Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō 61g lava flow continues to advance on the coastal plain

July 7, 2016 Lava Toward Ocean from Mick Kalber on Vimeo.

Video courtesy of Tropical Visions Video with air transportation by Paradise Helicopters.

Friday, July 8, 2016 U.S. Geological Survey/Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
Kilauea Volcano Status

Activity Summary: Eruptions continue at Kīlauea Volcano’s summit and East Rift Zone. The lava flow to the southeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō continues to advance across the coastal plain and does not pose a threat to nearby communities. The lava lake at Halemaʻumaʻu Crater continues to circulate and spatter. The lake level is about the same as yesterday. The summit tilt continued an inflationary trend during the past day. Low rates of seismicity are observed across the volcano.

Summit Observations: Tiltmeters at the summit continued to record an inflationary trend during the past day. The level of the summit lava lake at Halemaʻumaʻu this morning stood at 25 meters (82 feet) or roughly the same as yesterday. Low rates of seismicity in the summit caldera region are noted, with minor fluctuations in seismic tremor related to variations in lava lake circulation and spattering. Sulfur dioxide emissions from the summit vent over the past week ranged from 2,700 to 6,300 metric tons/day.

Puʻu ʻŌʻō Observations: HVO webcams show several incandescent vents on the floor of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater, as usual. There were no significant changes in seismic activity at Puʻu ʻŌʻō. A tiltmeter on the north flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō recorded a slight inflationary trend during the past day. Sulfur dioxide emission rate from all East Rift Zone vents when last measured on June 27 was about 320 metric tons/day.

Lava Flow Observations: The active lava flow southeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō continued to move across the coastal plain on Kīlauea’s south flank. When mapped on Thursday afternoon, the flow front had advanced about 0.2 km (0.1 miles) since Wednesday’s measurements; the flow front was about 1.2 km (0.7 miles) from the ocean. Bright incandescence is visible in the overnight webcam views of the active lava flow field, marking lava tube skylights above the pali.

Information from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

The newest lava from Kīlauea volcano is drawing visitors to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, as flows from Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō vent in the remote east rift zone stream down the Pulama Pali, spread onto the coastal lava plain and slowly advance towards the Pacific Ocean.

Although portions of the flows are within the park, the closest viewing is from the County of Hawai‘i Kalapana Lava Viewing Area off Highway 130, near the eastern border of Hawai‘i Volcanoes. The viewing area is open daily from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.

From the park side, the easiest vantage point to view the flows, dubbed “61G” by the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, is at the end of Chain of Craters Road, past the Hōlei Sea Arch, where the pavement ends and the gravel emergency access road begins. The park is open 24 hours a day.

Park rangers do not encourage visitors to hike out to the lava flows from either side, but to instead view them from a safe distance. From the park side, hikers can expect a grueling 10-mile roundtrip hike over very uneven and sharp lava rock terrain riddled with earth cracks. There is no trail, and it’s easy to get lost after dark.

“There’s definitely been an increase in injuries since the 61G lava activity amplified,” said Chief Ranger John Broward. “We responded to calls about turned ankles, lacerations, dehydration, and disoriented visitors in the coastal lava plains all weekend. It’s exceedingly important to plan ahead, have proper footwear, and bring plenty of water, or better yet, enjoy the show from the end of the road on either side,” he said. Volcanic gas is another hazard, particularly to people with heart or respiratory problems, and infants, young children and pregnant women. If air irritates smells bad or makes breathing difficult, Broward said visitors should leave the area.

Although hikers are walking along the gravel road constructed as an emergency access route to access the flows, park management does not encourage its use.

For hiking tips, visit the park website www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit…. For the latest eruption updates, visit the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory website: hvo.wr.usgs.gov/activity/kilau…. Monitor air quality at www.hawaiiso2network.com/

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