June 20: Jaggar Museum Collection Rescued

Today’s Eruption Summary:

Status quo continues, with Fissure 8 feeding a large, fast-flowing channel to the ocean, where it’s entering on the south side of the lava delta today. Upstream along the river, there’s occasional spillovers, but these never travel far from the levees. Top speeds on June 18 were measured at 20mph, by the way. Fissures 6 and 16 have reverted to fuming. (I see no white speck left of Fissure 8 on the LERZ webcam [correction: it’s back at 9:45pm]). Today’s summit explosion occurred at 4:22am (5.3ish), with a minor ash plume rising 6,000 feet above sea level (2000 feet above Kilauea).

Saying Goodbye (At Least For Now)
USGS: “The rock wall at the Jaggar Museum Overlook is cracked and crumbling.
USGS image taken June 18, 2018.”

Today’s big news was confirmation that Jaggar Museum has evacuated its exhibits:

Hawaii Volcanoes NPS: “The cracks on the floor are from earthquake damage. Structural damage from the quakes may have already compromised the building. The observation deck has a new and noticeable tilt. The bigger worry is the increasing and dangerous instability of the crater rim under the building.”

Meanwhile, HVO staff is “making arrangements to remove as much archival and historical material as possible from the buildings,”  They’re so busy monitoring this eruption that I think they may need to hire movers:

Outside, it’s time to bid farewell to the old Halema’uma’u overlook & parking lot:

USGS: “View of the southern edge of the growing Halema‘uma‘u crater (middle right) during yesterday’s [Jun 19] helicopter-assisted work at Kīlauea’s summit. The once-popular parking lot (closed since 2008) that provided access to Halema‘uma‘u is no longer–the parking lot fell into the crater this past week as more and more of the Kīlauea Crater floor slides into Halema‘uma‘u. The Crater Rim Drive road (middle) now ends at Halema‘uma‘u instead of the parking lot. The view is toward the west-northwest.” (Full-sized)

Replacement for the old North Pit GPS station that fell in, maybe?

USGS: “A temporary GPS station (with radio telemetry for continuous measurement) was installed this week on the Kīlauea caldera floor to track the ongoing subsidence of the summit area. The data will help to characterize the extent and rate of the subsidence. HVO work at the summit is conducted with the cooperation and support of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.” (Full-sized)

Meanwhile, the star player and chief menace of the Lower East Rift Zone is still pumping out thousands of gallons of lava a second:

USGS: “Fissure 8 lava fountains reached as high as about 50 m (164 ft) during the past day. The fountain height varies, often sending a shower of lava fragments over the rim of the cone, building it slightly higher and broader. Lava from fissure 8 flows through a well-established channel to the ocean south of Kapoho.” (Full-sized)

It looks like that channel to the right of what used to be “Pele’s face” has crusted over to make a lava tube, or at least a lava arch.

USGS: “Lava from fissure 8 travels about 13 km (8 mi) to the ocean in an open channel. Lava remains incandescent (glowing orange) throughout its journey. The ocean entry is at upper right.” (Full-sized)
USGS: “Sluggish pāhoehoe briefly spills over a section the levee along the well-established lava channel. Such overflows generally travel short distances measured in meters (yards). Geologists track the extent of oveflows and look for potential areas of weakness and seepages along the sides of the perched channel in order to assess potential breakouts from the channel.” (Full-sized)

USGS: “Small streams of lava enter the ocean across a broad area, shown by the multiple white steam and laze plumes. Lava has added about 380 acres of new land into the sea.” (Full-sized)

Last but not least, geologists on the job. This one’s a little hard to see:

USGS: “Geologist makes early morning observations of the lava fountain and channelized flow at fissure 8 in Leilani Estates.” (Full-sized)

We’re missing out on some of the nitty gritty details that geologists will probably be debating for years. For example, what signals can they use to detect when a fissure’s about to reactivate, if Fissure 10 has registered temperatures like this, yet it doesn’t?

