Friday, February 25, 2011

~ Pulama Pali up close ~

Above - Pulama Pali breakouts at the about the 700-foot elevation at daybreak this morning.

I have been wondering why the numerous scattered surface flow breakouts we have been seeing in a broad swath trailing down the Pulama Pali have not advanced makai (toward the sea) very much over the past week. During the five days of prolonged deflation we could expect things to slow down, but we had a day of strong inflation since then and steady pressure afterwards, so I thought that might get lava moving faster down the pali.

To find out what was really going on up there I hiked all around the slope between the 600 to 900-foot elevation this morning; the lava up there is in fact advancing but is also doing a lot of inflating into mounds resembling bee-hives of piled glowing lava with many breakouts surrounding them. The image above and following photos show what I saw:
Pre-dawn light.

Below-- Eastern edge of the pali flow at around the 500 foot elevation:Below: Four hundred foot elevation with Kalapana Gardens homes in in the distance. Lava flowing down this eastern edge is overtopping the previous flow of November-January. It is also crossing over the 1986 and 1990 flows that lay just west of that large kipuka we see in the background of both these images. There continues to be surface lava breakouts further down slope quite a ways from here. Those lower flows are generally in the same area they have been active for a couple of weeks. That area also is not advancing much, but is still quite active and accessible to the many new guided tour outfits. (Scroll below to my last few posts to see those surface flows)

Molten mounds all over at the 800 to 900-foot elevation.

Lava continues being very active within both the Halemaumau and Pu`u O`o craters. I have been watching the USGS/HVO web cams day and night. The Pu`u O`o crater floor was flowing with lava rivers last night.

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