Volcano news & updates: Kilauea volcano (Big Island, Hawaii)
Kilauea volcano update: Kilauea’s Lower East Rift Zone eruption continues unabatedly: fissure 8 lava fountaining flows quickly through the open channel to Kapoho ocean entry
Saturday Jun 23, 2018 12:00 PM | IS
Lava continues to erupt at a high rate from Fissure 8 and flow within the well established channel to the ocean south of Kapoho. (HVO/USGS)
Lava from fissure 8 travels about 13 km (8 mi) to the ocean in an open channel. Lava remains incandescent (glowing orange) throughout its journey. The ocean entry is at upper right. (HVO/USGS)
The fissure eruption at Kilauea’s Lower East Rift Zone continued without any change throughout the past week. Activity remains focused on Fissure 8 where lava is still erupting at a high rate and then flows within the well established channel to the ocean. Fissures 6, 16/18 and 22 have been intermittently active, showing incandescence and/or lava spattering that at times created small flows.
Fissure 8 cone, lava fountain, and channelized lava flow on the morning overflight - June 19 at about 6:10am HST. One can also see the difference in the effect of the eruption gasses on the vegetation downwind (top left) and upwind (bottom right) of the lava. (HVO/USGS)
The fountains at Fissure 8 have built a horseshoe-shaped tephra cone of about 50 m (165 ft) height through repeated hurling of lava fragments onto and over the growing rim. Lava exiting the cone forms rapids or cascades near the base of the cone as well as a series of standing waves in the uppermost section of the channel. Lava flow velocity varies in different portions of the channel, being faster in bends and more narrow channels. It is also faster in the center of the channel and decreases in speed toward the margins where friction with the channel walls increases. HVO/USGS estimates the maximum lava flow velocity in the channel to be 7.7 m/s (17 mph).
You can see in this video, shared by Ikaiko Marzo on his Facebook page, how fast the lava flows in the channel:
Large blocks of cooled lava the size of a car or bus are sometimes dislodged from the channel margins and carried downstream in the lava flow. As the 13 km (8 mile) perched open channel is filled to the brim with lava there are periodically small overflows occurring along the channel margins. Such overflows are however sluggish, moving slowly downslope as they build up the levees, and being short-lived they don’t extend beyond the current flow field.
G Brad Lewis caught a giant lava boulder ‘the size of a school bus’ floating on the channelized lava flow on this video which he shared on his Facebook page:
The only area where there is some minor expansion of the current lava field is along the southern margin of the wide ocean entry at Kapoho. Multiple white steam and laze plumes indicate that there are many smaller streams of lava that enter the ocean across a broad area. Some as liquid, fast flowing pahoehoe lava and others oozing from a textured a’a flow field. By now this eruption has added about 1,54 square kilometres (380 acres) of new land to into the sea. The wide lava ocean entry creates off shore upwelling and large underwater explosions.
You can see a few impressive underwater explosions at the ocean entry in this video taken by Ikaiko Marzo during one of the Kalapana Cultural Boat Tours:
Great images of the surface texture of the open lava channel as well as the lava ocean entry can be found in the following lava update of Bruce Omori’s (Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery) on his Facebook page:
Saturday, Jun 23, 2018
Kilauea volcano update: Continued summit subsidence evokes earthquake damage to Jaggar Museum and former HVO head quarters
Friday, Jun 22, 2018
Kilauea’s summit continues to steadily subside in response to the large volume of magma that was drained from beneath the caldera towards the lower East Rift Zone early May. This process is most pronounced around Halema’uma’u crater whose walls are falling in on itself and by now has grown to nearly twice its original width and depth – having partially swallowed the old overlook parking lot. What was once a 12-acre (0,05 square km) lava lake in the middle of the crater has grown to more than 130 acres (0.526 square km), at places up to 300 m (1000 ft) deep, and is getting larger every single day. A preliminary estimate of summit volume loss is around 260 million cubic meters as of June 15th, 2018. ... [more]
Thursday, Jun 21, 2018
Tuesday, Jun 19, 2018
Monday, Jun 18, 2018