Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Perfect Skies Over Big Island ~ Robust Lava Entry Plume

(click on the images to view a larger size)

It began last night. Skies over the southeast and east sides of the Big Island cleared giving way to a beautiful sunset at the lava viewing area. The golden ball of a sun shone through the thick layers of sulfur dioxide fumes wafting out of the vents and lava tubes across the active lava coastal plains. Here is the broader scene taken at the lava viewing trailhead at the Kalapana terminus of highway 130 - The Waikupanaha ocean entry is the plume on the left:

This morning dawned to clear skies with a few little puffy Trade Clouds. Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea Volcanoes stand out in full glory.

Spectators to the lava viewing area last night reported a strong ocean entry plume with molten lava pouring off the left side of the newly forming bench of land on its outer edges.

Deformation , the flexing of the earth from magma under the Kilauea Volcano, has been graphed fluctuating but generally holding a bit of molten lava surface pressure.

Below is a recent USGS aerial image showing Pu`u O`o crater vent degassing. In the background is Mauna Loa on the left and Mauna Kea barely visible in the upper right.

For a Live Panorama of Moku`─üweoweo, Mauna Loa Volcano click on this link; still some traces of snow on this rough & raw crater.

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