January 26, 2017 New Spillway Flow
A new outbreak on the spillway just to the east of the Pu’u ‘O’o vent occurred earlier this week and continued for our visit this morning. It is flowing on top of the 61G tube system and a bit to the south. Activity there is moderate, and the new flow has advanced about a half mile. But the eastern branch to the north of the 61G flow, which has been active for about two months is now almost dead. It’s distal tip is about 1.5 miles from the vent… Pele still breaks out there, but very infrequently. Once again, we captured images of a very active lava lake within the vent. This is the clearing house for the main 61G flow, where lava first surfaces before continuing on its path downslope, dumping tons of lava into the pacific ocean at Kamokuna just inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Pele’s liquid rock flows through the tube system from the vent some six miles to the sea.
The flow front is limited to a massive ocean entry on the eastern side of the now small lava delta. The recent collapse has send a long-lived firehose lava stream in the Pacific Ocean. Tons of lava enter the water here every day… littoral explosions taking place repeatedly, as Pele’s lava is blown to bits by the cold sea water. 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 pilot Rob Mitchell and Paradise Helicopters for an outstanding lava charter flight. Bruce Omori, special guest Jonathan Winslow and I welcomed royalty aboard our flight this morning as King and Queen Lava Duckies joined us. Gorgeous rainbows honored our regal guests as Pele performed her magic at Kilauea, the world’s most active volcano!
Mahalo to Paradise Helicopters and Bruce Omori at Extreme Exposure