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Volcano Overflight: Big Island Continues to Grow

November 16, 2016, 1:05 PM HST
* Updated November 16, 1:34 PM
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Video: Slack key guitar music by Hilo’s own Ben Kaili.

Paradise Helicopters crew with Tropical Visions Video’s photographer/videographer Mick Kalber conducted a volcano flyover at 6 a.m. on Nov. 10, 2016.

Despite Kona winds that sent dense vog to East Hawai‘i, Kalber reported “another stunningly beautiful morning to the southeast,” as the crew accessed all portions of the continuing 61g lava flow.

Pu‘u ‘O‘o’s lava lake was largely obscured; the crew caught only a quick glimpse.

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Kalber reported that the skylights on the northeast of the vent were wide open, with lava flowing very rapidly below.

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“The breaks in the tube system exposed Pele’s hot liquid rock coursing below,” said Kalber. “The lava makes it’s way beneath the surface and into the Pacific Ocean some six miles downslope.”

All ocean activity is still confined to Kamokuna on the Kalpana (eastern) end of the lava delta… “and is enormous,” Kalber said. “Numerous lobes of lava are pouring into the Pacific Ocean there, creating a huge plume of laze that can be seen for many miles.”

Kalber said only one tour boat was on hand and no other visitors were watching the creation of the newest land on Earth that morning.Pele continues to form 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 magnificent sight for visitors who can gain access from either the Kalpana of HVNP side by walking out the temporary access road, which goes directly to the ocean entry! The walk is lengthy, however, and precautions should be observed. Bruce Omori, Special Guest Robert King, Leilani, Lava Ducky and I flew with the famous Paradise pilot, Robert Mitchell… as always, Rob’s flying skills totally amaze us! A

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“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 shattering the flow into bits that are then tumbled into submission.”

“What a magnificent sight for visitors who can gain access from either the Kalpana of Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park-side by walking out the temporary access road, which goes directly to the ocean entry!” said Kalber.

The walk is lengthy;  precautions should be observed.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory cautions visitors viewing the 61g flow ocean entry (where lava meets the sea), that 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.

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.

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.

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