Surface Lava Still! 7-14-17

Surface lava continues to be active on the coastal plain:

Surface lava flows have continued this week on the coastal plain. Our guests enjoyed seeing some great surface activity and good views at the ocean entry.

surface lava up close

Another great evening with lots of magical, ephemeral surface lava! – Photo: Lavaland Hawai’i

Yesterday HVO field geologists reported that the new flow front had stalled on the coastal plain and no surface lava was visible at the tip of the flow. Things do change by the minute out there and lucky for us we found some great breakouts.

active lava tour

A nice vigorous pahoehoe breakout yesterday evening. – Photo: Lavaland Hawai’i

It’s amazing how much the activity changes from moment to moment. Over the past weeks surface lava has been active over a wide area of the coastal plain, and active breakouts have moved around quite a bit from day to day. Fortunately our guides know the lava fields really well and are very good at finding the best activity for our guests.

lava viewing hawaii

Some of our recent happy guests feeling the heat. – Photo: Lavaland Hawai’i

Surface lava activity changes frequently and without warning so it can never be guaranteed, but we and our lucky guests have been amazed by the fantastic surface flows we’ve enjoyed recently.

This tour requires a good level of fitness because it involves about 3 miles of biking and several miles of hiking across rough, trackless lava. It’s not for everyone but if you’re up for it it’s an experience you’ll never forget!

One day this week at the ocean entry we watched as a few small portions of the outer edge of the lava delta suddenly collapsed into the sea, causing large explosions which hurled chunks of molten rock a considerable distance out into the ocean. HVO scientists are concerned about the recent development of prominent cracks which span the length of the growing delta. These parallel cracks have expanded and continue to widen, increasing the likelihood of a large delta collapse in the near future. Luckily there are still good views of the ocean entry from just outside the closed area boundary if you know where to go, and it’s exciting to see all of the changes as they happen.

lava hike tour

A recent aerial of the increasingly unstable lava delta showing large cracks. – Photo: US Geological Survey

If you’re be among the lucky ones who’ll be visiting the Hawaiian Islands this summer don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to see nature doing some of her most beautiful work!

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