Monday, April 5, 2010

Broad front of molten lava advances toward Kalapana coastline

Photo above taken with a 300mm lens from the parking area for the lava viewing trail at the terminus of highway 130 last night. Click on the images for a larger size.

An impressive line of glowing red-orange lava high up on the pali directly above, north, of the official public viewing area was noticeably advancing down the mountain after dark last night. About two hundred spectators showed up to watch this, sharing binoculars because the surface flow is still over three miles distant.

Many observers were speculating as to where this surface flow could arrive at when (& if) it completes the advance down the steep mountain face and onto the coastal lava flats and the ocean. Most guesses placed it at where we were standing – the end of highway 130: the trailhead for the public lava view area.

This is one of the most robust surface flows we have seen coming over the crest from the Thanksgiving Eve Breakout (TEB) since it first erupted in November 21st, 2007.

Inflation surged back into the magma chambers beneath Kilauea Volcano yesterday about an hour after I posted my blog reporting deflation, and has continued, as the USGS deformation graph below indicates.

The County of Hawaii lava viewing area is open from 2:00 PM until 10:00 PM daily. For more information phone the Civil Defense lava hotline at 961-6028. Parking for the viewing area is at the lava-covered terminus of highway 130 near Kalapana.

The Halema’uma’u crater has been glowing strongly at times after dark as viewed from the Jaggar Museum within the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and is open to the public 24 hours a day.

I will post an update on the advancing lava front in a few days, or sooner if it advances quickly.

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