July 18: One Moving Lava Flow Atop Another?!

July 18, 2018. USGS: “The fissure 8 cone (right) and proximal lava channel were partially obscured by volcanic gas emissions this morning. In concert with surges in the eruptive activity, lava levels were fluctuating over periods of about five minutes. Deposits of tephra (airborne lava fragments, such as Pele’s hair) blanket the foreground area.” (Full-sized)
Today’s Eruption Summary

Fissure 8 surged after last night’s summit collapse and sent brief-lived overflows towards Nohea Street and on both sides of the channel further down. Civil Defense reported an unspecified number of structures lost; Janet Snyder of the Mayor’s office said one in the mandatory evacuation zone of Leilani Estates.

Other fissures remain quiet.

July 18, 2018. USGS: “An increase in lava supply overnight produced several lava channel overflows that threatened homes on Nohea street in the Leilani Estates subdivision; farther downstream, lava overflowed both sides of the channel. By mid-morning, the overflows had stalled (flow shown here). For scale, a person’s leg and boot are just visible on the right center edge of this photo.” (Full-sized)

Past Kapoho Crater, a pulse of a’a made its way to the ocean, overriding the existing channelized flow on the south side of the delta. Ooze-outs continue here and there along the edge of the delta.

July 18, 2018. USGS: “Several lobes of fissure 8 lava are entering the ocean along a broad front, with the southwestern edge of the entry shown here. The southern margin of the lava flow was about 700 m (0.4 mi) from the Pohoiki boat ramp this morning.” (Full-sized)

We’ll have to wait another day to see how summit collapses look from the new Northeast Caldera Rim livestreamToday’s occurred at 1:28 am July 18. They seem to be spaced farther out, but it still registered as a M5.3.

July 18 Lower East Rift Zone Map
July 18, 2018. USGS: “Map as of 10:00 a.m. HST, July 18, 2018. The south ocean entry area was obscured by laze (acidic steam plume), so the southern boundary of the lava flow is approximate on this map.” (Full-sized)

And the smoke from a fire on the saddle area of Mauna Loa this evening is NOT a volcanic eruption.

July 14 2:45 pm drone video

[USGS Caption: “In this July 14, 2018, video captured by the UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) team, lava was erupting from within the 120-foot-high fissure 8 cinder cone built of chilled lava fragments.Lava emerging from the cone was traveling about 13-16 miles per hour, flowing freely over a small set of cascades (rapids) and into a perched channel that was as much as 50 feet above the ground surface. The fissure 8 lava flow channel extends about 8 miles to the active ocean entry. UAS are assisting in the USGS eruption response. Hovering at about 1000 feet above hazardous areas, UAS collect video and images to map lava flow boundaries, track overflows, and help assess channel velocities. UAS can also carry sensors to collect thermal and gas data.”]

[Note: someone asked for confirmation of the 120′ height, since it used to be 180′. USGS: “Cinder cones do change shape over the course of eruptions – growing and shrinking via tephra accumulation and collapse. So, yes.”]

USGS Recent Meetings/Talks
HC Fire Dept Overflight

Again posted two days later on Civil Defense’s Flickr.

July 16, day of the lava tour boat accident.


Blocked branch of braided channel:


Main ocean entry channel, south side of Kapoho Crater:


Old channel past Kapoho Crater. Hard to tell if it’s transporting any lava under the surface:


Lava delta over Kapoho Bay. Lots of a’a.


Tiny not-island:


New ocean entry in foreground (thicker laze plume) and “ooze-outs” dwindling into the distance:


Link: 29 more photos in album.

From Local News Media
Bruce Omori Photos from this morning

Here’s that “new, faster moving flow” creeping over the older but still active flow this morning, which I had a little trouble visualizing from USGS description:

Wednesday, July 18, 2018, 6:00 am – Kilauea's lower east rift zone overflight: A new wave of lava moves over the still active ‘a‘a flow on the coastal plain toward the sea.

Posted by Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery on Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Wednesday, July 18, 2018, 6:00 am – Kilauea's lower east rift zone overflight: A new, faster moving flow, moves over the older, but still active, mass of ‘a‘a.

Posted by Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery on Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Great close-up of the older, established a’a flow (darker, with breakouts all along the side) with this morning’s “surge” flow (lighter color) moving over the top:

Wednesday, July 18, 2018, 6:00 am – Kilauea's lower east rift zone overflight: The active ‘a‘a flow bleeds from its perimeter, while another wave of lava on the right, moves at a faster pace toward the sea.

