Tuesday evening, USGS Volcanologist Steve Brantley gave a presentation in Pahoa High School. A lot of it is fairly simple, recapping the eruption for residents of Puna. I’ve covered most of what he does in previous posts. But there are a few new tidbits.
His takeaway is worth seeing if you don’t read/watch the rest:
…until that balance is reached, or something else changes, we expect magma to continue moving from the summit reservoir into the rift zone and further down into the Lower East Rift Zone. So that suggests that we’re in it for the long haul. We don’t know how long this eruption’s going to last, but for now, it looks like it’s just going to continue.
I’m still wondering, and there’s absolutely no way to know: will this follow the pattern of the 1955 Kapoho eruption in whose footsteps it’s following? (Same general area, and in fact for the first two weeks that slow-moving lava coming out was mostly 1955’s leftovers.)
“The [Kapoho] eruption lasted for 88 days and opened at least 24 separatevents that stretched nine miles from Kapoho to west of the Pāhoa-Kalapana road. Numerous lava flows cut all access to lower Puna covering over six miles of public roads. The eruption required the evacuation of most coastline residents from Kapoho to Kalapana for an extended period.”—USGS
A few months is a major disruption to daily life, but that’s really not too long before residents can start picking up the pieces.
Here’s the thing. This lava came down the East Rift Zone after the bottom of Pu’u O’o Crater collapsed and all its lava drained away. And that unusually long-lasting eruptionhad been going since 1983. If this is the same magma from the same source, just emerging from a different location, it could go for years.
P.S.. from the HVO website: “Kilauea – 2018-05-23 04:37:34
Another small summit explosion at 10:18 UTC / 00:18 HST 23 May.” Every night, another poof or two. I feel for the people downwind; while ash isn’t as destructive as lava, it’s still disruptive, bad for plants and machinery, and especially hard on people with respiratory issues.
Not that it really matters which is which, but I like to know what I’m looking at. 22 is sending lava down to the ocean (and the geothermal plant.)
I think the livestream house is on that raised bump to the right of “PGV,” with the camera pointed SE. I guess this map was devised when 20 was having a low spell earlier today.
Mick Kalber’s usual stunning flyover vid including rivers of lava and lava flows meeting the sea:
Okay, now that we know where we are, what’s happening? Good images, clips and news tidbits after the cut. The main story today was concerns about lava encroaching on the PGV geothermal plant, and the hazards it poses. But first…