Erupting Volcanic Paradise: Lava Rivers & Spatter Fountains of Hawaii [48 PICS]

July 30th, 2011 Permalink

Volcanic activity is spiking in Hawaii and people are flocking there to see the spectacular show. Visitors, both regular folks and scientists, to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park are able to witness the active volcanic personality and the formation of new cinder cones, glowing pit craters, rivers of lava and fountains of spatter. This volcanic paradise shows off 70 million years of volcanism, but was only established as a National Park in 1916. It stretches over 333,086 acres (505.36 square miles) and has two active volcanoes. While Kīlauea is one of the world’s most active volcanoes and has been in nearly continuous eruption since 1983, Mauna Loa is the world’s most massive volcano. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has seven ecological zones, was designated an International Biosphere Reserve in 1980 and became a World Heritage Site in 1987. Welcome to the Big Island and volcanic paradise! We love these pics! [48 Photos]

Lava erupting from the Pu`u `O`o vent

View at dusk of the young Pu’u ‘O’o cinder-and-spatter cone. The fantastic fountain on Kilauea, Hawaii, is shooting up about 40 m high. Photo #1 by G.E. Ulrich/USGS

volcanic plumes from Kilauea rising up from three locations of Halema‘uma‘u Crater,  Pu‘u ‘O‘o Crater, and from along the coastline where lava flows from the East Rift zone were entering the ocean

This image, taken by the crew of Space Shuttle Atlantis (after completing the capture of the Hubble Space Telescope), shows volcanic plumes from Kilauea rising up from three locations: Halema‘uma‘u Crater, Pu‘u ‘O‘o Crater, and from along the coastline where lava flows from the East Rift zone were entering the ocean. The plumes have created a blanket of volcanic fog, called vog, that envelops the island. Photo #2 by NASA STS-125 crew


Arching fountain of a Pahoehoe approximately 10 m high

Arching fountain of a Pahoehoe approximately 10 m (32 ft) high issuing from the western end of the 0740 vents, a series of spatter cones 170 m (557 ft) long, south of Pu‘u Kahaualea. Episodes 2 and 3 were characterized by spatter and cinder cones, such as Pu‘u Halulu, which was 60 m (196 ft) high by episode 3. Photo #3 by J.D. Griggs / USGS

Halemaumau Crater glows under the clear sky

Halemaumau Crater glows under the clear sky. Photo #4 by Mila Zinkova

Hawaii Volcanoe National Park awesome view of lava into ocean entry

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: an awesome view as fingers of lava flow into the ocean. Photo #5 by U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Geological Survey

Ash cloud rising from Pu`u `Ō `ō as crater floor collapses - March 2011

Ash cloud rising from Pu`u `Ō `ō as crater floor collapses – March 2011. Photo #6 by U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Geological Survey

Rainbow and sulfur dioxide emissions from the Halema`uma`u vent

Rainbow and sulfur dioxide emissions from the Halema`uma`u vent. Photo #7 by Mila Zinkova

Lava burst - Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Lava burst – Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Photo #8 by U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Geological Survey

Sulfur dioxide emissions from the Halemaumau vent

Sulfur dioxide emissions from the Halemaumau vent. The National Park Service said, “Hawai`i is the leading state for both extinctions and federally listed endangered species in the United States.” Photo #10 by Mila Zinkova

Fissure erupting spatter and producing lava flows between Pu`u `Ō `ō Crater and Nāpau

Fissure erupting spatter and producing lava flows between Pu`u `Ō `ō Crater and Nāpau. Photo #11 by U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Geological Survey

Aerial view of the perched lava lake in Pu`u `Ō `ō crater

Aerial view of the perched lava lake in Pu`u `Ō `ō crater. Pu`u `Ō `ō roughly translates into “hill of the o`o, an extinct native bird.” Photo #12 by U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Geological Survey

A 1-meter-wide channel feeds a surge of lava that broke out from the inflating flow margin on the Hakuma horst, sending a fast-moving - but relatively small - flow through coconut palms towards the ocean

A 1-meter-wide channel feeds a surge of lava that broke out from the inflating flow margin on the Hakuma horst, sending a fast-moving – but relatively small – flow through coconut palms towards the ocean. According to the National Park Service, Native plants help to fire-proof the vulnerable park ecosystems. However the “invasion and colonization of alien tropical and sub-tropical grasses, coinciding with the ongoing eruptions of Kilauea Volcano, have caused fire frequency rates to triple since historic levels and average fire size to increase 60-fold.” Photo #13 by U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Geological Survey

