May 1: Pu’u O’o’s Pink Ash Plume

On May 1st, the night after Pu’u O’o’s floor fell in, the newly-drained crater was sending up a huge plume of pink ash.*

Source: Mick Kalber of Tropical Visions, flying with Paradise Helicopters, annotated by Big Island Video News. Here’s Mick’s observations about this flyover on his vimeo page).


Rainy weather, clouds, and plume cleared somewhat to allow for a clearer view of just what had happened to Pu’u O’o on May 2nd:

Here’s Mick’s observations and BigIslandVideo’s coverage of the day’s volcanic activity (scroll down).

See this PBS May 5th article for more good photos of the plume and freshly-emptied crater.

A May 3rd satellite photo by ESA’s Sentinel-2 clearly shows the pink ash deposit around Pu’u O’o.

*Geologist Janine Krippner explained the pink color on her Twitter.

I still don’t understand why this ash plume was pink, when the ash coming from Halema’uma’u’s lava lake is mostly gray. Maybe the walls of Pu’u O’o crater were hotter, and/or the rock blasted out of it had cooked for much longer, since Pu’u O’o Crater has had lava in it for most of the past 35 years?