Photo and Video Chronology - Kīlauea - May 20, 2018

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Fissure 20 flow reaches the ocean

 

Fissure 20 flow reaches the ocean...

Late last night, the fissure 20 lava flow reached the ocean. Hot lava entering the ocean creates a dense white plume called "laze" (short for "lava haze"). Laze is formed as hot lava boils seawater to dryness. The process leads to a series of chemical reactions that result in the formation of a billowing white cloud composed of a mixture of condensed seawater steam, hydrochloric acid gas, and tiny shards of volcanic glass. This mixture has the stinging and corrosive properties of dilute battery acid, and should be avoided. Because laze can be blown downwind, its corrosive effects can extend far beyond the actual ocean entry area.

(Public domain.)

Lava flows from the Fissure 20 complex move downslope and enter the...

Lava flows from the Fissure 20 complex move downslope and enter the ocean. Lava can be seen in the middle of the channel. A laze plume hides the point of ocean entry.

(Public domain.)

Lava from fissure complex enters the ocean...

 Lava from the fissure complex erupting in Kīlauea's lower East Rift Zone entered the ocean in late evening on May 19, 2018. The active ocean entry is producing a white "laze" plume. Laze is formed when hot lava hits the ocean, forming a plume of hydrochloric acid and steam with fine glass particles. The laze plume travels with the wind and can be a hazard for people downwind, but is most severe in the immediate vicinity of the ocean entry.

(Public domain.)

A plume rises from the site of ocean entry, viewed on approach by H...

A plume rises from the site of ocean entry, viewed on approach by HVO scientists during an overflight of Kīlauea Volcano's Lower East Rift Zone, on May 20, 2018, around 6:45 AM HST.

(Public domain.)

Lava from the Fissure 20 complex enters the ocean generating a whit...

Lava from the Fissure 20 complex enters the ocean generating a white laze plume. Helicopter overflight on May 20, 2018, at 6:45 AM HST.

(Public domain.)

View of ocean entry point from helicopter overflight on May 20, 201...

View of ocean entry point from helicopter overflight on May 20, 2018, at 6:45 AM HST.

(Public domain.)

The helicopter hovers above the ocean entry on May 20, 2018, around...

The helicopter hovers above the ocean entry on May 20, 2018, around 6:45 AM HST. Several braided lava channels (red) are visible on the right. The white plume is "laze," which forms when hot lava hits the ocean sending hydrochloric acid and steam with fine glass particles into the air. Laze is a health hazard for people downwind and especially in the immediate vicinity of the plume.

(Public domain.)

Ocean entry photograph from Civil Air Patrol (CAP) overflight taken...

Ocean entry photograph from Civil Air Patrol (CAP) overflight taken at about 12:50PM. CAP operates to support the mission of both the USGS HVO and the Hawaii County Civil Defense. Hard to discern here, but there are two entries. The coastal area spanning the entry is about 1 km (0.6 mi) wide with an about 250 m (0.15 mi) Kīpuka separating the two.

(Public domain.)

 Lava from the Fissure 20 complex enters a crack

Lava from the Fissure 20 complex enters a crack...

Lava from the eastern channel of the Fissure 20 complex flows into a crack in the ground. The crack opened in the early morning hours of May 20, 2018. Prior to opening, lava was flowing vigorously down a channel. After the crack formed, the lava began pouring into the ground.

(Public domain.)

Lava from the eastern channel of the Fissure 20 complex is flowing ...

Lava from the eastern channel of the Fissure 20 complex is flowing into a crack in the ground that opened on the morning of May 20, 2018. The crack is "robbing" the easternmost channel of lava and the eastern ocean entry is therefore less vigorous than the western entry point (see photos above).

(Public domain.)

 Slow moving lava flow front in Kīlauea Volcano’s lower East Rift Zone

Video of a slow moving lava flow in Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone, taken May 20, 2018, at around 2:31 AM HST. The flow is ~3 m (9 ft) high. The HVO scientist mapping the flow is about ~15 m (50 ft) away from the flow front. The audio is the sound of burning vegetation and the call of coqui frogs.

(Public domain.)