July 24: Visible Shockwave in Steam Clouds

July 24, 2018: Two HVO geologists out standing in their field. USGS tweeted this among a batch of photos today. (Full-sized)
Today’s Eruption Summary

Today’s summit collapse event at 6:41 am was upgraded to 5.6 a 5.3, as usual. The USGS apologized for calculations errors for the past 3 days

Since I was out and missed it on livestream, I’m very glad HVO captured it.  Here’s yet another trick from Pele’s repertoire:

There’s a lot to look at here. From USGS caption:

“In this video, watch as today’s event unfolds from the perspective of HVO’s live-stream camera. At 6:41:08 (time stamp at upper left), a small tree along the right margin of the video begins to sway. At 6:41:10, a pressure wave passes through the steam plume in the crater, and light is reflected back to the camera (highlights the passage of the expanding sound energy through the air.) At 6:41:11, a rockfall begins on the South Sulphur Banks, a distant light-colored scarp on the left.”

Field crews reported no surge at Fissure 8 following today’s summit collapse.

I notice the latest HVO Kilauea report says Fissure 8’s cone is down to 50 m, “or 55 yards.” It’s definitely crumbled or eroded— that may be responsible for some of the lava boats— but I’m never sure whether they’re measuring from the original ground level or the lava on which it sits. At any rate, the fountaining is lower, too, since it’s not rising above the lip of the cone.

July 24, 2018. USGS: “Fissure 8 lava channel as viewed from HVO’s morning overflight today. The robust volcanic gas plume in the far distance was rising from the fissure 8 vent.” (Full-sized)

Down at the ocean entry, the main channel is still dumping into the sea from multiple toes near former Ahalanui.

July 24, 2018. USGS: “The Hawaii County Fire Department captured this image of Isaac Hale Park and boat ramp during their overflight of the area late this afternoon.” (Full-sized)

I’m impressed HCFD was able to catch a glimpse under the thick, low laze plume, which was obstructing the view during @HotSeatHawaii’s overflight, which looked about like this (in fact the USGS helicopter was down below them):

July 24, 2018. USGS: “The ocean entry has expanded to the southwest through a series of lava ‘ooze-outs’ from the southern flow margin that organized into an incipient channel. As of this morning, the flow margin was in or at the edge of Isaac Hale Park, approximately 175 m (575 ft) from the Pohoiki boat ramp. Unfortunately, the view was obscured by laze (the smaller plume below the larger laze plume) during the overflight.” (Full-sized)

“Ooze-outs” are occurring along the west side of the active flow south Kapoho Crater, all the way down to the ocean (where it is threatening Isaac Hale).

Other news that slipped under the radar: HCFD took a swing by the summit yesterday! It was very dusty and hazy, but the new shape of Halemaʻumaʻu is becoming clear:


Look for Crater Rim Drive at lower left around 0:30, falling into the crater where it used to lead to the parking lot; HVO is really hard to glimpse at upper right.

There were several more photos, giving us a little more perspective on the whole of Kīlauea Caldera as it is now:

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