Interestingly, the entire flow field was greatly slowed down today. The fissure seemed to be putting out about the same amount… or maybe a little less… but the channel is very slow… crusting over to a large extent. Area around Kapoho crater is almost all a’a, and has a lot less glow. Ocean entry was noticeably slower… flow at Pohoiki appeared not to have advanced at all… or very little. Sure makes me wonder what’s happening… we’ve never seen this in the past three months since the eruption began. We also went 53 hours between major collapses at Kilauea’s summit… a longer gap than usual… before the 5.4 magnitude quake today at 12:09pm.
The flow near Pohoiki pretty much stalled out overnight… although there was still activity at the ocean entry toward the northeast. Both the major surf spots, Bowls and Shacks, have been wiped out, and the ocean entry delta continues to grow. A flow near the edge of the park does not appear to have progressed since yesterday. In spite of most of our expectations, as of this morning, the park, upper parking lot and boat ramp are still unscathed. Ocean entries still feed lava into the Pacific over a two mile stretch from Pohoiki to where Vacationland once stood, but at a somewhat lower volume. Pele has created over 700 acres of new land and numerous black sand beaches all along the new coastline.
The lava channel between Kapoho Crater all the way to Fissure 8 was extremely sluggish this morning… much of it crusted over, with very little movement and glowing, jagged cracks between the huge plates of hardened pahoehoe. Paradise Helicopters’ Pilot, Sean Regehr (his new facial hair looking like he’s trying out for Magnum PI) flew us spectacularly between the clouds and around the raindrops so we could catch glimpses of the vent. Activity at Fissure 8 was somewhat diminished… but she’s still a boiling, seething cauldron of liquid lava. After the collapse, the expected lava surge showed up at the Leilani flow, but I don’t have details at this time.
Leilani, TFR Policeman Ducky, Special Guest Kathy Boyd, Hot Seat Hawaii Producer Tim Coakley, Bruce Omori and I had a superb Paradise Helicopters charter. Paradise Helicopters and Sean… what a pair! Mahalo plenny!
If you want to feel the awesome heat of the volcano and take some incredible photos – don’t forget to add our “doors off” option to your tour for an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experience.