Kilauea volcano (Hawaii): the fire hose (March 2017)

For almost 3 months in early 2017, Kilauea volcano was the site of one of the most spectacular and rarest volcanic phenomena: a "fire hose" or lava hose shooting into the ocean. A major bench and cliff collapse on New Year 's Eve 2016 exposed the main active lava tube which had been feeding the ocean entry at rates of up to several cubic meters of very fluid, hot (approx. 1200 deg C) lava. The lava has been traveling underground from the vent on the east rift zone to the coast at 10 miles distance.
The collapse on 31 Dec also affected the submarine part of the coast, creating a very steep submarine slope. It took almost 3 months before the continuous addition of lava finally succeeded to create a new lava delta (bench), allowing the lava to encase itself, stopping the "fire hose" effect.
The pictures on the lower part of this page show one of the last days of the life of the fire hose (18 Mar) when a surge in the tube caused it to be particularly violent.
The fire hose seen on 12 March, approx. 1 m wide and 15 meters tall. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The fire hose seen on 12 March, approx. 1 m wide and 15 meters tall. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Chaotic interaction of the hot lava plunging into the sea. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Chaotic interaction of the hot lava plunging into the sea. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Ejected fragments of still glowing lava fall back into the sea. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Ejected fragments of still glowing lava fall back into the sea. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Rain of glowing bombs into the sea at night. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Rain of glowing bombs into the sea at night. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Ribbons of lava detach from the fire hose. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Ribbons of lava detach from the fire hose. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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The sea responds sending jets of water and steam against the lava. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The sea responds sending jets of water and steam against the lava. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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The bright lava illuminates everything red and orange. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The bright lava illuminates everything red and orange. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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The lava hose seen a few days later (18 Mar) is more than double in size, about 2-3 meters wide. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The lava hose seen a few days later (18 Mar) is more than double in size, about 2-3 meters wide. (Ph... [info]
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Explosion and the fire hose (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Explosion and the fire hose (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Fire hose diving into the water. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Fire hose diving into the water. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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The shape is a perfectly parabolic. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The shape is a perfectly parabolic. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Violent interaction between the lava and water. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Violent interaction between the lava and water. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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View of the Kamokuna sea entry at dawn. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
View of the Kamokuna sea entry at dawn. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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10 minutes later, day break has arrived. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
10 minutes later, day break has arrived. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Zoom onto the lower section of the fire hose. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Zoom onto the lower section of the fire hose. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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An explosion sends multiple jets of dense mixtures of water and lava fragments above the waves. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
An explosion sends multiple jets of dense mixtures of water and lava fragments above the waves. (Pho... [info]
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Liquid fire (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Liquid fire (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Littoral explosion (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Littoral explosion (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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The same explosion a second later. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The same explosion a second later. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Steaming ocean water near the lava entry (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Steaming ocean water near the lava entry (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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The fire hose seems unreal in the twilight. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The fire hose seems unreal in the twilight. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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It is always at the same position. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
It is always at the same position. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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A constant flow of lava that seems to never end. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
A constant flow of lava that seems to never end. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Most of the time, steam actually hides the lava hose. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Most of the time, steam actually hides the lava hose. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Morning explosion (1) (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Morning explosion (1) (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Morning explosion (2) (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Morning explosion (2) (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Morning explosion (3) (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Morning explosion (3) (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Morning explosion (4) (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Morning explosion (4) (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Irregularly shaped lava fragments (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Irregularly shaped lava fragments (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Chaos (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Chaos (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Elegance (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Elegance (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Pink steam (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Pink steam (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Jets of material ejected against the fire hose (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Jets of material ejected against the fire hose (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Fragmented lava (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Fragmented lava (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Yellow fire (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Yellow fire (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Morning view of the lava hose (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Morning view of the lava hose (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Morning explosion (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Morning explosion (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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The curvature of the fire hose is sometimes visible. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The curvature of the fire hose is sometimes visible. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Dense steam clouds usually cover most of the scene. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Dense steam clouds usually cover most of the scene. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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In full daylight, the lava appears orange-red. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
In full daylight, the lava appears orange-red. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Rare view of almost the full length of the fire hose. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Rare view of almost the full length of the fire hose. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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The fire hose in all its glory. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The fire hose in all its glory. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Zoom onto the upper part of the fire hose. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Zoom onto the upper part of the fire hose. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Wide angle view of the sea entry with the fire hose and the steam cloud blown away to the west by strong trade winds. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Wide angle view of the sea entry with the fire hose and the steam cloud blown away to the west by st... [info]
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Only an explosion is seen here with steam blocking the view of the lava. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Only an explosion is seen here with steam blocking the view of the lava. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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The lava hose in front of the cliff. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The lava hose in front of the cliff. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Day-time littoral explosion (1) (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Day-time littoral explosion (1) (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Day-time littoral explosion (2) (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Day-time littoral explosion (2) (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Zoom onto the fire hose (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Zoom onto the fire hose (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Escaping gas bubbles at the surface of the lava cause its irregular surface. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Escaping gas bubbles at the surface of the lava cause its irregular surface. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Fire, earth, water and air. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Fire, earth, water and air. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Orange and white (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Orange and white (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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As daylight increases, the color of the lava hose becomes red. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
As daylight increases, the color of the lava hose becomes red. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Red, white and black. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Red, white and black. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Jets of black lava fragments that will become black sand. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Jets of black lava fragments that will become black sand. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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A last view of the fire hose... (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
A last view of the fire hose... (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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