Saturday, March 5, 2011

~ Two main coastal plains breakouts active ~ ~Action under Kilauea Caldera~

Above, This photo is of the western branch in the foreground and Pulama Pali fuming and steaming this morning after a rain shower swept though the area. That is where the pali still hosts numerous breakouts and can be seen as orange-red orbs from the viewing area after dark.

I finally got back out to the western branch of this ongoing surface flow that continues advancing in a sprawling fashion across the coastal plains. This western branch is nearly 1 3/4-miles southwest from the intersection of highway 130 and Kalapana Gardens access road. It lies north-northwest of the old Quarry kipuka 1000-ft. and covers many acres. Above: One of the many leading fingers of the western lava branch as it surges out of a higher mound. The overall western flow meanders on both sides of the massively inflated July Quarry flow lava tube uplifts of 2010, but has not reentered them. This is the closest front of moving lava to the ocean but is still over a mile from entering it.

Shown above, The eastern most branch is still in the same area as a few days ago but is slowly filling in low areas and heading east and southeast at only 100-ft per day, therefore is still over 2000-ft from Kalapana Gardens.

Meanwhile, high up the mountain the two big craters have been rather eruptive these past few days according to the daily USGS/HVO Kilauea updates. Escalated earth tremor/quakes have geologists on alert for possible significant changes to the eruption activity at Halema’uma’u, Kilauea caldera and the Pu`u O`o vicinity. They reported 40 quakes for March 2nd, 48 on March 3rd and 25 yesterday.

The Pu`u O`o crater has had some effusion episodes worth noting that have produced some dramatic lava cones and rivers on the crater's floor. One of these events was documented in a really cool movie clip composite and can be found on the USGS/HVO Images page linked below or on this direct link: USGS/HVO Pu`u O`o crater cam movie.

The Halema’uma’u crater floor pit vent has had more of its rim collapse, falling down over 230 ft. into the lava lake. The overlook cam caught them spectacularly —check out the action and some related audio clips on the USGS image page!

Very large pahoehoe folds way out on the coastal plains lavascape - a black & white photo.


As usual, I will try to post my next update in a few days unless some more exciting lava developments take place in the meantime ;) (I usually post my blogs between 11:00 AM and Noon if I am reporting for the same day I have walked the flow fields)

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


  1. WTH is happening at Puʻu ʻŌʻō ?

    All the lava seems to be fraining, and the deformation is falling through the floor like nothing I've seen before?

    David B

  2. Hi David,
    I do not know why the USGS deformation graph has gone wacky but I would imagine it is not from a physical change in the tilt at either crater; more likely a computer crash or something like that. Wild to see the scale at +50 and -150 though! Sometimes magma effusion thrusts or heavy rains will cause some short hard drops, but nothing like what is happing right now.
    The webcams up there are showing normal activity.
    Maybe USGS will post something on their site tomorrow.

  3. It's a new eruption at Napau Crater, the tilt plot does not lie! An update is posted, and more will be coming soon.

  4. Yes I just posted an update on that-- Big changes!!