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VIDEO: Bulging crater on Hawaii volcano mesmerizing portent

July 12, 2011

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This Quicktime movie shows a timelapse sequence taken from a thermal camera on the rim of Pu`u `Ō `ō crater.  The movie spans from May 26 to today and shows the rising level of the lava lake in the crater.   In the first part of the movie, covering most of June, the level of the lava lake rises primarily due to overflows building the steep levee walls higher.  In the last portion of the movie, from about July 1 to today, much of the rise of the lava lake has been due to uplift of the crater floor, carrying the lava lake upward.  This uplift has been especially pronounced over the past few days, shown by the final few moments of the movie.  The temperature scale is in degrees Celsius.This Quicktime movie shows a timelapse sequence taken from a thermal camera on the rim of Pu`u `Ō `ō crater. The movie spans from May 26 to today and shows the rising level of the lava lake in the crater. In the first part of the movie, covering most of June, the level of the lava lake rises primarily due to overflows building the steep levee walls higher. In the last portion of the movie, from about July 1 to today, much of the rise of the lava lake has been due to uplift of the crater floor, carrying the lava lake upward. This uplift has been especially pronounced over the past few days, shown by the final few moments of the movie. The temperature scale is in degrees Celsius.

Video courtesy USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

The bulging Pu`u `Ō `ō crater on the east rift zone of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano is putting on a show, and there is no telling what could be next.

This USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory video shows a timelapse sequence taken from a thermal camera on the rim of Pu`u `Ō `ō crater.

The movie spans from May 26 to today and shows the rising level of the lava lake in the crater.

Things appear to be going slow in the first part of the movie, which shows the eruption during the month of June. You can see the level of the lava lake rises primarily due to overflows building the steep levee walls higher.

Scientists say sources within Pu`u `O`o crater are feeding that lava lake.

But its in the last portion of the movie where things get really interesting. From about July 1 to today, geologists say much of the rise of the lava lake has been due to uplift of the crater floor, carrying the lava lake upward. This uplift has been especially pronounced over the past few days, shown by the final few moments of the movie.

From the USGS Kilauea Status report (July 11th):

The GPS network around Pu`u `O`o recorded long-term extension since mid-April with accelerating extension across the crater since July 3, the day that visible uplift of the lava lake started; GPS receivers on the cone’s flank do not show this acceleration suggesting it is due to a shallow pressure source beneath the crater floor. The tiltmeter on the north flank of Pu`u `O`o Cone recorded a small amount of inflation between 6 pm and midnight last night. Seismic tremor levels were low. The most recent (preliminary) sulfur dioxide emission rate measurement was 700 tonnes/day on July 5, 2011, from all east rift zone sources.

What happens next is anyone’s guess… but it is important to note that ground access to this hazardous area is restricted by Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park and the Kahauale`a Natural Area Reserve managers; weather permitting, views into the crater can be obtained by air tours.

 

29 June 2011

Looking west into Pu`u `Ō `ō Crater and the perched pond

Looking west into Pu`u `Ō `ō Crater. Recent flows that have spilled out of the perched pond stand out by their silver color. These overflows have built up the crater floor another 5 m (16 ft) since last week. Kane Nui o Hamo, Mauna Ulu, and Pu`u Huluhulu are in the background.
Looking west into Pu`u `Ō `ō Crater. Recent flows that have spilled out of the perched pond stand out by their silver color. These overflows have built up the crater floor another 5 m (16 ft) since last week. Kane Nui o Hamo, Mauna Ulu, and Pu`u Huluhulu are in the background.
A breach in the south wall of the perched pond allowed lava to gush out onto the floor of Pu`u `Ō `ō Crater. A different perspective of the perched pond, from the west side of Pu`u `Ō `ō Crater.
Left. A breach in the south wall of the perched pond allowed lava to gush out onto the floor of Pu`u `Ō `ō Crater.Right. A different perspective of the perched pond, from the west side of Pu`u `Ō `ō Crater.

