before the big flows in the 1980's, when chain of craters road was still opened! She has been following your blog and is looking forward to seeing the amazing change since the '80s!!!