Photo and Video Chronology - Kīlauea - December 31, 2003

Release Date:

A murky New Year's Eve on the upper flow field

 

photo of lava

Narrow channeled lava flow wends it way westward from rootless shield complex near big bend in upper Mother's Day lava tube. Burned but standing forest is slowly being destroyed by lava. Lava channel is 3-6 m wide.

(Credit: , . Public domain.)

photo of lava

Steam rises from lava flows emplaced several days ago and still hot. Steam is most obvious on rainy days, when humidity is high.

(Credit: , . Public domain.)

photo of lava

Sampling lava from small toe in flow near western edge of rootless shield complex. Sophisticated sampling device is modified garden hoe.

(Credit: , . Public domain.)

photo of lava

Close-up of stretching bubbles in lava toe at sampling site. Width of toe, about 25 cm.

(Credit: , . Public domain.)

photo of lava

Aerial views of new spattering hornito in rootless shield complex. Left view shows actual orifice (orange-yellow color) from which lava is emitted.

(Credit: , . Public domain.)

photo of lava

View shows bursting bubble above same hornito. Hornito is perhaps 1 m high, and spatter is thrown 2 m above vent.

(Credit: , . Public domain.)

Map of flows from Pu`u `O`o: 15 December 2003

Map shows lava flows erupted during 1983-present activity of Pu`u `O`o and Kupaianaha. Shades of red denote Mother's Day flow, which began erupting on May 12, 2002 and continues to the present. Darkest shade indicates lava flows erupted in November and December 2003. Yellow stars indicate centers of recently active, or still active, rootless shields. New shields often form, so it is hard to show all shields on this map. Amalgamated Bend shield is near site of former August 9 rootless shield shown on map.

Through September and into early October 2003, lava was moving along the east and west sides of the Mother's Day flow. The east-side lava (known as the August 9 breakout) came from the August 9 rootless shield, itself fed by the main Mother's Day tube from Pu`u `O`o. The west side lava, known as the Kohola arm of the Mother's Day flow, branched off the tube system below the rootless shield.

In early October 2003, the August 9 breakout stopped moving, the Kohola died back to a trickle, and the one labeled rootless shield gained prominence. By October 16, however, the shield had partly collapsed, leaving several drained perched ponds behind. Upstream from the shield, many hornitos and small flows formed over the Mother's Day tube. Soon thereafter, other rootless shields began to form over the Mother's Day, August 9, and Kohola tubes. These shields have been active throughout November and December.

Vents in West Gap Pit became active in early October, were quiet for 3 weeks, and then resumed intermittent activity that continued well into December. Other vents were also sporadically active in Puka Nui (near West Gap Pit) and in the crater of Pu`u `O`o.

(Public domain.)