July 12: Explosive Ahalanui Ocean Entry

July 11, 2018, 6:00 pm – Kilauea's east rift zone overflight: The large channelized flow to the west of Kapoho Crater,…

Posted by Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery on Thursday, July 12, 2018

Today’s Eruption Summary

Sadly, yesterday afternoon was the end of Kua O Ka La Charter School and Ahalanui Warm Ponds. The flow that diverted west of Kapoho Crater created a channelized a’a flow all the way to the ocean. There is now a strong ocean entry at what used to be Ahalanui Beach Park. There are still multiple “ooze-outs” along the northern lava flow front spanning former Kapoho Bay— it’s now 6 km, 3.7 miles across— “despite no visible surface connection to the fissure 8 channel.”

[Below: USGS 6am overflight, July 12: Fissure 8 perched lava channel, new diverted channel around Kapoho Crater, Ahalanui ocean entry.]

The level of Fissure 8’s lava river was low above Pohoiki Rd in the hours before the summit collapse. USGSVolcanoes posted at 7:17pm today that they observed an increase in Fissure 8 activity following the 2:42pm summit collapse (mag 5.3, here’s video), raising its level again. But there were no overflows, apart from some “small channel breaches south of the ocean entry.”

Speaking of the ocean entry, Bruce Omori of @HotSeatHawaii captured a startling offshore laze/steam/lava explosion just offshore:

USGS field teams reported “no visible activity” at Fissure 22 or any other fissures besides 8.

Today, USGS also posted a 3-month timelapse of Halema’uma’u from the HVO panorama cam, April 14-July 11:

This is another busy news day.

July 12 Lava Flow Map
July 12, 2018, 3pm USGS lava flow map. (Full-sized)

It’s up to 12.4 square miles of lava, ~655 acre lava delta. (FWIW, they estimated ~700 acres on FB, and I think that 655 figure has been there for a while.)

11am USGS media conference call

This morning’s Kilauea update:

(transcript will be posted tomorrow, probably)

More USGS Photos Today
July 12, 2018. Early morning overflight photo looking south, tweeted by USGS. Kapoho Bay ocean entry is at left in middle of photo; new ocean entry at Ahalanui Beach is plume in the distance. Cape Kumukahi Lighthouse in foreground. (Full-sized)
July 12, 2018. USGS: “Aerial view toward the west from directly above Kapoho Crater. After being blocked and diverted yesterday, the fissure 8 lava channel now bends sharply to the south on the western edge of the crater.” (Full-sized)
July 12, 2018. USGS 6am overflight: “View of the fissure 8 lava channel looking toward the southeast. Fume in the center left is rising from overflows where the lava channel bends to the south before reaching Kapoho Crater. Ocean entries can be seen on the horizon near Kapoho (left) and just offshore of Ahalanui Beach Park, also known as “Warm Ponds” (right).” (Full-sized)
July 12, 2018, USGS early morning overflight. “In this aerial view looking to the north, a robust ocean entry plume can be seen rising from just offshore of Ahalanui Beach Park, which was inundated with lava yesterday. Beyond this entry, a more diffuse plume from the ocean entry at Kapoho is visible (upper right).” (Full-sized)
From Hawaii Volcanoes NP

From HC Fire Dept / Civil Defense

Hawai’i County Fire Department posted a new photo album (133 photos) from today’s morning overflight. A few samples:

7/12/2018 Kilauea, HI - East Rift Zone Eruption Event

7/12/2018 Kilauea, HI - East Rift Zone Eruption Event

New west channel:

7/12/2018 Kilauea, HI - East Rift Zone Eruption Event

Northern, older ocean entry area:

7/12/2018 Kilauea, HI - East Rift Zone Eruption Event

Ahalanui ocean entry:

7/12/2018 Kilauea, HI - East Rift Zone Eruption Event

Looking back northeast:

7/12/2018 Kilauea, HI - East Rift Zone Eruption Event

Kapoho Beach Lots (lighthouse off to right):

7/12/2018 Kilauea, HI - East Rift Zone Eruption Event

Heading back to Fissure 8 (you can tells it’s before summit collapse now, when level is lower):

7/12/2018 Kilauea, HI - East Rift Zone Eruption Event

Fissure 22 (the bump behind PGV) all quiet now:

7/12/2018 Kilauea, HI - East Rift Zone Eruption Event

Subdued but still prolific:

7/12/2018 Kilauea, HI - East Rift Zone Eruption Event

From Local News Outlets
From Other GeologisTS

Erik Klemetti, Rocky Planet Blog: “Kilauea Eruption Is a Long-Term Problem for People Living on the Big Island”

Mick Kalber July 12 Overflight

Early morning July 12. Includes that offshore explosion as well as very close views of whole ocean entry area, including northern “ooze-outs”. Also clearest view of upper channel and F8 since last week.

