December 15, 2016 Lava Lake Exposed
Steam rising from Pele’s fire made the vent spectacular today… allowing us a multitude of lava lake shots.¬†We saw spattering, stretching and folding of lava within the small lake inside Pu’u ‘O’o.
The new offshoot from the 61G flow continues sluggishly toward the east, and is making a slight turn to the south as well… and is now well over a mile from the vent. The main flow continues unabated, dumping tons of lava into the pacific ocean at Kamokuna just inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Pele sends her flows through the tube system from the vent some six miles to the new lava delta, which continues to make the Big Island bigger, minute by minute, day by day. Several recent skylights are still located at the bottom of the Pali… surrounded by loose crumbling lava, they are quite dangerous, as collapses can occur there without notice. Lava can be seen inside the mysterious glowing tubes as it rushes toward the Pacific Ocean. Heavy flows into the water frequently explode as the cool sea water is not able to cool them off quickly enough, and the resulting steam sends lava rocks skyward. The lava delta is enormous… well over 20 acres large now, even though cracks indicate a collapse may decrease that figure at any time. Numerous lobes of lava are pouring into the Pacific Ocean there, creating a huge plume of laze that can be seen for many miles. We saw only one tour boat, which left the ocean entry as we arrived. We saw no other visitors on shore watching the creation of the newest land on earth. Pele continues to form new black sand beaches along the coast near her ocean entries. The hot lava’s interaction with the cold seawater shattering the flow into bits that are then tumbled into submission. What a magnificent sight for visitors who can gain access from either the Kalpana of HVNP side by walking out the temporary access road, which goes directly to the ocean entry! The walk is lengthy, however, and precautions should be observed. Bruce Omori, Special Guest Jason Chan, Leilani, Mermaid Lava Ducky and I flew with the famous Smiley Face Paradise pilot, Colin Burkardt… we don’t care what they say about you, Colin… you are da man!
Mahalo to Paradise Helicopters and Bruce Omori at Extreme Exposure