Featured Articles

Volcano Overflight Reveals ‘Wild Ocean Lava’

November 22, 2016, 10:48 AM HST
* Updated November 22, 11:03 AM
Listen to this Article
3 minutes
Loading Audio...
A
A
A

Video music “F Minor” from Jake Shimabukuro,’s new album “NASHVILLE SESSIONS.”

Paradise Helicopters crew with Tropical Visions Video’s photographer/videographer Mick Kalber conducted a volcano flyover at 6 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 17.

Rainy weather upslope prevented the crew from accessing the vent on Thursday, but the activity at the ocean entry more than made up for their loss.

“The 61g flow continues unabated, dumping tons of lava into the Pacific Ocean at Kamokuna just inside Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park,” said Kalber.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD

“Pele sends her flows through the tube system from the vent some six miles to the new lava delta, which continues to make the Big Island bigger, minute by minute, day by day,” Kalber added.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD

Heavy flows into the water frequently explode as the cool sea water is not able to cool them off quickly enough, and the resulting steam sends lava rocks skyward.

“The lava delta is enormous… well over 20 acres large now, even though cracks indicate a collapse may decrease that figure at any time,” 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.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD

“We saw only one tour boat, which left the ocean entry as we arrived,” said Kalber. “We saw no other visitors on shore watching the creation of the newest land on Earth.”

Lava 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!” said Kalber.

The walk is lengthy and 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.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay in-the-know with daily or weekly
headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Cancel
Mahalo for Subscribing
×

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