Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Molten pahoehoe lava fills old quarry near County viewing, then crusts over

Molten pahoehoe lava fills old quarry near County viewing, then crusts over

Monday night over a thousand people gathered on the newest County viewing area last night to gaze down onto a broad and hot acre of lava. The night before this area was twenty feet lower; an old rock quarry filled in with lava overnight, rising higher & wider prompting concerns of it overtaking the viewing area in the hours and days ahead.

But by 10:00 PM last night it appeared that the swelling expanse of lava would likely proceed south towards the sea as we witnessed fresh breakouts bursting from the southern edge of this leading surface flow, though it also showed a potential to continued swelling and possibly inundating the end of highway 130; again ;)

This new USGS lava overview flow map shows in red the location of the surface flow we are watching from the viewing area: (Click on the image for a larger size)

I did not have time to process my photos from last night of the people gathered and watching the lava.

Lava Viewing Summary:
1) At the County viewing area there should still be a large area of crusting over pahoehoe lava directly below and west of the latest designated viewing area, which is a short walk off the end of highway 130. There may also still be some hot breakouts of lava to be seen if it has not stagnated or moved beyond sight. Bring you tripods! The viewing area is open to the public between the hours of 2:00 PM and 10:00 PM; last car allowed in is 8:00 PM – seven days per week.

2) Strong crater pit vent glow is still being seen after dark from the balcony outside the Jaggar Museum during the day and after dark. The Jaggar is located a few miles past the entrance gates of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and is open to the public 24 hour a day, seven days a week.

Video of the molten lava moving slowly through the kipuka forest three days before appearing in the open at the County viewing area:

Taken a few mornings ago, this is a seven-minute video of lava burning the forest in the kipuka. In this short movie, shot April 23rd at dawn, @ 1:40 you will see trees fall into the molten lava and burst into flames. The last few minutes shows a lava breakout pour down into ferns. Throughout the movie you will here the crackling of fires, thumps of small methane gas explosions, at least five varieties of birds chirping and one croaking buffo toad.

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