23 June 2011

The active lava lake in Pu`u `Ō `ō and its levee

View looking east into Pu`u `Ō `ō, its crater partly filled by lava flows accumulating on the crater floor. The active lava lake in the crater is 205 m (673 ft) long and varies in width from 80–115 m (262–377 ft). The West Gap pit is in the central foreground, and the Puka Nui and MLK pits are to the right (the MLK pit is in back). The crater has filled in vertically about 100 m (328 ft) since the crater collapsed on March 5, 2011, at the start of the uprift Kamoamoa eruption. It still has about 12 m (39 ft) to go to reach the level of the crater floor prior to the collapse.
View looking east into Pu`u `Ō `ō, its crater partly filled by lava flows accumulating on the crater floor. The active lava lake in the crater is 205 m (673 ft) long and varies in width from 80–115 m (262–377 ft). The West Gap pit is in the central foreground, and the Puka Nui and MLK pits are to the right (the MLK pit is in back). The crater has filled in vertically about 100 m (328 ft) since the crater collapsed on March 5, 2011, at the start of the uprift Kamoamoa eruption. It still has about 12 m (39 ft) to go to reach the level of the crater floor prior to the collapse.
When viewed from a steeper angle (here looking west) the lava lake’s shape makes it look like a huge slipper. Recent overflows appear as lighter-colored patches of lava on the crater floor around the lake.
When viewed from a steeper angle (here looking west) the lava lake’s shape makes it look like a huge slipper. Recent overflows appear as lighter-colored patches of lava on the crater floor around the lake.
Along with overflows, low-level spattering from points wandering around the perimeter of the lava lake continually builds up the levee that impounds the lake.
Along with overflows, low-level spattering from points wandering around the perimeter of the lava lake continually builds up the levee that impounds the lake.
The lava lake’s levee stands up to 8 m (26 ft) above the surrounding crater floor. This steep-sided levee impounds the lava and forms what is called a “perched” lava lake. Pieces of the rim occasionally collapse into the lake, leading to sudden and fast-moving overflows of lava onto the crater floor.
The lava lake’s levee stands up to 8 m (26 ft) above the surrounding crater floor. This steep-sided levee impounds the lava and forms what is called a “perched” lava lake. Pieces of the rim occasionally collapse into the lake, leading to sudden and fast-moving overflows of lava onto the crater floor.

10 June 2011

Pu`u `Ō `ō Crater is once again perched above the surrounding crater floor

HVO geologist and helicopter pilot repair a mobile Webcam on Kupaianaha to continue monitoring the east flank of Pu`u `Ō `ō. Over the past week, the lava pond in Pu`u `Ō `ō Crater has rebuilt its retaining walls and is once again perched 3-5 m (10-16 ft) above the surrounding crater floor.
Left. HVO geologist and helicopter pilot repair a mobile Webcam on Kupaianaha to continue monitoring the east flank of Pu`u `Ō `ō.Right. Over the past week, the lava pond in Pu`u `Ō `ō Crater has rebuilt its retaining walls and is once again perched 3-5 m (10-16 ft) above the surrounding crater floor.

2 June 2011

Quicktime video showing the lava lake deep within Halema`uma`u vent

This Quicktime video shows recent activity at the lava lake deep within the Halema`uma`u vent cavity.  Spattering can be seen in the northwest corner (upper left) and a steady stream of lava, coming from an unseen source towards the southeast, is in the lower right.  For scale, the lava lake is about 150 meters (164 yards) wide here.  The lava stream plunges into the lava lake, disrupting the crust in a chaotic fashion and later inducing a rotation to the flow in the lake.  The photo on this page from June 1 shows the source of the lava stream photographed during an overflight, which is the only way this portion of the vent cavity floor can be seen.
This Quicktime video shows recent activity at the lava lake deep within the Halema`uma`u vent cavity. Spattering can be seen in the northwest corner (upper left) and a steady stream of lava, coming from an unseen source towards the southeast, is in the lower right. For scale, the lava lake is about 150 meters (164 yards) wide here. The lava stream plunges into the lava lake, disrupting the crust in a chaotic fashion and later inducing a rotation to the flow in the lake. The photo on this page from June 1 shows the source of the lava stream photographed during an overflight, which is the only way this portion of the vent cavity floor can be seen.

1 June 2011

A near-vertical look inside the vent cavity of the Halema`uma`u Overlook vent

A near-vertical look at a lava cascade inside the vent cavity of the Halema`uma`u Overlook vent.
A near-vertical look at a lava cascade inside the vent cavity of the Halema`uma`u Overlook vent.

Overflows from the lava pond in Pu`u `Ō `ō and numerous spattering sources

Overflows from the lava pond in Pu`u `Ō `ō have nearly leveled the crater floor with the perched pond.  The floor of the crater is now 39 m (128 ft) below the east rim. Numerous spattering sources were active on the east end of the pond, causing pond level fluctuations throughout the day.
Left. Overflows from the lava pond in Pu`u `Ō `ō have nearly leveled the crater floor with the perched pond. The floor of the crater is now 39 m (128 ft) below the east rim.Right. Numerous spattering sources were active on the east end of the pond, causing pond level fluctuations throughout the day.

27 May 2011

Quicktime movie showing the refilling of Pu`u `Ō `ō over the past two months

This Quicktime movie shows the refilling of Pu`u `Ō `ō over the past two months, taken from a thermal camera on the south rim of the crater.  Lava drained from Pu`u `Ō `ō on March 5 during the Kamoamoa fissure eruption, and remained absent for several weeks.  This thermal camera began recording on March 18, and shows the abrupt return of lava to the crater floor on March 26.  Lava refilling has been very unsteady since then, occurring in fits and starts, and has culminated in the development of a perched lava lake over the past several weeks.  This perched lava lake has steep walls about 8-10 m (26-33 ft) above the surrounding crater floor.  The temperature scale is in degrees Celsius.
This Quicktime movie shows the refilling of Pu`u `Ō `ō over the past two months, taken from a thermal camera on the south rim of the crater. Lava drained from Pu`u `Ō `ō on March 5 during the Kamoamoa fissure eruption, and remained absent for several weeks. This thermal camera began recording on March 18, and shows the abrupt return of lava to the crater floor on March 26. Lava refilling has been very unsteady since then, occurring in fits and starts, and has culminated in the development of a perched lava lake over the past several weeks. This perched lava lake has steep walls about 8-10 m (26-33 ft) above the surrounding crater floor. The temperature scale is in degrees Celsius.

