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Latest Thermal Images of Lava

April 27, 2012

From the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (USGS): Active flows are still spread out across a broad area on the coastal plain (of Kilauea), and advancement towards the ocean remains relatively slow. This image is a composite of a thermal image and normal photograph, with white and yellow areas showing active pāhoehoe breakouts, and red areas showing inactive, but still warm, portions of the flow surface. Today, the flow front (lower left corner of image) was about 900 meters (0.6 miles) from the ocean. The field of breakouts shown here is about 1.4 km (0.9 miles) wide. On the pali, a line of fuming areas marks the path of the lava tube through Royal Gardens subdivision. The fume from these sources partly obscures another narrow breakout on the pali. (USGS)

This nearly-vertical thermal image, taken from a helicopter, shows the lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu. The lava level has been variable over time, and today it was near the level of the deep inner ledge, which is approximately 70 meters (230 feet) below the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu crater. The lava lake, mostly covered by large crustal plates, has a steady motion in which lava rises in the northwestern portion of the lake and flows to the southeastern margin, where it sinks (often accompanied by spattering). (USGS)

A lava pond has been active in a collapse pit in the eastern portion of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater for over a month now, with continuous roiling and spattering. For scale, two spatter collection trays - each slightly larger than a lunch tray - can be seen on the crater's rim at the left edge of the image. (USGS)

One Comment leave one →
  1. Stephen Melinger permalink
    April 30, 2012 5:48 am

    Since the lava flow is active I would like to know if any precautions are being taken to protect the populace in the event of a shift or splattering. The photos are breathtaking and remind us of the power of nature.

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