USGS: “HVO geologist measures 260 degrees C (500 degrees F) along ground cracks near fissure 10 in Leilani Estates. Geologists routinely make temperature measurements to track changes throughout the fissure complex in the lower East Rift Zone.” (Full-sized)
June 20 Lava Field Map
USGS map of LERZ lava field, 11am HST
Fissure 8 From Space

Astronaut aboard the ISS:

And from a high-resolution mapping satellite:

More @USGSVOlcanoes Q&A

Q: Can you tell us where the overflows are?
A:  It’s hard to map the smaller ones, particularly if they erupt onto existing lava flows, but the larger ones are marked in red on our maps.
Q: Are overflows still going or part of levees now?
A: The overflows that we have seen aren’t moving beyond the existing flow fields, but we are monitoring them regularly to make sure that doesn’t change. Most just flow over the levees and downhill rather than adding much to their height.

Q: How do you measure speed of lava? 
A: It’s tricky! The radar gun is basically the same sort of thing police use to track car speeds, but sometimes it has trouble with very hot objects. Which can be a bit of a problem with lava flows…”

Q:  Is there a graph of Kilauea’s lava lake level over time?
A: Yes, in “Preliminary Analysis of Current Explosion Hazards at the Summit of Kilauea Volcano, May 8, 2018 – Cooperator Report to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park”
Q: What’s the current height?
A: The lava lake has not been visible for some time. Geophysical and chemical evidence (in the plumes) suggests that magma-water interaction has occurred, but there has been no way to directly measure the lava lake level since early to mid-May.

Q: The ohia tree [in HVO wide-angle webcam] looks so healthy. Can they tolerate SO2 better than other trees?
A: The ōhiʻa lehua trees are very well adapted to withstanding sulfur dioxide. They’re often among the first plants to colonize new lava flows on Kilauea: [Link: Native Plants of Hawai’i]

Screengrab of HVO Wide Angle Webcam, 8.50am June 19
From Local News Outlets

Moment of Aloha

Dispatches from the Volcano ditched poetic Hawaiian today to give some facts and figures, buried amongst all the HVO info that even I didn’t catch. Chiefly:

  • Halema’uma’u 6 weeks ago: half mile across, 280 feet deep.
  • Halema’uma’u June 15: 1 x 1.3 km or 0.6 x 0.8 mi, 370 m (1210 ft) deep!
Photographers / Social Media

Part I of III – 20180620 Eruption Overflight . The rising sun on Fissure 8 helped to increase visual contrast of the massive changes in landscape within and around Leilani Estates while large volumes of effusion continue downrift toward the ocean entry in Kapoho. Large lava channels continue to travel at speeds upwards of ~25mph (near Fissure 8) and 15mph (near Kapoho Cone). Converging and diverging paths of serpentine pahoehoe show signs of small breakouts with gaseous a’a surrounding northern and southern perimeters of the lava channels heading toward ocean side. Some sections of the lava channel were hit with just the right amount of angled light to reveal ribbon-like textures from the surface of pahoehoe. Surface flows and ocean entry into the waters of Kapoho continue to extend, creating new shoreline landscapes, vibrant turquoise ponds, and areas covered in volumes of laze, gas, and steam. Unique observations from this flight included lava textures and ribbon-like folds in pahoehoe, volcanic vortices (some call it “lavanadoes”), slow cooling a’a perimeters around pahoehoe channels, and interactions with high temperature lava and ocean water. Radiant heat was felt throughout the flight at 3,000ft AGL safely respecting the Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) above and around eruptive zones. . Mahalo to braddahs @bruceomori , @mickkalber , @hotseathawaii , and Pilot Sean with @paradisehelicopters for the opportunity to join forces to document our eruption! And special thanks to @ikaikamarzo @milekalincoln and our entire Hawaii Tracker community group on Facebook for their personal contribution to help support our community and awareness on our eruption. . My respect and best wishes go out to the neighborhood of Leilani Estates, Lanipuna Gardens, and the areas within and between Kapoho. My heart especially goes out to all of my friends who have lost their homes in this fissure eruption. I am at a loss for words. . #eruption #bigisland #kapoho #lavaoceanentry #kilauea #helicopter #aerial #volcano #leilani @natgeo @hawaiinewsnow

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