20 May 2011

Aerial view of the perched lava lake in Pu`u `Ō `ō crater

Aerial view of the perched lava lake in Pu`u `Ō `ō crater. Small fluctuations in the lava lake level lead to frequent overflows. These serve to build the levee around the lake even higher, amplifying the perched appearance.
Aerial view of the perched lava lake in Pu`u `Ō `ō crater. Small fluctuations in the lava lake level lead to frequent overflows. These serve to build the levee around the lake even higher, amplifying the perched appearance.
A low-angle view of the perched lava lake shows how it is elevated above the floor of the crater, like an above-ground swimming pool. The levee around the stands some 8-10 m (26-33 ft) above the surrounding crater floor. Also visible as the bottom of the photo is a new vent which began erupting around midnight last night on the western edge of the crater floor. There are three scientists standing on the crater rim in the background, just left of center. Can you spot them?
A low-angle view of the perched lava lake shows how it is elevated above the floor of the crater, like an above-ground swimming pool. The levee around the stands some 8-10 m (26-33 ft) above the surrounding crater floor. Also visible as the bottom of the photo is a new vent which began erupting around midnight last night on the western edge of the crater floor. There are three scientists standing on the crater rim in the background, just left of center. Can you spot them?

11 May 2011

A complex configuration deep within the vent cavity in Halema`uma`u crater

A complex configuration has been in place deep within the vent cavity in Halema`uma`u crater.  Lava upwells in the west portion of the vent floor (upper left of photograph), feeding the small, crusted, circular lava lake.  In the east portion of the vent cavity floor, lava upwells (out of view, towards the lower right of the photo) and feeds an elevated and swiftly moving lava stream, which flows west and cascades over a small cliff into the lava lake. A close-up of the swiftly moving lava stream, plunging into the lava lake.
Left. A complex configuration has been in place deep within the vent cavity in Halema`uma`u crater. Lava upwells in the west portion of the vent floor (upper left of photograph), feeding the small, crusted, circular lava lake. In the east portion of the vent cavity floor, lava upwells (out of view, towards the lower right of the photo) and feeds an elevated and swiftly moving lava stream, which flows west and cascades over a small cliff into the lava lake.Right. A close-up of the swiftly moving lava stream, plunging into the lava lake.

6 May 2011

An infrared image of the summit vent in Halema`uma`u crater

An infrared image of the summit vent in Halema`uma`u crater. The bright white area is a cascade of lava, falling from a shelf into a deeper pond within the vent cavity.
An infrared image of the summit vent in Halema`uma`u crater. The bright white area is a cascade of lava, falling from a shelf into a deeper pond within the vent cavity.

The rise and spill over of the pond on the floor of Pu`u `Ō `ō crater

Looking northwest at the lava pond on the floor of Pu`u `Ō `ō crater. At the time of the photograph, the level of the lava pond was about 3 m (10 ft) below the floor of the crater. An hour later, the lava had risen high enough to spill over the pond walls and expand across the crater floor.
Left. Looking northwest at the lava pond on the floor of Pu`u `Ō `ō crater. At the time of the photograph, the level of the lava pond was about 3 m (10 ft) below the floor of the crater.Right. An hour later, the lava had risen high enough to spill over the pond walls and expand across the crater floor.

29 April 2011

The floor of Pu`u `Ō `ō crater continues its slow rise

The floor of Pu`u `Ō `ō crater continues its slow rise as lava pours out of a new vent at the base of the east wall. The height of the floor has risen 20 m (66 ft) over the past two weeks.
The floor of Pu`u `Ō `ō crater continues its slow rise as lava pours out of a new vent at the base of the east wall. The height of the floor has risen 20 m (66 ft) over the past two weeks.
A close-up of the spattering source on the floor of Pu`u `Ō `ō crater. A small spatter rampart has formed along the east side of the vent.
A close-up of the spattering source on the floor of Pu`u `Ō `ō crater. A small spatter rampart has formed along the east side of the vent.

21 April 2011

A small lava lake is active at the bottom of Pu`u `Ō `ō crater

A small lava lake, confined by slightly elevated levees, is active at the bottom of Pu`u `Ō `ō crater. The lake is roughly the same size as a football field. In this close-up view of the lava lake in Pu`u `Ō `ō, lava upwells at the west edge of the lake (bottom center of the photo) and flows toward the east (top of photo) where the mostly degassed lava sinks back down, presumably circulating back into the vent.
Left. A small lava lake, confined by slightly elevated levees, is active at the bottom of Pu`u `Ō `ō crater. The lake is roughly the same size as a football field.Right. In this close-up view of the lava lake in Pu`u `Ō `ō, lava upwells at the west edge of the lake (bottom center of the photo) and flows toward the east (top of photo) where the mostly degassed lava sinks back down, presumably circulating back into the vent.

