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May 29, 2006

Lava Tube Bubble Bursts on the East Lae‘apuki Lava Delta

(May 29, 2006, 10:45:46 to 19:30:49) The interaction of sea water and lava creates a volatile situation (Mattox and Mangan, 1997). When this happens inside the confined space of a lava tube, or a narrow, water-filled crack, the results can be impressive. In this movie, lava bubbles, bursting from the top of the PKK lava tube, put on quite a show for several hours. Some of

Large cracks in active lava delta, Kīlauea Volcano...
May 19, 2006

Large cracks in active lava delta, Kīlauea

Substantial cracks cutting across a lava delta are clear indication that the delta is subsiding as it grows across the unstable pile of interfingering lava flows and fragments built on the steep submarine slope. The larger cracks on this delta are 1-2 m (3-6 ft) wide. Lava flows spread onto the delta from some of the cracks and then, after solidifying, were cut by renewed

Active lava delta on southeast coast of Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai‘i...
May 19, 2006

Active lava delta on SE coast of Kīlauea, Hawai‘i

Lava delta at East Lae‘apuki on the southeast coast of Kīlauea Volcano is about 17 hectares (43 acres). The delta extends about 400 m seaward from the sea cliff and is about 850 m long parallel to the shoreline. The steep sea cliff embayment resulted from collapses of earlier deltas; the collapses undermined and took away parts of the cliff. Note similar inactive delta

Juvenile ‘i‘iwi in the hand
April 10, 2006

Multi-colored juvenile ‘i‘iwi

‘I‘iwi are one of the most charismatic Hawaiian honeycreepers extant today. Their long, curved bill allow them to reach nectar deep inside specially evolved Hawaiian flowers. As they mature, juvenile ‘i‘iwi will go from these mottled, multi-colored feathers to bright red coloration. 

March 22, 2006

Shatter Ring on the PKK Lava Tube

(March 20, 2006, 11:30:10 to March 22, 2006, 07:00:16) The flow field feature seen here in profile is a shatter ring. Shatter rings are circular to elliptical volcanic features, typically tens of meters in diameter, that form over active lava tubes (Kauahikaua and others, 2003; Orr, 2011) They are typified by an upraised rim of blocky rubble and a central depression.

US Army helicopter flies over the heads of researchers on Mauna Kea
February 23, 2006

US Army helicopter flies over the heads of researchers on Mauna Kea

A US Army helicopter from Pohakuloa Training Area flies overhead of palila researchers on Mauna Kea volcano, Hawai‘i Island, Hawai‘i. 

November 28, 2005

Lava Delta Collapse at East Lae‘apuki

At 11:10 in the morning on November 28, 2005, the lava delta at the East Lae‘apuki ocean entry, on Hawai‘i's southeastern coast, began to collapse into the ocean. This was not a catastrophic failure of the 13.8-hectare delta, but instead occurred by piecemeal calving of the front of the delta over a period of just less than 5 hours. The collapse removed nearly the entire

Nene adults and goslings in a grassy field
November 27, 2005

Nene adults and goslings

A mating pair of adult nēnē (Branta sandvicensis) keep a close watch on three young goslings. An endangered species and the state bird of Hawai‘i, nēnē are the last remaining species of Hawaiian goose.    

Kīlauea Volcano's east Lae‘apuki lava delta after 70-100 m (230-330...
August 27, 2005

Kīlauea's east Lae‘apuki lava delta after 70-100 m (230-330 ft) lon...

Embayment of lava delta shows result of collapse. The initial collapse was large enough to send waves washing over much of the east half of the delta, because visibility was completely lost for almost 20 minutes, due to a steam white-out. Note rocky debris hurled by the waves onto the delta surface in foreground.

Kīlauea Volcano's east Lae‘apuki lava delta pictured hours before i...
August 26, 2005

Kīlauea's east Lae‘apuki lava delta pictured hours before it collap...

