August 13: Pele Is Sleeping, Part 2

August 13, 2018. USGS: “Ocean entries were small and scattered this morning, but lava had made no significant advance toward Isaac Hale Beach Park. The Pohoiki boat ramp remains intact, but access from it to the open bay has been cut off by a sand bar that extends from the jetty to the shore. As molten lava streams into the ocean, it shatters into small glassy fragments, forming black sand that’s transported along the coast by longshore currents.” (Full-sized)
Eruption Summary: the Lull continues

Fissure 8 is still emitting a gas plume, and lava circulates weakly within the cone. Residual lava is still draining into the ocean near Pohoiki. Gas emissions at the summit, Pu’u O’o, and even the Lower East Rift Zone are low.

August 13, 2018. USGS: “During their overflight this morning, HVO scientists observed no new activity at any of the lower East Rift Zone fissures. At the fissure 8 vent, a “puddle” of sluggish lava remained in the cone. No other incandescent lava was seen along the fissure 8 channel, except at the ocean entry. Some other fissures were steaming, as seen here.” (Full-sized)

[This post is a followup to yesterday’s, where I reviewed HVO news, photos and videos from the past week. Here, I’m covering everything else: local news media outlets, images/videos from local photographers, and a week’s worth of good Q&A from HVO/USGS on social media.]

Miscellaneous SCIENCE-y news

Timelapse of Kilauea Caldera Aug 2-9

August 12 LERZ Overflight

The latest from the @HotSeatHawaii gang. Mick Kalber’s August 12 video shows a few fingers of red lava dribbling out of the delta, and Pohoiki’s new sandbar which is currently blocking the boat ramp, but that can be moved. There’s a quick sweep over the weakly steaming fissures of the LERZ and a glimpse into Fissure 8’s cone, and then they tried to take a distant look at Kilauea’s summit:

Here’s Mick’s observations from this flight.

Bruce Omori posted photos of the same flight on Facebook, including:

Continue reading August 13: Pele Is Sleeping, Part 2

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:

Continue reading July 24: Visible Shockwave in Steam Clouds

June 10: LERZ Very Gassy, Summit Not So Much

Today’s Eruption Summary

Fissure 8’s eight-mile lava river and the summit’s daily explosion have followed their usual pattern of the past two weeks. However, volcanic gas emissions at the Lower East Rift Zone doubled on Saturday compared to the past week, while SO2 emissions from Halema’uma’u are about half what they were before this current eruption started.

USGS: “The fissure 8 cone and lava fountaining viewed at 8PM HST on June 9 from a location on Kupono Street. The incandescence to the left is lava in the active channel.” BELOW: June 10 Hawaii Fire Department Overflight, ocean entry plume in far distance.

06/10/18 Photos - Kilauea, HI - East Rift Zone Eruption Event

Are those two facts linked? I dunno. I’ll be interested to hear if/when lava samples collected from the Fissure 8 flow start to show signs they came down from the summit instead of Pu’u O’o.

USGS: “The northern rim of Halema’uma’u Crater at Kilauea’s summit on June 9, from the noon helicopter overflight. The floor of the Kilauea Caldera is showing prominent cracking from the ongoing subsidence, and the steaming cracks in the background have been observed for several days now.”
Before-and-After Halema’uma’u 2017 vs 2018

I found a July 2017 screencap from HVO’s panorama webcam, so here’s an animation fading from it to today’s view. Check out the full-sized animation; you can really see how much Halema’uma’u has enlarged.

HVO webcam panoramas of Halema’umau: July 10, 2017  compared with June 10, 2018. (Click for Full-sized)
Below: slow news day, lots of photos.

Be warned, there’s some sad news, especially in the social media section at the end. This is a natural disaster, and it’s hard, even if it provides some amazing visuals and fascinating science as compensation. But they can’t make up for what’s lost.

Continue reading June 10: LERZ Very Gassy, Summit Not So Much