Sunday, April 4, 2010

Lava activity returns within view of Kalapana coastline

A broad and thick line of advancing molten lava has finally come within sight of Kalapana and the official lava viewing area at the end of highway 130. This surface flow is above and to the north east of the now lava-destroyed Royal Gardens subdivision.

This appears to be an intense swath of A`a type of lava. It is hard to see in the daytime but after dark, if it is not raining, the scene is quite impressive. This lava has advanced substantially in the past few days but may now slow its progression due to a pronounced drop in magma pressures, deflation, under Kilauea Volcano. The lava is still about 3 ½ to 4 miles distant (bring binoculars) from the end of 130 but is heading down the cliffs toward the ocean and could possibly arrive somewhat close to the official viewing area; though it is much too early to tell what this new flow will do.

Beyond sight from public view is yet another surface breakout high above the pali, on the flatter ground. One field report claimed a large lake-like pool of lava there two days ago.

I was unable to photograph last nights A`a lava front because I misplaced a tripod mount, but I will try for a photo tonight and post it here tomorrow at this time.

The Halema’uma’u Crater has also been glowing very bright after dark as seen from the Jaggar Museum in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The crater’s glow intensity will likely diminish until inflation of magma pressures return in the days ahead.

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