USGS Q&A on Social Media

I couldn’t resist tweeting them that @HotSeatHawaii video of the offshore lava/water explosion:

Q (reply to above video): How did that explosion happen so far from shore? Flow moving across seafloor?
USGS: There are some researchers at who are conducting that exact research. Findings coming soon…

Q: Where can I find GIS files for the lava flow boundaries by day/time used to make the maps here?
USGS: You can find KML files at https://www.sciencebase.gov/…5afe0ba7e4b0da30c1bdb9db

[Unfortunately that’s only the most recent iteration, but it’s the base from which they’ve been making the lava flow maps. However, LOOK, treasure trove of Kilauea and LERZ maps!]

Q: What is current volume roughly?
USGS: Our estimates of erupted volume have a lot of uncertainty, but we’re almost certainly above 500 million cubic meters (0.5 cubic kilometers).

Q: Is it my imagination or has this eruption now produced more lava and more quickly than any others in the last 50-100 years?
USGS: Not your imagination. It’s not more lava than the 1983-2018 Pu`u `O`o productivity (long way before we get to that point), but it certainly is “more quickly” — it’s put out about 5-6 years worth of Pu`u `O`o productivity in about 2 months.

Q: Insane how fast this flow has moved. How does the current eruption compare with past events?
USGS: The lava flows from #fissure8 are certainly fast. The volume has surpassed #MaunaLoa 1984, #Kilauea 1955 & 1960. Eruptions of #MaunaUlu and #PuuOo still surpass #fissure8, but they lasted for years. Flux rate is very high for Kilauea.

Q: Can you explain why Pu’u O’o is not involved in this eruption?
USGS: Prior to this activity, magma going down the East Rift Zone from the summit stopped at Pu`u `O`o and ascended to the surface. But on April 30, whatever barrier existed that kept magma from going farther down the East Rift Zone ruptured. So magma continued down the rift, and Pu`u `O`o drained (since magma no longer ascended beneath the cone. Hope that makes sense. It’s surprisingly difficult to explain…

Q (Stephen Seacrest): How has Pu’u O’o responded to magma moving further downrift? Deformation is less than Kilauea, but maybe morphological changes to crater? What about the short lived uplift last week?
USGS: The short-lived uplift was due to rainfall. #PuuOo is like a sponge, and when there are high rates of rainfall, there is an inflationary signal. As for what it is doing, the crater is slowly falling apart (nature abhors a vacuum).

USGS video of the whirlwind on July 10: 

Q: Is there anything left of this volcano? Can it explode itself out of existence?
USGS: The current explosion/collapse events are happening within the summit caldera of Kilauea, and are not destroying it – just changing its geometry. The volcano itself makes up a significant part of the Big Island.

Comment: Remember Krakatoa.
USGSFortunately, Kilauea and Krakatau are completely different volcanoes, with very different magma compositions and therefore very different eruption styles.

Comment (Mikko Laine): Remember Bardabunga (Iceland, 2014-2015).
USGS: Mikko is quite right — Bardarbunga is a very good parallel to what is happening right now at Kilauea. We might be able to learn more about the entire process of caldera subsidence at Kilauea, since Bardarbunga’s caldera was covered in ice and obscured from view!

Q: What’s with the wild tilt meter readings with today’s M5.3? Why is the spike so juge? It certanly looked like the most severe quake on the livestream! [I thought that too.]
USGS: There has been a data outage at the tiltmeter. The automatic plotting software connected the points across the outage, which is why there is a weird angle to the line. The tiltmeter is currently off line but we’re working to get it back.

Q (Ade Gill): Up at the summit caldera, what is the lighter-colored formation next to scarp behind the left rear of the pit (as viewed from live stream)?
USGS:  That’s South Sulphur Bank. It’s an area of fuming and gas emissions that altered the ground, but that was buried by lava some time ago (sometime in the early 1900s). It’s been slowing coming back, but now we can really see the massive extent.

Q (Ross Ellet): Perhaps this is the million dollar question, but what typically happens once the collapse/explosion cycle comes to an end? Is it expected that the volcano will go into a long quiet period as lava returns…or perhaps it goes back to a set up that was typical before May?
USGS: That really is the million dollar question. Right now, we suspect there will be a period of quiescence (how long we don’t know). A lot of space has been created within the volcano, and that space will need to be filled before eruptions can resume.

Kilauea Plumbing 101

This diagram posted by USGS yesterday elicited a lively question & answer (with others joining in to do some of the explaining):

Q (Jenna G Kelly): If the ERZ reservoir is fed by the Kilauea reservoir and “from below” [magma plume] and the K res is blocked.. is it possible for the ERZ plumbing to shift “from below”?
USGS: ERZ is being feed by summit magma storage. Likely H source drained downward and through SC and K sources to reach ERZ. No significant depletion of SC source has been noted in deformation data.

