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Volcano Overflight: Dozens of Lava Rivulets Flow Into Ocean

April 3, 2017, 11:42 AM HST
* Updated April 3, 11:48 AM
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Jake Shimabukuro’s Tritone from the album Nashville Sessions CD.

“Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s lava lake was active and Pele greeted us with a wry smile!” reported Tropical Visions Video photographer and videographer Mick Kalber, and the Paradise Helicopters crew after an early morning overflight on Wednesday morning, March 29.

Lava exits the lake and feeds the 61g flows lava tubes, which carry the liquid rock to the ocean entry six miles below.

A few new outbreaks on the surface were found as far down as two miles from the vent… lava movement at the distal tip about a mile from the Pali is slow, but steady.

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No active lava was observed on the coastal flats today.

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The ocean entry continues, but the firehose and lava column entering the ocean for the past three months have now reverted to a more traditional wide entry, with dozens of lava rivulets flowing into the water and helping to create a new lava bench.

Some of the activity can be seen from the overlook to the east approximately a half-mile from the entry point.

“As Pele pours lava into the water, the cold sea water, in turn, freezes the lava and the concussions shatter it into fragments,” said Kalber. “Some of these sink to the depths of the sea, while others gain purchase on the coastal rocks and form black sand beaches.”

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