Thermal image of Pu`u `Ō `ō crater showing the lava lake within the crater

This thermal image was taken from the south rim of Pu`u `Ō `ō crater, showing the lava lake within the crater.  Hotter surfaces, such as the narrow zones between crustal plates, are shown by yellow and white colors.  Cooler surfaces, such as the cooled lava around the lake, are shown by blue and black colors.  The large size of the crustal plates attests to the relatively sluggish motion of the lava surface.
This thermal image was taken from the south rim of Pu`u `Ō `ō crater, showing the lava lake within the crater. Hotter surfaces, such as the narrow zones between crustal plates, are shown by yellow and white colors. Cooler surfaces, such as the cooled lava around the lake, are shown by blue and black colors. The large size of the crustal plates attests to the relatively sluggish motion of the lava surface.

15 April 2011

Pu`u `Ō `ō continues to host a small lava lake at the bottom of the crater

Pu`u `Ō `ō continues to host a small lava lake at the bottom of the crater. Minor spattering and overturning of the lake surface was observed by field crews today.
Pu`u `Ō `ō continues to host a small lava lake at the bottom of the crater. Minor spattering and overturning of the lake surface was observed by field crews today.

28 March 2011

Lava reappeared in Pu`u `Ō `ō crater, covering the floor with a small lava lake

Lava reappeared in Pu`u `Ō `ō crater on Saturday morning (March 26), covering the floor of the crater with a small lava lake.
Lava reappeared in Pu`u `Ō `ō crater on Saturday morning (March 26), covering the floor of the crater with a small lava lake.

14 March 2011

Measuring the thickness of an ‘a’ā flow produced by the Kamoamoa fissure eruption

Measuring the thickness of an 'a'ā flow produced by the Kamoamoa fissure eruption.  The measuring stick is 2 m (6.5 ft) tall. Measuring the flow thickness from another section of the 'a'ā flow, using a 1 m (3.2 ft) orange pole for scale.
Left. Measuring the thickness of an ‘a’ā flow produced by the Kamoamoa fissure eruption. The measuring stick is 2 m (6.5 ft) tall. Right. Measuring the flow thickness from another section of the ‘a’ā flow, using a 1 m (3.2 ft) orange pole for scale.

10 March 2011

The east rift zone eruption is currently in a hiatus

The east rift zone eruption is currently in a hiatus.  The east and west Kamoamoa fissures are still fuming, but no lava is erupting.  Pu`u `Ō `ō is the fuming cone in the background.
The east rift zone eruption is currently in a hiatus. The east and west Kamoamoa fissures are still fuming, but no lava is erupting. Pu`u `Ō `ō is the fuming cone in the background.
Fume from Pu`u `Ō `ō has diminished enough to see a portion of the rubble-filled crater floor.
Fume from Pu`u `Ō `ō has diminished enough to see a portion of the rubble-filled crater floor.
Gobs of spatter solidified in the remaining trees. The spatter was erupted from the first fissure to open on March 5.
Gobs of spatter solidified in the remaining trees. The spatter was erupted from the first fissure to open on March 5.

Ground cracks between the east and west Kamoamoa fissure segments

Ground cracks between the east and west Kamoamoa fissure segments. Geologist is about 6 ft tall.
Ground cracks between the east and west Kamoamoa fissure segments. Geologist is about 6 ft tall.

5-7 March 2011

Quicktime movie showing March 5th through 7th draining of the Halema`uma`u lava lake

This Quicktime movie shows a sequence taken from a thermal camera looking into the Halema`uma`u vent cavity between March 5 and 7.  Tremor and deflation began at about 1:42pm on March 5, and this was shortly followed by draining of the Halema`uma`u lava lake.  Before the draining, the lava lake was about 75 meters below the rim of the vent cavity, and about a day later the lava was about 220 meters deep, having retreated to the bottom of the vent cavity.
This Quicktime movie shows a sequence taken from a thermal camera looking into the Halema`uma`u vent cavity between March 5 and 7. Tremor and deflation began at about 1:42pm on March 5, and this was shortly followed by draining of the Halema`uma`u lava lake. Before the draining, the lava lake was about 75 meters below the rim of the vent cavity, and about a day later the lava was about 220 meters deep, having retreated to the bottom of the vent cavity.

9 March 2011

Thermal images showing active fountains and channelized ‘a’ā flow

This thermal image was taken from a helicopter above the active fountains at the west end of the fissure system.  There were two adjacent fountaining areas, with one situated within a spatter cone and the other bursting through a perched lava pond.  The fountains were feeding a channelized flow that can be seen in the upper right portion of the image.
This thermal image was taken from a helicopter above the active fountains at the west end of the fissure system. There were two adjacent fountaining areas, with one situated within a spatter cone and the other bursting through a perched lava pond. The fountains were feeding a channelized flow that can be seen in the upper right portion of the image.
This thermal image shows the channelized 'a'ā flow that was being fed by the fountains at the west end of the fissure system today.  Near the end of the flow, the channel empties into the delta-like flow front.
This thermal image shows the channelized ‘a’ā flow that was being fed by the fountains at the west end of the fissure system today. Near the end of the flow, the channel empties into the delta-like flow front.

