July 30: Day 88 Matches 1955 Eruption Duration

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Today’s Eruption Summary

Eruption continues as usual with three minor things to note. First: “fuming” on the southwestern margin of the flow near Pohoiki could mean possible breakouts, according to today’s HVO Kilauea status update.

Same source also says that, rather unusually, a 4.1 earthquake at 10:02 pm was felt all the way to Hilo, far more widely than the stronger summit collapse events, possibly because it was at a depth of 7 miles.

And finally, Tuesday will mark the 89th day of the eruption, surpassing the length of the 1955 Kapoho eruption which had previously held the record for the longest LERZ eruption since westerners arrived and began keeping records.

From Other Geologists

Erik Klemetti’s Rocky Planet blog in Discover magazine invites readers to “Check Out How The 2018 Eruption Has Changed At Kilauea’s Summit“. Although I suspect readers of this blog are well aware of pretty much everything in that post!

I tweeted him a question about “Halema’uma’u Caldera,” which he seems to be using instead of “Kīlauea caldera.” I know Halemaʻumaʻu crater has expanded so much it could be classified as a caldera now, but so far HVO scientists have resisted doing so, to avoid confusion with the larger, older caldera.

July 30 HCFD Overflight Photos

HCFD’s July 30 album is up on Flickr. Just 12 photos plus the video clip at the top of this post. Including the clearest views we’ve seen of Isaac Hale Park in some time, since the laze plume wasn’t in the way:

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Here’s a few USGS photos from today plus the LERZ map, and overflight video and photos from Mick and Bruce:

July 30, 2018. USGS: “Around noon today, USGS scientists were able to get a reasonably clear view of the spillway though which lava erupted from the fissure 8 cone enters the lava channel. At the time, they observed a continuous, steady outpouring of lava.” (Full-sized)
July 30, 2018. USGS: “As of 6 a.m. HST today (July 30), lava from fissure 8 was moving in an open channel all the way to the central flow field southeast of Kapoho Crater. There, it crusted over and fed numerous active tongues of lava that entered the ocean along a broad (2 km, or 1.2 mi) coastal flow front centered near the former Ahalanui Beach Park.” (Full-sized)
July 30, 2018. USGS: “During this morning’s overflight, USGS scientists noted that the distal fissure 8 flow margin had not advanced overnight, and remained less than 175 m (0.1 mi) from the Pohoiki boat ramp in Isaac Hale Park. But they also observed that lava along the western edge of the flow was fuming, so it could start oozing from that edge.” (Full-sized)
July 30, 2018. USGS map of LERZ as of 12 pm.

I was taking a bit of a break from in-depth posts, but a few new details in an answer to a common question caught my eye.

Q: [What happened to explosive groundwater/lava interaction?]

USGS: The debris choking the vent has largely prevented the release of ash during these events, and the dusty clouds produced are mainly from rockfall debris. Our understanding of the mechanisms involved has evolved as well:

Q: [Is the debris holding back groundwater?]

USGS: The rubble is too porous to have a damming effect. The conduit rock is still hot, so it may be that the groundwater is being turned to steam before it has a chance to reach the conduit. We can see ample steaming from the cracks in the crater floor and walls.

From Other Photographers

And a few items from social media, including today’s @Hotseathawaii overflight from Bruce Omori.

Lava Update for Monday, July 30, 2018, 6:00 am – Kilauea's lower east rift zone overflight:My airborne partner in…

Posted by Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery on Monday, July 30, 2018

Mick Kalber Overflight July 29:

Here’s Mick Kalber’s overflight video and observations from yesterday, with sober glimpses of the brushfire burn area.

I do wish HCFD had been able to do some water drops, but I understand it’s a hazardous area to fly over, especially down low.

Not from Mick’s flight, but another good aerial shot on the 29th:

This is an incredible aerial view of the lava flow from Fissure 8 and the ocean entry just north of Pohoiki, a favorite…

Posted by Jason Chu Photography on Sunday, July 29, 2018