Featured Articles

Photos of East Rift Zone, July 8

July 8, 2018, 1:10 PM HST
* Updated July 9, 7:58 AM
Listen to this Article
1 minute
Loading Audio...

The U.S. Geological Survey released these pictures from an overflight taken Sunday morning, July 8, 2018.

Early morning helicopter overflight: no significant change at Fissure 8, channel and ocean entry

Fissure 8 (lower right) and open lava channel leading to the northeast. Geologists noted small lava-level fluctuations in the open channel overnight, which indicates intermittent variations in lava discharge from Fissure 8.

The small steam plumes in distance mark locations of fissures that erupted in early May at the beginning of the ongoing eruption. Click to enlarge. PC: USGS

An increase in lava levels was noted about 1.5 hours after the collapse-explosion event at the volcano’s summit at 2:55 a.m. Evidence of a couple of recent, short-lived channel overflows were observed early this morning, but they had not reached the edge of the flow field.

Braided section of the lava channel located “downstream” between about 2.2 to 3.7 miles from Fissure 8 (upper right).

View is toward the southwest. Click to enlarge. PC: USGS


The width of the two channels in the middle center is about 1,065 feet.


View of the partially filled Kapoho Crater (center) and the open lava channel where it makes a 90-degree turn around the crater. The open channel no longer directly enters the ocean.

Lava flows freely through the channel only to the southern edge of Kapoho Crater (left side of image). Click to enlarge. PC: USGS

Clearly, lava moves into and through the molten core of the thick ‘a‘ā flow across a broad area from both the sides and end of the channel.

Close view of the “end” of the open lava channel where lava moves beneath the crusted ‘a‘ā flow. Click to enlarge. PC: USGS

Lava still oozes from the northern edge of the ‘a‘ā flow near the lighthouse at Cape Kumukahi (upper right).

View is toward the northeast. Click to enlarge. PC: USGS


Smoke from burning vegetation marks location of lava oozeouts.

Multiple ocean entries were active this early morning, each contributing to the prominent “laze” plume above the area.

Kapoho Crater is at middle right of photo. Click to enlarge. PC: USGS

Lava moves from the open channel through the molten core of the broad ‘a‘ā flow field to the ocean.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

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


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