Volcano Overflight: Extraordinary Lava Lake!
Poni Aloha kī-hō’alu (Hawaiian slack key guitar) by Hilo’s own Ben Kaili
“Periodic rain didn’t deter our efforts to access the Puʻu ʻŌʻō vent of Kilauea Volcano this morning and the lava lake was extraordinary!” reported Tropical Visions Video photographer and videographer Mick Kalber, and the Paradise Helicopters crew after an early morning overflight on Thursday morning, March 23.
“Pele spattered wildly, stretched and folded below, as the plume rolled slowly by,” said Kalber. “Most of her lava exits the lake and feeds the 61g flows lava tubes that feed the ocean entry six miles below.”
A few new surface flows were found as far down as 1.5 miles from the vent and several outbreaks were quite sizable. This activity is approximately halfway to the Pali.
A few outbreaks were also seen on the coastal flats.
The ocean entry continues to pour lava into the water creating littoral explosions which rock the coastline.
“The firehose lava even has morphed into a more traditional column of lava stacking next to the cliff and now finally forming a new lava bench,” said Kalber. “The cliff there remains cracked and dangerously unstable.”
Much of the activity is hidden from view of the overlook to the east.
“As Pele pours lava into the water, the cold sea water freezes the lava and the concussions shatter it into fragments,” Kalber reported. “Some of these sink to the depths of the sea, while others gain purchase on the coastal rocks and form black sand beaches.”