Volcano Overflight Reveals Huge Lava DeltaNovember 7, 2016, 12:58 PM HST (Updated November 7, 2016, 1:04 PM)
Paradise Helicopters crew with Tropical Visions Video’s photographer/videographer Mick Kalber conducted a volcano flyover at 6 a.m. on Nov. 3, 2016
“Strong winds blew Pele’s plume from the Pu‘u ‘O‘o vent flat over the lavascape southward on a gorgeous November morning,” Kalber reported. The vent’s lava lake was mostly visible today, and the two skylights to the north have reopened.”
Approximately 30 to 50 feet down, breaks in the surface reveal a large river of lava flowing quickly down the 61g flow’s path, feeding the ocean entry about six miles from the vent.
Only five visitors had walked to the ocean entry by daybreak, and no boats were present.
The skylight just above the road remains intact and photographers were taking full advantage of the spectacular view.
The lava delta is enormous, Kalber said, with over 20 acres (by some accounts) of new land added to the Big Island.
But cracks in its surface indicate a strong probability of collapse soon.
A great deal of lava is flowing into the ocean, causing small steam explosions as the sea can’t cool off the volume quickly enough.
Pele continues to form numerous new black sand beaches along the coast near her ocean entries.
The hot lava’s interaction with the cold seawater shattering the flow into bits that are then tumbled into submission.
“What a fabulous glimpse of creation for visitors on foot, by boat or in the air!” said Kalber.