Featured Articles

Volcano Overflight Reveals New Beaches, Cloud Formations

October 18, 2016, 9:39 AM HST
* Updated October 18, 9:44 AM
Listen to this Article
3 minutes
Loading Audio...
A
A
A

Paradise Helicopters crew with Tropical Visions Video’s photographer/videographer Mick Kalber conducted a volcano flyover at 6 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016.

Pele’s plume from the Pu‘u ‘O‘o vent and the ocean entry floated southeast, as the 61g lava flow continues.

The vent’s lava lake was barely visible; the vent was almost completely socked in.

“Almost at the top of the Pali, we discovered a large gaping skylight,” said Kalber. “The break in the tube allowed us to see lava coursing by, feeding the ocean entry some six miles from the vent.”

The apex of a breakout from above forms an amazing abstract. Paradise Helicopters/Extreme Exposure photo.

The apex of a breakout from above forms an amazing abstract. Paradise Helicopters/Extreme Exposure photo.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD

Kalber noted that visitors to the ocean entry were scarce on Thursday morning, “but several were seen in the area of the skylight about a 1/4 mile above the road, where hot molten rock makes it’s way beneath the surface and into the Pacific Ocean.”

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD

The eastern ocean entry is extremely robust now, Kalber said, adding that the western entry stalled out last week.

“Pele continues to form new black sand beaches along the coast near her ocean entries,” said Kalber.

“The hot lava’s interaction with the cold seawater are shattering the flow into bits that are then tumbled into submission,” said Kalber. “On the eastern side of the plume, many drips fell from the bench, 8 to 10 feet below onto the newly formed beach.”

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD

“What a magnificent sight for visitors both from the tour boats and cliffs nearby!” Kalber said.

An accumulation of bright yellow sulfur is evident on this skylight’s edges is a result of degassing taking place. Paradise Helicopters/Extreme Exposure photo.

An accumulation of bright yellow sulfur is evident on this skylight’s edges is a result of degassing taking place. Paradise Helicopters/Extreme Exposure photo.

USGS HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY WARNING TO OCEAN ENTRY VISITORS

As a strong caution to visitors viewing the 61g flow ocean entry, there are additional significant hazards besides walking on uneven surfaces and around unstable, extremely steep sea cliffs.

  • Venturing too close to an ocean entry exposes you to flying debris created by the explosive interaction between lava and water.
  • Also, the new land created is unstable because it is built on unconsolidated lava fragments and sand.
  • This loose material can easily be eroded away by surf, causing the new land to become unsupported and slide into the sea.
  • In several instances, such collapses, once started, have also incorporated parts of the older sea cliff.
  • Finally, the interaction of lava with the ocean creates a corrosive seawater plume laden with hydrochloric acid and fine volcanic particles that can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs.

HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY DAILY UPDATE
Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016, 8:56 a.m.

Activity Summary: Kīlauea Volcano continues to erupt at the summit and the Puʻu ʻŌʻō vent on its East Rift Zone. Tiltmeters at Kīlauea’s summit recorded inflationary tilt. The lava lake surface was measured at 34 feet below the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater this morning. The 61g lava flow continues to enter the sea at Kamokuna posing no threat to nearby communities.

Summit Observations: Tiltmeters at Kīlauea’s summit recorded inflationary tilt. The lava lake was measured to be 34 feet below the rim of the Overlook Vent this morning.

Seismicity is within normal, background rates with tremor fluctuations associated with lava lake spattering. Average daily summit sulfur dioxide emission rates ranged from 5,000 to 7,700 metric tons/day over the past week.

Puʻu ʻŌʻō Observations: Webcam images over the past 24 hours show persistent glow at long-term sources within the crater. There were no significant changes in seismicity over the past 24 hours. The tiltmeter recorded no significant tilt, it is flat. The sulfur dioxide emission rate from all East Rift Zone vents was about 358 metric tons/day when last measured on Oct. 14.

Lava Flow Observations: The 61g lava flow, extending southeast from Puʻu ʻŌʻō on Kīlauea’s south flank continues to supply lava to the ocean at Kamokuna.

Comments

This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Big Island Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments

Newsletters

Get a quick summary of what’s happening on the Big Island with our daily & weekly email of news highlights.