Monday, June 14, 2010

More lava glow being seen high on the pali ~ No significant overall change otherwise

At 7:50 PM last night 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.

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

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, 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.

I will leave portions of my previous post below here as they still contains some valid information:
No active lava breakouts on coastal flats ~ Bright glowing lava orbs high on the pali

The small and scattered surface breakouts near the end of Highway 130 and down near the coast nearby have continued to stall and become simply hot-spots. The hot spots can only be seen easily after dark and even then, only if within fifty feet; one such hot-spot is only 150 feet west from the viewing area at the terminus of the highway, but can not be seen from there.

Over the past few days, by looking up west-northwest from the end of Highway 130 after dark, an ever growing line of orange-red lava can be seen slowing advancing over the very top edge of the mountain slopes above the Pulama pali and below the TEB eruption site. It looks possible that this advancing surface lava may begin a decent down the pali in the days ahead; perhaps bringing yet another surface lava flow to the coastal flats. It is too early to know if that is the case though.

Also viewed from along the end of 130 after dark, when low clouds are present, we have been seeing a broad reddish-orange glow above the distant Pu`u O`o crater, which according to USGS/HVO updates , has a lava lake ponding on the crater’s floor. The glow we see is this ponding lava reflecting up into the low clouds above it.

Meanwhile, the Halema’uma’u crater’s hot vent has been giving nighttime viewers a good show most nights as seen from the Jaggar Museum’s balcony. USGS reports that the broiling lava down inside the vent has been occasionally reaching ever-higher levels then receding back down the massive vertical tube.

In case you have not seen the movie trailer for my new feature length (76 minutes) lava flow movie, you can watch it below:

All video and stills used for the movie were recorded between April 14th and May 22nd, 2010 of a surface flow of lava moving down the Pulama Pali on the south slopes of Kilauea Volcano on the Island of Hawaii, eventually entering the ocean.

On the way towards the ocean the sprawling surface flow travels through two Hawaii County viewing areas, two forests and pours into the sea – all in spectacular fashion. The movie contains limited commentary and has original music and theme song, as well as four classic Hawaiian chants, which all honor the Volcano Goddess Pele.

Below is the 6 1/2 minute trailer for my movie as posted on YouTube - It is cropped for YouTube so some of the actual movie image & text will be partially cut off for this trailer: {To see this view box better I also have it placed at the bottom of this page or double-click it and watch it on YouTube}
Shot in full HD wide-screen but reduced to HD for the DVD, I have DVD’s ready to mail out now, to order a copy of the movie please email me at -- It costs $30 locally and add $4 if you want one sent to the mainland – and worth every penny! (Check or credit card)
(And also... you may have noticed I don't have any outside advertising on this site at all-- so you would help me keep that tradition going by purchasing my lava DVD, and Mahalo Nui to those that already have!!! ;)


  1. Sparky that picture is magnificent!!!

  2. Mahalo Leilani!
    ~Yes that sweet little crescent moon was a beauty-- right above it was Venus twinkling brightly-- but hidden in the clouds when I took this photo.

  3. Hi Leigh, I just found your blog while talking with a friend about our experiences when visiting the Big Island. To bad that I didn't knew it - or was it even not existing - when I visited The Big Island in December 2008.
    I think it is very useful for planing a trip to the lava, so I just edited my blog post from last year about my Hawaii photographs.