Lava NPS Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

This shot of lava was taken by NPS at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Photo #14 by National Park Service

Volcanic Activity at Kilauea

The Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 satellite captured this true-colour image of plumes continuing to rise from Kilauea Volcano on Hawaii’s big island. Small clouds float overhead, casting their shadows on the land surface below. The relatively light cloud cover allows a clear view of the plume that rises from the Pu‘u ‘O‘o Crater and blows toward the north west. Along the island’s coast, dual small plumes blow in the same direction. These plumes arise from searing lava reaching the ocean water. A close look at this image reveals a landscape scarred by repeated lava flows. Deep brown and charcoal-colored rock rivers flow to the sea from Kilauea vents. Between the lava flows, brushes of deep green vegetation appear along Hawaii’s southern coast. The ocean water appears pale blue-grey, with a rippled surface. This light ocean colour is likely sun glint—the mirror-like reflection of sunlight off the ocean surface. Photo #15 by NASA Earth Observatory

Kilauea lava flowing into ocean

Kilauea, Hawaii, lava flowing into the ocean. Photo #16 by U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Geological Survey

Steam plume as Kīlauea red lava enters the ocean at three Waikupanaha and one Ki  lava ocean entries. Some surface lava is seen too

3 Waikupanaha and one Ki lava ocean entries as well as surface lava flow are seen at the image. You could see red lava entering the ocean at the first Waikupanaha ocean entry and a glow at Ki ocean entry. At Hawaii the lava usually moves inside lava tubes. The surface flow is rare. The meeting of lava and the ocean is so violent that one could often see steam explosions, which spray fragments of hot lava into the air. Photo #17 by Mila Zinkova

The active lava lake in Pu`u `Ō `ō and its levee; lava lake’s shape makes it look like a huge slipper

The active lava lake in Pu`u `Ō `ō and its levee. The lava lake’s shape makes it look like a huge slipper. Photo #18 by U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Geological Survey

Close-up of spattering fissure. Lava reaching 10 m into the air

Close-up of spattering fissure. Lava reaching 10 m into the air. Photo #19 by U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Geological Survey

Family of lava tree casts

These tree casts formed during the 1965 eruption, when lava flowed through forest. Where the lava came in contact with a tree, it chilled to form a solid rind surrounding the trunk, while the rest of the flow remained molten. The trees in Lava Trees State Park, according to the USGS, “were formed during a small eruption in the late 18th century. A fissure near the park entrance—one of the early vents of the eruption—has drainback features formed when some of the lava poured back into the fissure at the end of the eruption, a process typical of fissure eruptions. The drainback lowered the original flow surface, exhuming the lava-covered tree trunks that now stand above the flow. Tree molds are also abundant in the park.” Photo #20 by C. Heliker/USGS

The last incarnation of the Cookie Monster hornito

Looking up at the last incarnation of the Cookie Monster hornito, from inside the collapsed top of the Cookie Monster rootless shield, on the inactive Mother’s Day tube. Photo #21 by T. Orr/USGS

View looking at the NE end of the actively propagating fissure. Lava is just breaking the surface in foreground crack

View looking at the NE end of the actively propagating fissure. Lava is just breaking the surface in foreground crack. Photo #22 by U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Geological Survey

Lava entering sea in Hawaii

Lava entering sea in Hawaii. If you might be interested in watching the action at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, there are two ways to watch via web cam. Live Panorama of Puʻu ʻŌʻō Cone, Kīlauea Volcano and Live Panorama of Mokuʻāweoweo, Mauna Loa Volcano. Photo #23 by Jennifer Williams

Lava exited the tube at the sea cliff and poured out onto the growing delta

Lava exited the tube at the sea cliff and poured out onto the growing delta. Photo #24 by U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Geological Survey

One branch of the lava stream drips down small cliff at head of bench, and one flows onto bench

One branch of the lava stream drips down small cliff at head of bench, and one flows onto bench. Photo #25 by USGS

Lava pours from the fissure just west of the base of Pu`u `Ō `ō after daybreak and   cascades out of sight into a deep crack. Lava spatters above the fissure just west of   the base of Pu`u `Ō `ō

Lava pours from the fissure just west of the base of Pu`u `Ō `ō after daybreak and cascades out of sight into a deep crack. Lava spatters above the fissure just west of the base of Pu`u `Ō `ō. Photo #26 by U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Geological Survey

Glow from south of cone comes from lava and new vent at southeast base of   Pu`u `O`o