The western vent complex of Kamoamoa continues to erupt

The eastern vent complex of the Kamoamoa eruption was inactive today, but it continues to emit a thick gas plume. The western vent complex continues to erupt, and had been doing so for about 30 hours as of the time of this photo. Lava erupting from the vent complex is flowing into a channel with levees.
Left. The eastern vent complex of the Kamoamoa eruption was inactive today, but it continues to emit a thick gas plume.Right. The western vent complex continues to erupt, and had been doing so for about 30 hours as of the time of this photo. Lava erupting from the vent complex is flowing into a channel with levees.
The channelized flow from the western vent complex advanced significantly downslope through forest within the Hawai`I Volcanoes National Park.
The channelized flow from the western vent complex advanced significantly downslope through forest within the Hawai`I Volcanoes National Park.
By early this morning, the front of the 'a'ā flow fed from the western vent had intercepted the edge of the Mother's Day flow, which was emplaced in 2002-2004. The flow advanced about 2.9 km (1.8 miles) in 30 hours. The front of the advancing 'a'ā flow is about 4 m (13 ft) thick.
Left. By early this morning, the front of the ‘a’ā flow fed from the western vent had intercepted the edge of the Mother’s Day flow, which was emplaced in 2002-2004. The flow advanced about 2.9 km (1.8 miles) in 30 hours.Right. The front of the advancing ‘a’ā flow is about 4 m (13 ft) thick.

8 March 2011

Lava fountains from the northeastern vent of the Kamoamoa eruption

Lava fountains from the northeastern vent of the Kamoamoa eruption. Though it is an impressive sight, the Pu`u `Ō `ō cone in the background, and several hundred meters higher, puts the current activity into perspective.
Lava fountains from the northeastern vent of the Kamoamoa eruption. Though it is an impressive sight, the Pu`u `Ō `ō cone in the background, and several hundred meters higher, puts the current activity into perspective.
View looking down onto the northeastern vent. Lava, erupting from the southwestern vent of the Kamoamoa eruption, fountains above the surrounding forest.
Left. View looking down onto the northeastern vent.Right. Lava, erupting from the southwestern vent of the Kamoamoa eruption, fountains above the surrounding forest.
Overview of the Kamoamoa eruption looking northeast toward Pu`u `Ō `ō, in the background. The southwestern vent is in the foreground, while the northeastern vent is the distant fume at the base of Pu`u `Ō `ō. Overview of the Kamoamoa eruption looking south. The northeastern vent is to the left, and the southwestern vent is to the upper right. A river of lava, erupting from the southwestern vent, can be seen advancing toward the southeast through forest within Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.
Left. Overview of the Kamoamoa eruption looking northeast toward Pu`u `Ō `ō, in the background. The southwestern vent is in the foreground, while the northeastern vent is the distant fume at the base of Pu`u `Ō `ō.Right. Overview of the Kamoamoa eruption looking south. The northeastern vent is to the left, and the southwestern vent is to the upper right. A river of lava, erupting from the southwestern vent, can be seen advancing toward the southeast through forest within Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.

A piece of spatter ejected on March 7, 2011

A piece of spatter ejected on March 7, 2011.  Handheld GPS for scale
A piece of spatter ejected on March 7, 2011. Handheld GPS for scale

Thermal view into the Halema`uma`u vent that been largely obscured by fume

Views into the Halema`uma`u vent have been largely obscured by fume over the past several days, and the only consistent views have been with a thermal camera, which can "see" through the fume.  This thermal image was taken at a nearly vertical angle from a helicopter, in order to see the bottom of the extremely deep and narrow vent cavity.  Prior to the drop in lava level, the lava lake was near its high lava mark, shown by the hot ring on the upper vent cavity walls.  The lava level dropped considerably over the past several days, retreating to a narrow opening deep within the vent cavity.
Views into the Halema`uma`u vent have been largely obscured by fume over the past several days, and the only consistent views have been with a thermal camera, which can “see” through the fume. This thermal image was taken at a nearly vertical angle from a helicopter, in order to see the bottom of the extremely deep and narrow vent cavity. Prior to the drop in lava level, the lava lake was near its high lava mark, shown by the hot ring on the upper vent cavity walls. The lava level dropped considerably over the past several days, retreating to a narrow opening deep within the vent cavity.

7 March 2011

Video showing low fountaining from the dominant vent, adjacent to Nāpau Crater

Video showing low fountaining from the dominant vent, near the southwest end of the fissure system adjacent to Nāpau Crater, active during the day on March 7.
Video showing low fountaining from the dominant vent, near the southwest end of the fissure system adjacent to Nāpau Crater, active during the day on March 7.

