Sunday, February 26, 2012

Video of Pulama Pali lava rivers, a`a and pahoehoe

This two-minute video is what I shot on February 24th, 2012, as detailed in yesterday's posting
The gushing rivers are from a rupture in the lava tube feeding the flow front, which is a mile further down the pali from here. Lava is being feed from the Pu`u O`o Crater located four miles to the northwest; Kilauea Volcano's most active eruption source since 1983.
Click on the 'Tube' of YouTube on the bottom right to watch this in larger sizes on their site.

The a`a lava is that rough jagged stuff that crashes itself down the mountain. At the end of the vid are a few slow breaking pahoehoe toes, as they are termed. Those silver-gray lava forms were just cooling and soon after filming they burst alive again as surface lava.
Lava tube rupture forks out the top at rapid speed.

This lava is still over two miles from the open ocean, and does not threaten any homes at this time, though Jack Thompson, whose home is within the tattered fragments of what was once the Royal Gardens subdivision, does have reason to be concerned because there are sprawling breakouts of surface lava above his forest kipuka. It is too early to gauge if that more westerly branch of this large flow field will move down into Jack's area. Forests are burning adjacent to the east, and far above, his place now though.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Quake swarms and Pulama Pali active with lava flows

I took a break from my lave film editing (See lava movie update below) to trek out onto the flow. Taken yesterday, looking south-southeast from high on the Pulama Pali, about the 1600-ft elevation: these two photos show a very fast moving gusher of lava erupting from the tube system and snaking away as a 25-feet wide river down the pali. In the distance we see some of the coastal plain far below and a cloud-covered ocean beyond. This area is in the top section of the old Royal Gardens subdivision, (as more clearly located in the aerial further down the page)My video of this HERE

These creatively shaped pahoehoe formation (above & below) were taken at about the 800-foot elevation within Royal Gardens on the Pulama Pali. This lava was nearly red-hot and was just recently flowing; the downed trees along the top & edges are still burning. Later, just an hour after I left this area and was hiking the three miles out, I looked back to see a fresh breakout of pahoehoe pouring out over this spot- soon to be followed by a much broader area of breakouts as darkness set in. People at the Hawaii County viewing area could clearly see this show. Click on any image to open them all on a viewer page.

From yesterday: a very cool (&hot) USGS/HVO aerial composite overlay of a thermal and daytime photograph of the Royal Gardens Subdivision area presently being overtaken by branching and widespread surface lava flows. (USGS text in white-- my added notes are in green, yellow & black) -- click on it to read the text better) Active breakouts are shown in yellow, though the thermal imagery exaggerates what is actually flowing openly on the surface, I was there yesterday hiking all over it, as shown in my photos. Read the full thermal caption on their images page.

Below: advancing a`a lava moving across an older lava flow: And closer view:

Below: A ten-foot wide river of lava moving down the Pulama Pali yesterday at the 1400-ft elevation:
Swarms of small earthquakes have been recorded in the past few days. Most of these being concentrated only a few miles west-northwest of Halema’uma’u crater and Hawaii Volcanoes Park headquarters. About five of these were over 3.0 and two were over 4.0 (4.3 early yesterday morning). Keep track of these on the interactive HVO earthquake page here

EDIT TO FLATLINE report: I reported yesterday that the magma pressure graphs had flatlined. I was mistaken because I had not noticed that the radical tilt deformation graph scale had drastically changed to compensate for that long spike down anomaly, therefore giving the impression of being flatlined; I had not noticed the scale change. Thanks to Sagebrusher for alerting me to that oversight. magma pressure deformation tilt monitors

Lava Movie Update:
On the advice of those in the know, I am making two version of the lava movie: one short, around 30 minutes and the other longer at around 45 minutes, which will allow for a broader avenue of distributing it later.

I just completed a nice draft of the shorter one; the longer version raw draft is basically complete. My co-editor I am hiring is unavailable for a while due to another project he is on so I am using my time to continue tweaking the two drafts.

Meanwhile I have written to the music composer’s producer/agent listing the compositions and lengths of the music I want to use for the movie; I am awaiting their reply. Buying the licenses to use these compositions will likely be quite costly, far higher than the editor will be, thus donations to the project are still very much appreciated!! (See Sidebar). Thanks so much to those of you who have so generously joined with me to help get this movie to the next level and out there to the world!!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Kilauea’s Pu`u O`o Crater lava reaches Pulama Pali

USGS/HVO image.

Not since New Years Eve has surface lava been active on the Pulama Pali. It is now only four miles west-northwest of Kalapana Gardens community, and can be seen after dark from that area. Surface flows have been slowly spreading and inflating southeasterly between Pu`u O`o crater and the Big Island’s coastline.

These surface flows, which are mostly pahoehoe, are still nearly three miles from the sea, with the leading flow front located just above the mostly devastated and abandoned Royal Gardens subdivision. This front is moving across, and basically parallel to, and just east of, the last big lava surge we had come through the area last December.

At this time, the active surface lava is not endangering any forests or homes. Magma pressures within the Kilauea pluming system will likely determine when or if this flow front will advance further down the pali towards the sea.

I may go take a close look at this in the days ahead and report back here.

As always, the US Geological Survey (USGS) / Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) are doing excellent coverage of all eruptive activity around the two craters and surface flows.
Here is their most recent flow field mapping from February 8th – (The surface flows have further advanced since then) –
Below are some specific links to note:

Their Images page has this QuickTime video shot February 8th showing rapidly running lava within a skylight opening and also the flow fields and fuming lava tubes from Pu`u O`o and down slope to near the Pulama Pali. (I find these QuickTime videos load slowly for me—but it might just be that way for my connection speeds)

This HVO field webcam currently shows the main area of surface lava; this is especially evident after dark if there are no rain showers. (Once the link opens you can click on it for a larger view size).

Here is a parting shot taken one year ago today: Sunrise over Kalapana Gardens… my favorite coastal lava shot, or maybe that’s because it was taken on my birthday ;)
Lava Movie update:
First off— I am so appreciative to those of you who have so kindly donated your funds towards the completion of my feature lava movie! You will all receive signed final versions of the movie on DVD and be listed as sponsors within the movie credits.
With those funds I am now arranging to hire a professional co-editor to help fine-comb my rough (but very cool) first drafts, and to add any special affects that may enhance it. I am holding off on bringing in the co-editor a little bit more as I do some important tweaks to the draft and share that with a few friends at a screening here in my home tomorrow night. This will be my third showing of the movie drafts in the past month and the feedback is important; it let’s me know the strengths and weaknesses of the story and footage. This movie is looking sooo good now! (the screeners get excited to come back and see it again - a good sign I think :) It currently has a running time of 45-minutes, which I hope to keep it close to through the editing ahead.