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Lava Flow Reaches Open Ground

September 20, 2014

View of the narrow flow front. Kaohe Homesteads is in the lower left portion of the image. The vent for the June 27th lava flow is on Puʻu ʻŌʻō, which can be seen on the skyline. (USGS)

The following photos and video were released by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (USGS) (Dated September 19, 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.

View of the flow front, looking north. Pāhoa is located in the upper right portion of the photograph. The flow front today was 3.4 km (2.1 miles) from Pāhoa Village Road. (USGS)

CLICK PHOTO TO WATCH VIDEO: This Quicktime movie gives a quick aerial overview of the activity at the front of the June 27th lava flow. Kaohe Homesteads is in the lower left. (USGS)

Views of the flow front from two different angles, with equivalent thermal images for comparison. The thermal images show that surface breakouts were focused on three areas near the flow front: 1) the flow front itself, 2) an area 300 meters (yards) behind the flow front and 3) a larger area about 1 km (0.6 miles) behind the flow front. (USGS)

A close-up view of the surface of the June 27th lava flow, near the flow front. The pāhoehoe flow is too thin and slow to topple trees as it passes, but instead the lava surrounds the trees and burns through the base. When the trees fall over, the flow surface may have cooled enough that the trunks remain intact. If the surface is hot enough to burn through the fallen trunks, all that remains is a line of ashen residue (see right side of image). (USGS)

This map uses satellite imagery acquired in March 2014 as a base image to show the area around the front of the June 27th lava flow. The blue line and arrowheads show the projected path of the flow over the next two weeks (to October 3), based on the average flow rate over the last two days and the local topography. Lava flow behavior is complex and this projection is subject to change. Satellite image provided by Digital Globe. (USGS)

This large-scale map shows the distal part of the June 27th flow in relation to nearby Puna communities. The black dots mark the flow front on specific dates. The latitude and longitude of the flow front on September 19 was 19.47593/-154.975505 (Decimal degrees; WGS84). The blue lines show down-slope paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM; for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Down-slope path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map indicate approximate flow path directions. The purple arrow shows a short term projection of flow direction based on topography. (USGS)

This small-scale map shows the June 27th flow in Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone in relation to lower Puna. The area of the flow on September 17, 2014, at 3:45 PM is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as mapped on September 19 at 11:45 AM is shown in red. The front of the active flow was 16.4 km (10.2 miles; straight-line distance) from the vent and 2.4 km (1.5 miles) upslope from Cemetery Road. The actual length of the flow, measured along the lava tube axis (so that bends in the flow are considered) was 18.7 km (11.6 miles). 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/. Down-slope path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map indicate approximate flow path directions. The purple arrow shows a short term projection of flow direction based on topography. All older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2014) are shown in gray; the yellow line marks the lava tube. (USGS)

 

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