Video showing the collapse of the Pu`u `Ō `ō crater floor on March 5

Video showing the collapse of the Pu`u `Ō `ō crater floor on March 5. The video starts at 4 am and ends at 11 pm. The floor of the crater dropped about 115 meters (377 ft) in just a few hours.
Video showing the collapse of the Pu`u `Ō `ō crater floor on March 5. The video starts at 4 am and ends at 11 pm. The floor of the crater dropped about 115 meters (377 ft) in just a few hours.

A broad view of the Kamoamoa fissures between Nāpau Crater and Pu`u `Ō `ō

A broad view of the Kamoamoa fissures.  The fissures extend 2.3 km (1.4 mi) between Nāpau Crater and Pu`u `Ō `ō.  The western most fissure is just out of view in this photo. On the west end of the fissure system, spatter ramparts are forming as the lava fallout solidifies in a mound upwind from the source.
Left. A broad view of the Kamoamoa fissures. The fissures extend 2.3 km (1.4 mi) between Nāpau Crater and Pu`u `Ō `ō. The western most fissure is just out of view in this photo. Right. On the west end of the fissure system, spatter ramparts are forming as the lava fallout solidifies in a mound upwind from the source.
A view of the spattering source from the ground. Lava was reaching heights above the tree line.
Left. A view of the spattering source from the ground.Right. Lava was reaching heights above the tree line.
Lava from the erupting fissure produced a large flow that is moving southeast through the adjacent forest. A close-up of the flow front in the forest.
Left. Lava from the erupting fissure produced a large flow that is moving southeast through the adjacent forest. Right. A close-up of the flow front in the forest.

A collapse from the upper portion of the Halema`uma`u vent cavity produced a robust brown plume

With lava retreating deeper into the Halema`uma`u vent cavity over the past two days, the cavity walls have experienced more frequent collapses.  At 2:23pm today, a collapse from the upper portion of the vent cavity produced a robust brown plume, but did not eject any large particles.
With lava retreating deeper into the Halema`uma`u vent cavity over the past two days, the cavity walls have experienced more frequent collapses. At 2:23pm today, a collapse from the upper portion of the vent cavity produced a robust brown plume, but did not eject any large particles.

6 March 2011

Video showing lava pouring from the fissure into a seemingly bottomless crack

Video showing lava pouring from the fissure into a seemingly bottomless crack. Nāpau Crater in the background. Helicopter for scale.
Video showing lava pouring from the fissure into a seemingly bottomless crack. Nāpau Crater in the background. Helicopter for scale.
Video showing spattering from the most persistent vent of the day just west of the base of Pu`u `Ō `ō near the northeastern end of the fissure system.
Video showing spattering from the most persistent vent of the day just west of the base of Pu`u `Ō `ō near the northeastern end of the fissure system.

Lava spatters above the fissure just west of the base of Pu`u `Ō `ō

Lava spatters above the fissure just west of the base of Pu`u `Ō `ō.
Lava spatters above the fissure just west of the base of Pu`u `Ō `ō.
Early morning view of the fissure eruption between Nāpau Crater and Pu`u `Ō `ō. View is to the northwest. Fume from the eruptive vent in Halema`uma`u can be seen at upper right against the dark mass of Mauna Loa. Most of the day's activity was focused at this vent, around which a low cone was forming. Pu`u `Ō `ō is visible in the background to the northeast.
Left. Early morning view of the fissure eruption between Nāpau Crater and Pu`u `Ō `ō. View is to the northwest. Fume from the eruptive vent in Halema`uma`u can be seen at upper right against the dark mass of Mauna Loa.Right. Most of the day’s activity was focused at this vent, around which a low cone was forming. Pu`u `Ō `ō is visible in the background to the northeast.
Lava pours from the fissure just after daybreak and cascades out of sight into a deep crack. HVO geologist near upper right for perspective.
Lava pours from the fissure just after daybreak and cascades out of sight into a deep crack. HVO geologist near upper right for perspective.
A portion of charred, lava covered forest along the east rift zone, from the initial fissure eruption that began yesterday evening (March 5). A small fissure eruption between Pu`u `Ō `ō Crater and Nāpau, extending 100 m long (330 ft) and spattering 20 m (66 ft) high.
Left. A portion of charred, lava covered forest along the east rift zone, from the initial fissure eruption that began yesterday evening (March 5).Right. A small fissure eruption between Pu`u `Ō `ō Crater and Nāpau, extending 100 m long (330 ft) and spattering 20 m (66 ft) high.
This fissure is erupting 1.5 km (0.9 mi) west of Pu`u `Ō `ō Crater. You can view this eruption on the new Pu`u `Ō `ō to Nāpau Crater webcam installed today! A close-up of the fissure just west of Pu`u `Ō `ō Crater.  Spatter was reaching heights of 40 m (130 ft).
Left. This fissure is erupting 1.5 km (0.9 mi) west of Pu`u `Ō `ō Crater. You can view this eruption on the new Pu`u `Ō `ō to Nāpau Crater webcam installed today!Right. A close-up of the fissure just west of Pu`u `Ō `ō Crater. Spatter was reaching heights of 40 m (130 ft).
Photo taken at dawn of a fissure erupting between Pu`u `Ō `ō Crater and Nāpau. This fissure began in the early hours of March 6, erupting spatter and producing lava flows.
Left. Photo taken at dawn of a fissure erupting between Pu`u `Ō `ō Crater and Nāpau.Right. This fissure began in the early hours of March 6, erupting spatter and producing lava flows.
Spatter reaching up to 30 m (100 ft) from a fissure that opened this morning. Increased activity on one of the new fissures between Pu`u `Ō `ō Crater and Nāpau.
Left. Spatter reaching up to 30 m (100 ft) from a fissure that opened this morning.Right. Increased activity on one of the new fissures between Pu`u `Ō `ō Crater and Nāpau.

