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Photo and Video Chronology - Kīlauea - August 28, 2014

August 28, 2014

Steaming extends northeast along ground crack, suggesting lava is advancing again along the crack


Steaming (center of photograph) was reported this morning east of the small pad of lava (just above center) that emerged from a ground crack this past week. This renewed progression of steaming suggests that lava is again continuing to advance beneath the surface, along these ground cracks. On our afternoon overflight, the farthest point of steaming was near an abandoned well site, which serves as a convenient landmark in this broad expanse of forest. The farthest steaming was 11.9 km (7.4 miles) northeast of the vent on Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō, and 2.6 km (1.6 miles) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna forest reserve. In the top portion of the photograph, numerous plumes of smoke originate from scattered surface flows burning vegetation. Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō can be seen on the horizon.
This figure compares the photo above with an equivalent view from a thermal camera. The plumes of smoke mark the farthest active lava on the surface (small, scattered lobes of pāhoehoe), which are also shown as small hotspots in the thermal image. The pad of lava that emerged from the ground crack earlier this week was inactive at the surface but still quite warm (high temperature patch in center of image). East of this pad of lava, steaming (just below the center of the photograph) has appeared over the past day, suggesting that lava is continuing to advance below the surface along a ground crack. Direct views into the crack were not possible due to thick vegetation, but close views of the steaming areas with the thermal camera reveal temperatures up to 190 C (370 F). These high temperature are further evidence of lava moving through the crack.
A closer of the new steaming. The thick vegetation obscures direct views of the ground crack, and only a line of steaming and browned vegetation is evident at the surface.
Slow-moving pāhoehoe advances through thick forest northeast of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō. The pāhoehoe lobes surround, and burn through, the base of the trees. By the time the trees topple over, the lava surface temperature has cooled sufficiently that the downed trees do not completely burn through, leaving a field of tree trunks on the recent lava surface. One tree in the center of the photograph is completely surrounded by active lava, and likely on the brink of toppling over.
Another view of the lava expanding into the forest.
Closer to the vent on Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō, one of several skylights provides a view of the flowing lava stream within the lava tube. This lava tube supplies lava from the vent to the active surface flows near the flow front.