Posted by Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery on Wednesday, July 18, 2018

And a few other views:

Wednesday, July 18, 2018, 6:00 am – Kilauea's lower east rift zone overflight: Although the flow's southward progression has slowed, we observed some areas of breakouts throughout the flow's periphery.

Posted by Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery on Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Wednesday, July 18, 2018, 6:00 am – Kilauea's lower east rift zone overflight: The channelized flow moves onto the…

Posted by Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery on Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Blog post and 8 more photos here.

USGS on Social Media
July 18, 2018. USGS: ” As of around 6:00 a.m. HST today, the southwestern-most part of the ocean entry was adjacent to a surf spot known as “Bowls and Shacks.” (Full-sized)

Here’s an interesting tidbit for today:

USGS: Hey. Can you please email the full video to vhpweb@usgs.gov? We would like to have some of our volcanologists take a look. Static charges often accompany explosive events, and lightning was visible in explosive plumes at the coast – this is an interesting observation.

USGS Followup: From our electrostatic expert. They do look like electrical discharges. It’s possible there were large subsurface air bubbles where charging could occur & then house discharges up to the surface, where they became visible. Lava flashes water to steam- bubbles would have occurred.

[Another person noted the lightning flashes in the laze cloud in Ikaika Marzo’s video.]

USGS: Those were lightning strokes caused by electrical charges between positive and negative charges between tephra (broken up lava pieces) and the surrounding air. Amazing, huh?! These are seen often in volcanic ash plumes.

Q: How do these eruptions affect world weather?

USGSThere really isn’t any global impact on weather – for that, you’d have to have an eruption column that could put large amounts of ash and SO2 gas into the stratosphere (like Pinatubo in 1991). There can be local effects, however — like localized rainclouds forming due to air upwelling over the eruption site, or due to increased vog concentrations that can actually impact parts of the Pacific as far away as Guam.

Q: Where can we find numbers on gas emissions?

USGS: There are no specific numbers being recorded on a daily basis. In general, the amounts from the fissure system have increased through time – this corresponds to a shift to more primitive (less outgassed) magma. When crews have been able to measure emissions directly, the numbers since May 5 have been over 30,000 tons per day for sulfur dioxide. It’s hard to get quantifiable numbers of other species.

[FWIW, Pinatubo released 17 megatons of SO2 in a few days. And its high eruption column sent most of that into the stratosphere, where it could linger. That link summarizes climate impact.]

Rumor Whack-a-Mole

Q: What about the fissure in Grand Tetons NP?  [The park service calls it a crack. I suspect some tabloids have changed it to “fissure” for clickbait purposes.]

USGS: It’s a different kind of fissure – while we’ve been using ‘fissure’ to describe cracks that spew lava, the Grand Tetons fissure is referring to a crack in a rock buttress on a non-volcanic mountainside. Geologists get a lot of mileage out of the words we use!

Q: Could it lead to a volcanic eruption?

USGS: This is not a volcanic event. There is not a potentially active volcano in the Tetons – just typical weathering and rock fracturing.

And on Facebook:  USGS: We’ve gotten a lot of questions about a crack at Grand Teton National Park, and whether or not it was caused by #Yellowstone activity. Here’s the latest information directly from the National Park Service, complete with photos! In a nutshell, it’s a fracture in a steep cliff face that is unrelated to Yellowstone. Cracks in cliffs in steep mountainous terrain, like the Teton Range, are very common and can lead to rockfalls, which is why the immediate area around the unstable area has been closed.  

From Other Photographers / Social Media 

I think the “new flow front” is the surge flow that Omori photographed above.

More action from Kilauea, a river of lava makes its way from fissure 8 to the Big Island coast.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Capture Info:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Sony a7RIII + Sony 100-400 GM⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ f/8, 1/2000, 400mm, ISO 320⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Tags:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #hawaii #puna #hawaiianlife #lava #lavaflow #volcano #volcanoes #kilaueavolcano #travelphotos #landscapephotomag #natureloversgallery #naturepics #natgeo #earthpics #sonyalphaclub #sonyphotography #sonyphotogallery #sonyalpha #sonyimages #passionpassport #discoverearth #beautifuldestinations #earthfocus #theglobewanderer #awesome_earthpix #aroundtheworldpix #places_wow #awesome_photographers #earthpix #ourplanetdaily @paradisehelicopters

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