July 27: Fissure 8 Lava Pulses, Misc Photos

Even though I finished my July 26 post last night at 1 am my time, HVO posted a few more photos after that. They show Fissure 8 pulsing, varying in lava output, not just due to summit collapses but simply as natural fluctuations.

July 26, 2018. Fissure 8 lava pulses. (Full-sized)

Caption: Pulses of lava from the fissure 8 vent sometimes occur every few minutes. These photographs, taken over a period of about 4 minutes, show the changes that occur during these pulses. Initially, lava within the channel is almost out of sight. A pulse in the system then creates a banked lava flow that throws spatter (fragments of molten lava) onto the channel margin. After the third photo was taken, the lava level again decreased to nearly out of sight.

(I often compare volcanic activity to weather— it’s essentially geological weather, with currents and flow and updrafts from deep within the Earth, only the medium is solid and molten rock rather than air and water. When people are asking for volcanic forecasts, they’re asking for weather forecasts, and should expect the same kinds of variability as rainstorms.)

And here’s a night view they posted in the wee hours of this morning (Jul 27):

July 26, 2018. USGS: “Nighttime view of fissure 8 lava as it exits the vent and feeds into the channel.” (Full-sized)

And while I’m at it, here’s the photos for the afternoon of July 27. HVO might post more later tonight.

July 27, 2018. USGS: “Aerial view (looking east) of the fissure 8 lava channel this morning. The dark-colored crust and incandescent cracks on the channel result from the cooling of exposed lava at the surface and movement within the lava channel.” (Full-sized)
July 27, 2018. USGS: “The south edge of the lava flow showed no incandescence this morning and remained less than 0.1 miles from the Pohoiki boat ramp in Isaac Hale Park. The main ocean entry area was still in the Ahalanui area.” (Full-sized)
July 27, 2018. Old ocean entry along Kapoho Bay. USGS: “Small streams of lava continue to enter the ocean offshore of Kapoho, producing small laze plumes. The one shown here is the southernmost entry of two in this area.” (Full-sized)

By the way, HVO’s weekly Volcano Watch column is up: “Geochemical detective work helps answer questions about Kīlauea’s ongoing eruption”  – how the temperature and chemistry of this eruption has changed and given them clues about the lava’s source.