5 March 2011

Ash cloud rising from Pu`u `Ō `ō as crater floor collapses

Ash cloud rising from Pu`u `Ō `ō as crater floor collapses due to magma withdrawal. Incandescent rubble can be seen crumbling and rolling down the scarp. The east rim of Pu`u `Ō `ō is in the foreground.
Ash cloud rising from Pu`u `Ō `ō as crater floor collapses due to magma withdrawal. Incandescent rubble can be seen crumbling and rolling down the scarp. The east rim of Pu`u `Ō `ō is in the foreground.
Incandescent rubble rolling and sliding down the scarp on the edge of the collapsing crater in Pu`u `Ō `ō. A remnant of the pre-collapse crater floor can be seen in the background below the crater's south wall. The east rim of Pu`u `Ō `ō is in the foreground.
Incandescent rubble rolling and sliding down the scarp on the edge of the collapsing crater in Pu`u `Ō `ō. A remnant of the pre-collapse crater floor can be seen in the background below the crater’s south wall. The east rim of Pu`u `Ō `ō is in the foreground.

Video clips of the fissure eruption between Pu`u `Ō `ō and Nāpau Crater

Video clip shot from the air looking SW at the fissure eruption between Pu`u `Ō `ō and Nāpau Crater. The fissure segment in the tephra in the foreground opened seconds earlier, and only about 10 minutes after the eruption as a whole started. The cracks through the tephra are in the process of opening, though this can't be picked out at this distance.
Video clip shot from the air looking SW at the fissure eruption between Pu`u `Ō `ō and Nāpau Crater. The fissure segment in the tephra in the foreground opened seconds earlier, and only about 10 minutes after the eruption as a whole started. The cracks through the tephra are in the process of opening, though this can’t be picked out at this distance.
Video clip shot in front of the propagating fissure, showing low spattering that started moments earlier. Thick white steam from the crack in the foreground indicates that lava is about to reach the surface, and is seen doing so seconds later.
Video clip shot in front of the propagating fissure, showing low spattering that started moments earlier. Thick white steam from the crack in the foreground indicates that lava is about to reach the surface, and is seen doing so seconds later.
Video of spattering near the front of the propagating fissure.
Video of spattering near the front of the propagating fissure.

New fissure eruption SW of Pu`u `Ō `ō between Pu`u `Ō `ō and Nāpau crater.

New fissure eruption SW of Pu`u `Ō `ō between Pu`u `Ō `ō and Nāpau crater. Spatter is reaching 15-20 m into the air, above the trees. Pu`u `Ō `ō in the background. New fissure eruption SW of Pu`u `Ō `ō between Pu`u `Ō `ō and Nāpau crater. Spatter is reaching 15-20 m into the air, above the trees.
Left. New fissure eruption SW of Pu`u `Ō `ō between Pu`u `Ō `ō and Nāpau crater. Spatter is reaching 15-20 m into the air, above the trees. Pu`u `Ō `ō in the background.Right. New fissure eruption SW of Pu`u `Ō `ō between Pu`u `Ō `ō and Nāpau crater. Spatter is reaching 15-20 m into the air, above the trees.
View to the SW at the new fissure eruption between Pu`u `Ō `ō and Nāpau. Cracks in the foreground could be seen opening as photo was being taken. Close-up of recently opened fissure segment. Spatter reaching about 5 m into the air.
Left. View to the SW at the new fissure eruption between Pu`u `Ō `ō and Nāpau. Cracks in the foreground could be seen opening as photo was being taken..Right. Close-up of recently opened fissure segment. Spatter reaching about 5 m into the air.
View looking at the NE end of the actively propagating fissure. Lava is just breaking the surface in foreground crack.
View looking at the NE end of the actively propagating fissure. Lava is just breaking the surface in foreground crack.
Close-up of just-opened fissure segment at NE tip of propagating fissure. Spatter reaching 5 m into the air. Close-up of just-opened fissure segment at NE tip of propagating fissure. Spatter reaching 5 m into the air. Lava just breaking the ground surface to the left.
Left. Close-up of just-opened fissure segment at NE tip of propagating fissure. Spatter reaching 5 m into the air.Right. Close-up of just-opened fissure segment at NE tip of propagating fissure. Spatter reaching 5 m into the air. Lava just breaking the ground surface to the left.
Close-up of spattering fissure. Lava reaching 10 m into the air.
Close-up of spattering fissure. Lava reaching 10 m into the air.
View looking along recently opened fissure segment crossing tephra flats SW of Pu`u `Ō `ō, which is in the background. View along fissure looking NE toward Pu`u `Ō `ō shrouded in clouds in the background. Fissure segment in forest has shut down.
Left. View looking along recently opened fissure segment crossing tephra flats SW of Pu`u `Ō `ō, which is in the background. Right. View along fissure looking NE toward Pu`u `Ō `ō shrouded in clouds in the background. Fissure segment in forest has shut down.
View toward the SW of fissure eruption. Fissure segment in forest has shut down. Compare to earlier photos before fissure opened up in tephra.
View toward the SW of fissure eruption. Fissure segment in forest has shut down. Compare to earlier photos before fissure opened up in tephra.

