May 16: Summit Ash and Small “Ballistics”

May 16, 8:36 AM, a 4.2 earthquake shook rocks from Halema’uma’u Overlook Crater’s walls that fell into the lava lake, caused an explosion, and sent (according to the USGS)  “dense ballistic blocks up to 60 cm (2 feet) across were found in the parking lot a few hundred yards from Halemaumau.”

USGS photo of “ballistic rocks” found in parking lot next to Halema’uma’u Crater, INSIDE Kilauea Caldera, morning of May 16

Here they be. They’re ballistic, in that they soar up and down like a cannonball, with the chimney above the lava lake acting sort of like a vertical cannon. But contrary to several headlines I saw, these rocks are not refrigerator-sized.

There is light ash dusting the area and turning it into a moonscape.