Glow from south of cone comes from lava and new vent at southeast base of Pu`u `O`o. The USGS says, “Pu`u `O`o is the main vent of the longest eruption from the east rift zone in at least the past 1,000 years. It is now the largest cone on Kilauea. Within 3 years of its first eruption in 1983, Pu`u `O`o reached a maximum height of 255 m above the former ground surface. Beginning in 1993, collapse pits began forming on the west flank. In early 1997, the entire west flank of the cone collapsed to form a large gap and a crater 210 m deep. Collapses continue to change the shape of Pu`u `O`o.” Photo #27 by David Jordan/USGS

Skylight, Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i

Skylight, Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i. Photo #28 by J. Kauahikaua/USGS 27 September 2002

Halema`uma`u plume with the moon

Halema`uma`u plume with the moon. Photo #29 by M. Poland/USGS

channelized flow from the western vent complex advanced significantly downslope through forest within the Hawai`I Volcanoes National Park

Channelized flow from the western vent complex advanced significantly downslope through forest within the Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. Photo #30 by U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Geological Survey

Thurston Lava Tube, Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, Big Island of Hawai'i, USA

Thurston Lava Tube at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island of Hawai’i, USA. Photo #32 by Michael Oswald

A channelized flow erupted from the vent on the floor of Pu`u `Ō `ō crater

A channelized flow erupted from the vent on the floor of Pu`u `Ō `ō crater. Photo #33 by U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Geological Survey

Ash-laden Halema`uma`u plume captures the rainbow in the early morning light. Photo taken from Steaming Bluffs

Ash-laden Halema`uma`u plume captures the rainbow in the early morning light. Photo taken from Steaming Bluffs. Photo #34 by J. Kauahikaua/USGS

Hawaii Volcano NP - RED HOT

Red hot! “When first erupted from a volcanic vent, lava is a liquid at temperatures from 700 °C to 1,200 °C (1,300 °F to 2,200 °F),” thus spake Wikipedia. Photo #35 by U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Geological Survey

A surge of lava that broke out and view of lava cascading down the sea cliff

A surge of lava that broke out and view of lava cascading down the sea cliff. Photo #36 by U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Geological Survey

Lava fountains from the northeastern vent of the Kamoamoa eruption March 2011

Lava fountains from the northeastern vent of the Kamoamoa eruption in March 2011. Photo #37 by U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Geological Survey

Lava spattering from the west vent in West Gap Pit of Pu`u `O`o, Hawaii

Lava spattering from the west vent in West Gap Pit of Pu`u `O`o, Hawaii. Photo #39 by U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Geological Survey

View from the ground of Kamoamoa fissures spattering source

View from the ground of Kamoamoa fissures spattering source. Photo #40 by U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Geological Survey

Puu Oo - mothersday flow at west highcastle

Mother’s Day flow enters the ocean at West Highcastle, seen from west at 05:26. Lava cascades down sea cliff and moves across bench, which has greatly enlarged seaward in past two days. Lava then pours off front of bench into water. This sea cliff is 8-10 m high. Photo #41 by U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Geological Survey

Spectacular lava drapery and falls at new Kamoamoa entry

Close view of the lava falls in the image above shows cones of lava drapery that connect the top of the cliff to the bench below. The cones grow primarily upward as lava spills over the cliff and lands on the growing mound below. Eventually the cone below and lava above meet to form a solid column of lava drapery. The process is similar to what takes place on a dripping candle. Photo #42 by R. Hoblitt/USGS

Lava spilling and spattering from East Pond Vent and feeding lava flow that is filling east end of Pu`u `O`o's crater. Cone at East Pond Vent is about 8 m high

Lava spilling and spattering from East Pond Vent, and feeding the lava flow that is filling east end of Pu`u `O`o’s crater. The cone at East Pond Vent is about 8 m high. Photo #43 by U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Geological Survey

aerial of lava flowing into ocean at hawaii volcanoes national park

Aerial of lava flowing into the ocean at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Photo #44 by U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Geological Survey

Spots at incandescent cones in crater of Pu`u `O`o contrast with broad glow from new vent and lava flow at southeast base of cone

Spots at incandescent cones in crater of Pu`u `O`o contrast with broad glow from new vent and lava flow at southeast base of cone. Photo #45 by David Jordan/USGS

Lava Spattering East Pond Vent and surface of lava pond in crater

Lava Spattering East Pond Vent and surface of lava pond in crater. Photo #46 by U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Geological Survey

Taken in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Taken in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Photo #47 by MartinRe

caution at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Caution! Have fun though on the ever-erupting volcanic paradise of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Photo #48 by U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Geological Survey


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