Kīlauea Volcano's east Lae‘apuki lava delta pictured hours before it collapsed into the sea over a 90-minute period. White plume marks location of lava entering sea fed by a lava tube within delta.

Lava spilling over sea cliff starts to build new lava delta, Kīlaue...
August 23, 2005

Lava spilling over sea cliff builds new lava delta, Kīlauea

pāhoehoe lava spilling over sea cliff on south coast of Kīlauea Volcano starts to build a new lava delta. Only three days old, the delta grows slowly as lava spreads over fragmented debris and flows that have accumulated on the steep submarine slope.

Tephra-jet explosion at leading edge of an active lava delta, Kīlau...
August 19, 2005

Tephra-jet explosion at leading edge of an active lava delta, Kīlauea

Explosive interaction between lava and seawater blasts a tephra jet consisting of steam, hot water, black tephra, and molten fragments into the air. Such explosions are typically directed toward the sea, but many explosions also send a shower of lava more than 10 to 20 m (33 to 66 ft) inland. Tehpra jets are the most common type of lava-seawater explosion, and typically

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July 30, 1998

The mission of the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) is to monitor the volcanoes of Hawai`i, to study the geological processes associated with eruptive and seismic activities, and to inform the public of the potential geologic hazards associated with volcanoes.

July 23, 1998

Although the study of volcanoes is, in itself, fascinating and is more than a full-time job, volcanologists also work closely with researchers in other sciences. One of the things we contribute to the work of other scientists is the ages of the lava flows around the island.

July 16, 1998

In a recent national television program on tsunami, attention was focused on the Great Crack in the southwest rift zone of Kīlauea. The size of the crack was presented as evidence that the south flank was breaking away from the island. 

July 10, 1998

Eruption Continues and New Land Frequently Collapses

July 9, 1998

When lava enters the sea, it begins a struggle to build new land. We name these entries for nearby geographic features—Lae`apuki, Kamoamoa, Kamokuna, Waha`ula, to list a few. For a brief time they become places memorable to anyone who visits and watches the spectacle of incandescent lava, immense steam plumes, and spattering explosions. That's how entries begin, but how do they end?

July 2, 1998

It has been more than 18 years since Mount St. Helens had its powerful eruption, almost 12 years since its latest quiet dome-building eruption, and 8 years since its latest small explosions. But this length of time is just a wink of the eye to a volcano. 

June 25, 1998

Discussions of volcanic air pollution from Kīlauea frequently start out with a conversation about the large amount of sulfur dioxide gas (SO2) that bubbles out of the volcano and is converted in air to the tiny acidic sulfate particles that form vog (volcanic smog). 

June 11, 1998

Four of us HVO lava junkies had the rare opportunity to witness a partial bench collapse on Monday evening, June 8. The collapse began at 7:40 p.m. when a slab of incandescent lava fell outward from the bench edge into the ocean. The hot rock was fragmented by steam explosions as it hit the sea water, and the steam cloud became abruptly darker as the rock fragments were blasted upward.

June 5, 1998

Lava Continues to Erupt from Pu`u `O`o and Flow Into the Sea

June 4, 1998

Billowing clouds of steam rising from two discrete locations along the Kamokuna-Waha`ula coastline are often the only reminders we have of Kīlauea Volcano's near-constant effusion of lava into the sea.

May 28, 1998

The gravitational attraction of the Sun and the Moon produce the familiar ocean tides and the less familiar earth tides. Why are volcanologists interested in earth tides? Earth tides are cyclical, small, and slow ground movements that we use to calibrate and test sensitive volcano deformation- monitoring instruments. They might also trigger volcanic events.

May 21, 1998

Precisely 74 years ago today, the final chapter of one of Kīlauea's most alarming displays of volcanic power came to a close. Halema`uma`u, the fire pit nestled in Kīlauea's summit caldera, ended a 10-day-long outburst of violent steam explosions on May 24, 1924.