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Volcano Overflight: ‘Ghost from Pac-Man?’

April 10, 2017, 2:21 PM HST
* Updated April 10, 2:30 PM
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Paradise Helicopters Pilot Pete Stachowitz couldn’t get the crew and Tropical Visions Video photographer and videographer Mick Kalber close to the lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater at Kīlauea’s summit during an early morning overflight on Thursday morning, April 6, due to low-lying clouds.

Kīlauea continues to erupt from its east rift zone, and although low cloud cover prevented us from flying over Pu‘u ‘O‘o crater, we observed the March 5 breakout creeping along toward Pulama Pali,” Kalber reported.

The 61g flow, fed from six miles of lava tubes from the Puʻu ʻŌʻō vent, continues to pour lava into the ocean, reported Kalber.

The surface flow which began a month ago—virtually on top of those tubes—slowly advances downslope and is now within a half-mile of Pulama Pali, said Kalber.


Now, roughly .5 miles from the crest of the steep hillside, there are two distinct lobes advancing. The eastern lobe has


The eastern lobe has and still is moving directly over the path of the main 61g tube, while the other is about .25 miles to the west, running a parallel course.

“A larger tube opening from the main conduit was found at the bottom of the Pali and looked like the ghost from Pac-Man!” Kalber said.

A small finger of activity was observed on the coastal plain, not far from the base of the Pali, while the Kamokuna ocean entry is still going strong. Lava pouring into the sea continues to slowly build a new delta at the base of the cliff.


“Steam obscured our view for the most part, but fleeting gaps in the plume offered glimpses of multiple fingers of lava creating a new black sand beach,” said Kalber.


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