4 March 2011

Awesome movies showing wall and rim collapses of Halema`uma`u

There was a series of vent wall and rim collapses on March 3, much like those than occurred in January and February. This video, compiled from the Webcam on the rim of Halema`uma`u above the vent, is one of the larger collapses, and shows the northwest rim of the vent falling into the lava lake.
There was a series of vent wall and rim collapses on March 3, much like those than occurred in January and February. This video, compiled from the Webcam on the rim of Halema`uma`u above the vent, is one of the larger collapses, and shows the northwest rim of the vent falling into the lava lake.
This video, also compiled from the Webcam on the rim of Halema`uma`u, shows the north rim of the vent collapsing.
This video, also compiled from the Webcam on the rim of Halema`uma`u, shows the north rim of the vent collapsing.
This clip, captured by a video camera on the rim of Halema`uma`u to the southwest of the vent, shows a small slice of the western rim of the vent collapsing into the lava lake and includes sound.
This clip, captured by a video camera on the rim of Halema`uma`u to the southwest of the vent, shows a small slice of the western rim of the vent collapsing into the lava lake and includes sound.

Turn on your speakers!—Hear the Boom from the vent in Halema`uma`u!

Booming sounds from the vent in Halema`uma`u have been audible around the summit area of Kilauea for the past several days. Some of these sounds are caused by rocks striking the surface of the lava lake, but most are actually the sound of the vent walls cracking due to heating and expansion of rock. This video, from February 25, illustrates what this sounds like. Occasionally, these sharp reports and booms can be visually correlated to rocks exploding off the vent wall and showering fragments down onto the surface of the lava lake.
Booming sounds from the vent in Halema`uma`u have been audible around the summit area of Kilauea for the past several days. Some of these sounds are caused by rocks striking the surface of the lava lake, but most are actually the sound of the vent walls cracking due to heating and expansion of rock. This video, from February 25, illustrates what this sounds like. Occasionally, these sharp reports and booms can be visually correlated to rocks exploding off the vent wall and showering fragments down onto the surface of the lava lake.
The level of the lava lake sometimes changes abruptly. These cycles of rise and fall, which amount to a vertical change of around 15 m (about 50 ft), are occasionally triggered by rockfalls. Here, a small collapse from the vent wall triggers degassing and a drop in the lava level.
The level of the lava lake sometimes changes abruptly. These cycles of rise and fall, which amount to a vertical change of around 15 m (about 50 ft), are occasionally triggered by rockfalls. Here, a small collapse from the vent wall triggers degassing and a drop in the lava level.
As the spattering shown in the previous video intensifies, the walls of the vent heat even more, causing the cracking of the rocks through thermal expansion to speed up, creating the cacophony of popping noises apparent in this video.
As the spattering shown in the previous video intensifies, the walls of the vent heat even more, causing the cracking of the rocks through thermal expansion to speed up, creating the cacophony of popping noises apparent in this video.

3 March 2011

A channelized flow erupted from the vent on the floor of Pu`u `Ō `ō crater

A channelized flow was being erupted today from the vent on the west side of the floor of Pu`u `Ō `ō.
A channelized flow was being erupted today from the vent on the west side of the floor of Pu`u `Ō `ō.

Views from the active lava surface in Halema`uma`u crater

Following several collapses and small explosive events that deposited spatter on the floor of Halema`uma`u crater around noon today, the lava surface in Halema`uma`u was roiling and agitated for the remainder of the afternoon, with numerous points of upwelling and spattering. A close-up of the active lava surface in Halema`uma`u.
Left. Following several collapses and small explosive events that deposited spatter on the floor of Halema`uma`u crater around noon today, the lava surface in Halema`uma`u was roiling and agitated for the remainder of the afternoon, with numerous points of upwelling and spattering.Right. A close-up of the active lava surface in Halema`uma`u.
At 2:31pm today, another large chunk of the rim collapsed into the Halema`uma`u lava lake. Just moments after the last photograph, the 2:31pm collapse produced a thick brown plume, but did not appear to trigger an explosive event in this case.
Left. At 2:31pm today, another large chunk of the rim collapsed into the Halema`uma`u lava lake. Right. Just moments after the last photograph, the 2:31pm collapse produced a thick brown plume, but did not appear to trigger an explosive event in this case.
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