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Lava Flow Front Continues Advancing, Triggers Brush Fire

October 7, 2014

The June 27th lava flow remains active, and the flow front continues to advance towards the northeast along the forest boundary. Today, the flow front consisted of a narrow lobe moving through thick forest. The flow front was 1.7 km (1.1 miles) upslope of Apaʻa St., and 2.7 km (1.7 miles) from Pāhoa Village Road. The lava flow also triggered a brush fire that was active north of the flow front this afternoon. (USGS)

The following photos and maps were released by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (USGS) (Dated October 6, 2014) . Note: these photos 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.

Another view of the flow front and brush fire, with a thermal image for comparison. (USGS)

A close-up view of the leading edge of the June 27th flow, which was active along the forest boundary. The thermal image shows the concentration of hot, fluid lava at the flow margin. (USGS)

Another view of the flow front, largely masked by thick smoke, showing the position of the flow in relation to the Kaohe Homesteads subdivision (left side of photograph). The brush fire extends off the right side of the photo. (USGS)

Breakouts remain active upslope of the flow front, in the area that lava first entered ground cracks. Today these scattered breakouts were burning forest at numerous spots along the flow margin. Puʻu ʻŌʻō can be seen in the distance. (USGS)

From USGS on October 5, 2014: This satellite image was captured by the Advanced Land Imager instrument onboard NASA’s Earth Observing 1 satellite. Although this is a false-color image, the color map has been chosen to mimic what the human eye would expect to see. Bright red pixels depict areas of very high temperatures, and show active lava. White areas are clouds. For reference compare the flow outline shown here in yellow to the large-scale flow field map provided in the “maps” link above. The grid shows coordinates in Universal Transverse Mercator, with a grid spacing of one kilometer (0.6 miles). (USGS)

This map uses a satellite image acquired in March 2014 (provided by Digital Globe) as a base to show the area around the front of the June 27th lava flow. The area of the flow on October 3, 2014, at 9:20 AM is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as mapped on October 6 at 12:15 PM is shown in red. The flow front advanced about 360 m (390 yd) since our October 3, 2014, overflight. This puts the flow front about 1.7 km (1.1 mi) directly upslope from Apaʻa Street. The distance is 1.9 km (1.2 mi) when measured along the path of steepest-descent. The blue line and arrowhead shows the projected path of the flow over the next 10 days (to October 16), based on the steepest-descent path and the average advance rate of 120 m/day (130 yd/day) achieved since October 3. This projection is subject to change because the amount of lava erupted from the June 27th vent, and the advance rate of the resulting lava flow, have been variable. The flow could speed up or slow down; the flow front could stall again, and a new active flow front could start again farther upslope; or the flow could stop altogether. (USGS)

This large-scale map shows the distal part of the June 27th flow in relation to nearby Puna communities. The area of the flow on October 3, 2014, at 9:20 AM is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as mapped on October 6 at 12:15 PM is shown in red. Breakouts were mainly scattered across the leading 1.5 km (1 mi) of the flow, and midway along the length of the flow where lava first entered the crack system. A few other breakouts were active on the surface within the crack system. The black dots mark the flow front on specific dates. The blue lines show steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM; for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent 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. (USGS)

This small-scale map shows the June 27th lava flow in Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone in relation to lower Puna. The area of the flow on October 3, 2014, at 9:20 AM is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as mapped on October 6 at 12:15 PM is shown in red. All older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2014) are shown in gray; the yellow line marks the lava tube. The blue lines show steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM; for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent 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. (USGS)

 

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