Wednesday, November 24, 2010

~ Eruption anniversary ~ Surface flows continue ~

Above: Looking southwest, stars and moonlit clouds partly illuminate the scene from the new location of the Hawaii County Civil Defense site at 10:00 PM: ocean entry on the left and you can see the red glows from continued lava breakouts further out on the coastal flats beyond. These distant lava breaks are mostly out near the main lava tube system about 1800-feet away. If you click on the photo you will be able to also see the yellowish glow beyond the far forest line; this is brush burning from another aggressive surface flow of lava. These photos were taken with a wide-angle lens; the breakouts are much larger than they appear

Below: looking south at the same location reveals more breakouts of lava closer to the viewing site plus larger ones further away.

Continued slow rise of recorded magma pressure will likely keep these surface flows active. These are the longest running and greatest spread of surface lava breakouts since July I think. Though advancing rather slowly at this time, the most easterly of the breaks could create a serious threat to a few homes should lava continue inflating higher and advancing. Molten lava has already come within two-hundred feet of one occupied home the past few days.

TEB: Thanksgiving Eve Breakout, the designation used for lava flows that started with a breakout on November 21, 2007 and continues delivering the lava to the coast right now. Click the highlighted text to see the original USGS press release on that eruption event; taken from the Kilauea Volcano eruption timeline 2007 to 2009.

A small magnitude 4.6 earthquake occurred at 6:34:13 PM (HST) yesterday 10 mile south of Makena, Maui at a depth of 6 miles; surprising residents on that island. Here on the Big Isle, we have many light quakes every day: 33 in just the past two-weeks! You can look at the ongoing list of island quakes here

Pu`u O`o has some very hot spots on the crater floor; I spotted those on that craters overlook cam. Halema’uma’u crater floor vent hole continues glowing brightly most nights

Public viewing information for the coastal eruptions:

Rains sweeping across the Big Islands windward side may dampen some lava viewing today and tonight, though the area of lava flows is generally drier.

Public lava viewing is from the access road off the very end of Highway 130. There is a parking area, port-o-potties and security personnel on site between 2:00 PM and 10:00 PM daily. Last car allowed in at 8:00 PM, but you can stay in the area until about 9:30 PM.
A half-mile walk down the road from the parking takes you to where recent lava covered it, as well as affording vista views of the lines of degassing fumes wafting from the underground lava tubes that presently carry tremendous amounts of liquid rock for miles down slope to the sea.

And from the road you can see where the lava vigorously pours into the ocean and huge plumes of steam rise up. After dark the base of this steam will glow red and orange colors from reflective molten lava. Periodically, as we are having right now, there have been sizable surface flows of lava breaking out well within view of the access road; these breaks have often flowed close to, and on to, the viewing site these past months; conditions for that change weekly.

You can get on-site information updates for the public access road by phoning management personnel stationed there after 2:00 PM:
430-1966 or 217-2215. The main Civil Defense lava viewing hotline is 961-8093.

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