Thursday, June 17, 2010

Molten lava advances further into view high on the pali

Above: last night’s sunset and a swelling crescent moon as viewed from the lower Puna area. The planet Venus was also showing brightly below and to the right of the moon after dark.(Click on the image to open a larger view window)

Surface lava has continued its slow advance into view as seen from the coast along highway 130. Lava was visible near the top of what was once the Royal Gardens subdivision, (long since lava-destroyed except for one fragment and residence). In the distance, trees along the upper region of this area could occasionally be seen bursting into flames as lava encroached; most noticeably after dark.

Will this lava continue on down the pali to the coastal flats? No one knows, but so far the advance continues. This lava is being fed by lava tubes from the TEB eruption site far above the edge of the pali where the lava is resurfacing as A`a and pahoehoe breakouts.

This advance of lava may be slowed by a recent drop in magma pressures, as are being recorded by the USGS/HVO tilt monitors right now. In the past any pronounced drop in pressure has often resulted soon after by a drop in surface flow activity.

There are no active lava breakouts on coastal flats and no ocean entry lava at this time.

I will update these blog postings next when there are some significant changes or newsworthy reports to offer you :)

Otherwise there has been little change and I will leave portions of my previous posting from the 14th below, which contains more details about this weeks viewing:

At 7:50 PM last night (June 13th) I took the photo above from in front of my lava photo display booth on Highway 130 at the Hawaii County viewing area parking lot in Kalapana Gardens with a 200mm lens.

The lava glow in the picture is from several sources: Pu`u O`o crater lava pond (on upper left) reflecting into the low clouds; surface lava flows breaking away from the Kupaianaha eruption site, which is beginning to show itself across the very top edge of the pali in two locations: directly above & near the lava covered Royal Gardens subdivision area, and thirdly, just out of range to the right of this photo is a new, visibly small, emergence of surface lava beginning to show above & east of there near the zone that the April-May Quarry lava flow first showed itself in late March of this year. The surface lava can be seen more clearly further along the highway walk towards the ‘viewing area’ at roads end, especially with binoculars or long camera lenses.

Active lava viewing prospects for the public:
1) The Halema’uma’u crater has been degassing sulfur dioxide fumes by day and glowing strongly at times after dark from lava deep within the craters pit vent. Great views are from the Jaggar Museum balcony within the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, depending on the weather; the park is open to the public 24 hours a day.

2) Coastal viewing: A one mile walk to the very end of highway 130; this is the same location where lava came onto the highway there on May 5th, 2010 but the lava there has now cooled, though is still hot a short distance away. The lava fuming/degassing can be seen coming down the distant pali during the day. After dark lava glow can possibly be seen in two or three places high atop the mountain slopes.

Official viewing hours are from 2:00 PM until around 9:30 PM - everyday, with last car allowed in at 8:00 PM. On site are security personnel, a few port-o-potties at both the parking lot and at the end of the road, vendors occasionally have drinking water but it is best to bring some with you and also some decent walking shoes. The road is open to all traffic on all other hours.

No comments:

Post a Comment