Tuesday, September 25, 2012

One-year anniversary of ‘Peace-Day’ eruption and flow field

Above is a September 25th, 2012 flow field map from the USGS image page. (Click for larger view of all images.)
September 21st, 2011 was the day Pu`u O’o crater was filled to the brim with molten lava and then spectacularly ruptured from its upper east flank, beginning a long-lived downhill progression of surface flows towards the sea.
By early December 2011 well-established and self-created tube delivery systems were spreading surface lava far and wide across the upper slopes of the Pulama Pali and (the mostly lava-covered) Royal Gardens subdivision. Days later lava was entering the ocean, which turned out to be a short lived event, ending the last day of 2011; and has not returned since.
Though the ocean entry ceased New Years Eve 2011, in the months afterwards, breakouts of lava continued fairly consistently along the entire ‘Peace-Day’ flow field; especially down the face of the pali and sprawling out on the coastal flats at the base of Royal Gardens.
The most poignant event of this flow to date being the destruction of Jack Thompson’s beautiful home and gardens on March 2nd, 2012.
The ensuing lava activity from last March onward were principally cycles of surface and lava tube breakouts on the Pulama Pali and coastal flats; again, never reaching the ocean. The most pronounced change was the cessation of breakouts at the beginning of this month but soon becoming active again high above the pali and, in recent days, once again flowing slowly down into the steeper sections of Royal Gardens; looking simular to this image I took of that skyline Dec. 31st, 2011:
I have been surprised at how my last posting (April 7th) was basically applicable to the flow field acivity for every month since then up to this recent short pause in activity. The Pu`u O`o is really filled up with lava again, not to the brim but full. Are we going to see another dramatic fissure flank eruption, or continued slow draining from the present Peace-Day flow field? Only Pele knows the answer I guess :)

As for my long absence from posting; I finished the lava movie except for minor edits. I am now working on the expensive and tedious mission to license the music for it. When that process is complete I will be publishing it far & wide. Meanwhile, I am also pursuing my other endeavors of Life… and …. Well I am still here and I will jump in with another lava update again soon …