Today’s big activities were: (1) massive lava fountains/flows in the Lower East Rift Zone/Lower Puna, entering the ocean at two points (2 modest ash explosions from Halema’uma’u crater (they looked to me like the 10,000 foot range). I’m going to stop worrying about whether they’re triggered by steam explosions or rockfalls.
Late afternoon HNN update includes footage of lava entry into ocean:
Oh good, Mick’s posted the day’s flyover. Noisy helicopter, incredible views:
Also, the lava livestream continues. Someone posted a screencap with USGS scientists working below Fissure 20, giving a sense of scale:
KITV archived HVO’s afternoon alert:
Continue reading May 20: Sunday Eve News/Images Roundup
This… is just incredible.
The first two weeks of sputtering fissures, slow-moving flows were prelude. Thursday night, the rivers and fountains of runny pahoehoe lava arrived. Today, Saturday afternoon, the overflight videos are historic.
From USGS (loud helicopter):
Fissures 16-20 joined up this Saturday and are marching towards the ocean, expected to cross Highway 137 tonight. Civil defense warns to keep away from ocean entry, if/when the lava reaches the shore, to avoid “laze.”
From Mick Kalber:
I have no words.
Well, okay, I do. I hope everyone down there is safely away. It’s been a hard day for a bunch of people who can’t go home now.
I’ve not covered every single fissure: see the HVO Photo/Multimedia blog, the HVO timeline, KITV, and HawaiiNewsNow for fissure-by-fissure coverage, not to mention HNN reporter Milika Lincoln’s Instagram vids and photos, and Mike Kalbers’ wonderful daily flyovers.
Activity ebbed and flowed, some days with more steam, some with more spatter. For the most part, lava flows didn’t go very far, and were largely sticky, clumpy, clanky a’a. But I bookmarked fissure 17 early on for particularly dramatic fountains (those blocks it’s hurling are called “lava bombs”) and incredible booms and roars:
and it was the first one that really seemed to be making a run for the ocean and creating a sustained lava flow.
Here’s May 13 and 14th flyovers from Mick Kalber:
Luckily, it chose a route that doesn’t have many houses downslope. And unlike other fissures, it just kept going and going.
And (since I’m posting this backdated): it’s still going on May 19, after making quite an impressive lava fountain and cinder cone for itself over the past two nights.
Screencaps from Mick Kalber flyover videos April 28 and May 4(?) as noted by @ReelNewsHawaii on Twitter.
Pu’u O’o: What it looked like just before it collapsed. See also this USGS timelapse movie of Pu’u O’o’s crater lava lake from March 20-April 18, and a blog post with a few good flyover photos on April 29.
(Pu’u O’o is a large vent on Kilauea’s shoulder that’s been erupting since 1983. See USGS / HVO photo history of the Pu’u O’o eruption.)