Thursday, December 16, 2010

~ Lava advancement may threaten homes again ~ Gary’s homestead re-revisited ~

The present flow front of lava that has been progressing down the Pulama Pali this past week has reached the edge of the coastal flats and burned through several remnant forest patches.

The big question now is how the lava will transit across the uneven ground below its current position. No one knows for sure. There are a few variables that can possibly affect the lava’s direction and speed of travel. The variables that come to mind are: 1) the overall inflationary pressures within the magma chambers beneath Kilauea Volcano, 2) the new rootless shield atop the pali that may have stored large amounts of lava in the past two weeks, which could rupture, and 3) breakouts further up the pali that may draw lava west of the July-November Quarry Flow tube system.
Current USGS deformation graphs are just beginning to record some inflation after a many days of little pressure change... I believe a large upward inflation period will really affect the eruptive activity down the pali system... But those affects remain to be seen...

Below is the most recent USGS flow field maps showing where the active lava was on November 26th, the day before it took out Jean’s house, and four days before lava stopped flowing onto the coastal flats and into the ocean. I have added a few rough notes showing the general location of the advancing lava as of today, as well as the location of the two homes lost to the July to November lava flow.Click on images for a larger size. And below is the broader flow field map:

Yesterday, Hawaii County Civil Defense alerted all property owners in and around the Kalapana Gardens subdivision area of the growing possibility of lava reaching the end of the access road within the next week. In that notice was an announcement that Civil Defense would close the lava viewing and attempt to secure the area … within an estimated 24 hours prior to lava reaching Kalapana Gardens. These notices were both mailed and hand delivered to residents.

Okay, as promised, here are photos I took in the rain of Gary Sleak’s. Two days ago I surveyed both Jean Olson’s recently burned out from lava house site and also Gary’s: The steam on the distant lava shows how hot the area still is as the rain come down.

For a good background report of Gary's site read my story with photos here> Gary's volcano viewing chairs Gary's gazebo roof survives its second encounter with flowing lava. The original gazebo was near his house until July 24th when lava burned it.

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