[Translation: ERZ = East Rift Zone, both the upper part with Pu’u O’o and down in Puna. SC = “south caldera” reservoir. H is Halema’uma’u reservoir.]

Comment (Jacob E Laurishke): Not surprising, as draining SC would require an aila’au type event, and this is large, but nothing like that— at least for now.  

JG Kelly: What is that type of event?

JE Laurishke: Upwards of 90% of Puna was covered by lava as well as a small portion of Eastern and Southeastern Kau between roughly 1420 and 1480. [For more info, be distracted by Wikipedia entry on Kazumura Cave.]

JG Kelly: Wow, what preceded it?
USGS: Well… #Pele got pretty mad at her sister Hi‘iaka for taking too long to return to Halema’uma’u with Lohi‘au – Pele’s true love!

Q (Jenna G. Kelly): Is there any inflation in the SC reservoir? Does the pressure transfer in the plumbing create a vacuum effect on the source below the SC…?
USGS: There is some pressure loss in the SC reservoir, but it looks like that might be waning. A vacuum effect on the source below the SC reservoir has been theorized, but it’s uncertain if that actually happens. This event will help us investigate that process!

More Brian Omori Photos from yesterday

Yesterday I put up some photos Brian shared from their morning July 11 overflight, but apparently he took a late afternoon flight yesterday as well. At 6pm, he reported the loss of Ahalanui Warm Ponds and Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School. Accompanying this post were a few afternoon photos, including:

July 11, 2018, 6:00 pm – Kilauea's east rift zone overflight: A massive ‘a‘a flow has consumed the Ahalanui Beach Park and Kua O Ka La public charter school.

Posted by Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery on Thursday, July 12, 2018

Wednesday evening, July 11, 2018, 6:00 pm – Kilauea's east rift zone overflight: A view of the entire eruption zone,…

Posted by Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery on Thursday, July 12, 2018

July 11, 2018, 6:00 pm – Kilauea's east rift zone overflight: Numerous breaches of the perched channel within Leilani estates, can be seen as the lighter colored lava.

Posted by Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery on Thursday, July 12, 2018

Andrew Richard Hara Photos

Seems like all the longtime lava photographers were out today to check on the new landscape. He put up a FB album of 55 photos from an 8:30am overflight today, making observations on lava flow levels and other details. A few samples (he tends to tweak color in odd ways to boost cyan & orange):

Posted by Andrew Hara on Thursday, July 12, 2018

Fissure 22 cone all quiet after a few weeks of intermittent spatter have bulked it out sideways:

Posted by Andrew Hara on Thursday, July 12, 2018

Another fissure — not sure which — with houses for scale:

Posted by Andrew Hara on Thursday, July 12, 2018

Cooling spillovers:

Posted by Andrew Hara on Thursday, July 12, 2018

Another view of the new channel west and south of Kapoho Crater, facing towards new ocean entry:

Posted by Andrew Hara on Thursday, July 12, 2018

Old ocean entry:

Posted by Andrew Hara on Thursday, July 12, 2018

From Social Media

My last solo moment at the hot ponds. Nobody was here because the area had been evacuated, we got there after leaving Kapoho Bay for the last time. There Was an eerie feeling that day. You could tell nobody had been there for a while because there were leaves on the ground over all the walkways. Somehow I knew I should take some photos and videos having a weird feeling inside my gut that it may be the last time I ever stood there. Sad to say my gut was right. I have some Timelapses from this day I’ll share as well. I used to take my son here to swim a lot despite sometimes unsatisfactory water conditions. Pele, cleaning house. Rest In Peace… . . . #memories #thelavaeffect #thelavastruggleisreal #lavagroundzero #alahanui #hotponds #thelasttime #lavachaser #demianbarrios

A post shared by Demian Barrios (@dbphotogallery) on

🎶red road and hot ponds and palm trees on red road: these are a few of my favorite things…”🎶 Thought I’d share this little edit of our now gone Ahalanui Hot Ponds. I had taken these Videos secretly hoping I would never have to share them but now that it is gone I have no choice but to share. My kuleana. We will miss this place. I even shared my dork moment at the end. (Me singing, my buddy Trav in the water). It was truly from the heart in a moment grasping for something I knew may be taken from us. I celebrate these moments. My utmost respect for all of us and all these places that are being changed forever. … please see the link in my bio to learn how you can help a family affected by the lava … aloha . #ahalanui #hotponds #leilanieruption #thelavaeffect #thelavastruggleisreal #lavagroundzero #lavachaser #demianbarrios #redroad #puna #hawaiilavaohana

A post shared by Demian Barrios (@dbphotogallery) on