Tuesday, February 22, 2011

~ Pulama Pali slopes look like a city of red orbs after dark ~

As viewed from the end of the Kalapana Gardens access road, which is also the Hawaii County lava-viewing road, visitors to the area are able to quite easily see many distant lava breakouts scattered across the Pulama Pali looking very much like a magic city of red-orange orbs. (Twice I went to get a photo of this and the rains arrived and dampened that effort).

Lower down the slopes at the base of the pali and closer to the viewing road there are also continued small & scattered surface flows of lava. These are in the same general area as in my last two post updates - still over 3500-feet from the road. I have not hiked back out there since then but will do so very soon for a firsthand account.Courtesy photos from Ron Boyle that he took in this area yesterday.

The remarkable thing about these ongoing surface flows is they have maintained a pretty strong presence despite the largest drop in magma pressures beneath Kilauea Volcano since the year 2000, according to USGS/HVO deformation records. Normally a substantial pressure drop manifests in the eruptive lava fields as diminished activity.

Even the two craters continued showing strong activity much of the past week during deflation, though the highly active flows within the Pu`u O`o crater finally did slow way down in the past couple of days.

As these two graphs show, magma pressures finally did return last night beneath both craters. I am very interested to see how this inflation will affect an already active flow field and the two craters… Could become quite active, especially if the inflation becomes strong.The above graph is from two days ago, Feb 20, before hitting bottom last night, as shown in today's graph below. Notice how they drastically changed the scale on the graphs to accommodate the large recorded swing: USGS/HVO magma pressure deformation tiltmeter graphs

Last week I added a link to one of my posts that may have been missed by some of you because it was added later. The link is to Big Island Video News and contains my bi-weekly Kalapana lava field report. My report is 2-minutes long and starts at the 1:22-minute mark of the news report. It has a lot of action clips of the lava pouring into the sea and on the surface of the area I report in these blog updates. You can watch the video report HERE.


As usual these past few weeks;
I will try to post my next update in a few days unless some more exciting lava developments take place in the meantime ;)

You can always get onsite coastal lava flow information and viewing conditions by phoning Janguard lava viewing security management who are stationed along the access road at the end of Highway 130 from 2:00 PM until 10:00 PM daily: 430-1966

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