December 8, 2016 New Pali Skylights
Rainy weather upslope prevented us from accessing the vent today, but we were able to document the tip of the new eastern flow which has branched off from the main channel of the 61G flow near Pu’u ‘O’o. This mile long stretch of lava has numerous tongues and toes of lava breaking out periodically, but is, in general, rather sluggish. The majority of the lava continues downslope 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. 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.
Mahalo to Paradise Helicopters and Bruce Omori at Extreme Exposure