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Lava Flow Remains Active

September 7, 2014

Breakouts remain scattered along the June 27th lava flow, and are not just limited to the flow front. Here surface flows have recently cut a swath through thick forest. (USGS)

The following photos and videos were released by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (USGS) (Dated September 6, 2014) . Note: these photos and video were not taken in areas currently accessible to the public. (You can visit the official website of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park for current information on the areas of Kilauea that are open to public). Click here to see photos from previous post.

Following a reduction in surface activity yesterday, we observed an increase in surface flows today issuing from the ground crack. The reduction yesterday was likely due to lava filling the deep ground cracks. The flow front today was moving towards the north from the ground crack, through thick forest, creating a dense plume of smoke. The farthest active flows today were 13.2 km (8.2 miles) from the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and 1.4 km (0.9 miles) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna forest reserve. This boundary is the western edge of Kaohe Homesteads subdivision, seen at the bottom of this photograph. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is visible on the horizon in the upper right portion of the photograph. (USGS)

Another view of the flow front, looking west. Lava issued from several spots along a deep ground crack earlier this week, as shown by the distinct fingers of lava making up the flow front. The thick smoke plumes show the flow front this morning was moving downslope towards the north (right in image), but it is too soon to know if this northerly flow direction will be sustained. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is in the upper left portion of the photograph. (USGS)

CLICK PHOTO TO WATCH VIDEO: This Quicktime movie gives a quick aerial overview of activity at the flow front. (USGS)

This thermal image looks west at the June 27th flow front. The active tip of the flow is at the right side of the image, moving north. Lava issued from several spots along a deep ground crack, which has been traced with the dotted line in the left portion of the image. In addition, lava was filling another crack, also marked, closer to the active tip of the flow. (USGS)

A wide view of Kīlauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes, looking northwest. Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater, on Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone, is the large fuming crater just to the left of the image center. Just to the right of the center point, on the northeast flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone, smaller fume sources trace the lava tube supplying lava to the June 27th lava flow (the front of this flow is out of view to the right). In the distance, a faint plume of volcanic gas from the summit of Kīlauea can be seen below the clouds. The broad slopes of Mauna Loa form the skyline. (USGS)

Lava was filling another ground crack near the flow front, as indicated by a line of steam that extended a short distance west of the flow tip. At two spots along this ground crack we observed small pads of lava near the surface. (USGS)

This small-scale map shows the June 27th flow in Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone as of September 6, 2014. The area of the flow on September 3 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as mapped on September 6 at ~11:10 AM is shown in red. The front of the active flow was 13.2 km (8.2 miles) from the vent and 1.4 km (0.9 miles) from the east boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve, and was advancing toward the north, roughly parallel to the Forest Reserve boundary. The blue lines show down-slope paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM). For an explanation of down-slope path calculations, see: http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/. All older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2014) are shown in gray; the yellow line marks the lava tube. (USGS)

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