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Kilauea Volcano by Helicopter

Big Island, Hawaii - Dec. 2007

In July of 2007, the activity at Kilauea volcano drastically changed. For years, the lava flowed through tubes and made its way to the ocean where it created new land along the coastline. Now, the lava does not enter the ocean at all and it actually flows outside the boundaries of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and into a very remote area of state forest. The only good way to get a look at this new activity is by helicopter.

I took two overflights to survey this recent activity which consisted of surface lava flows and raised lava ponds.

Lava Flows

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Very fluid lava burping up through a weak spot in the lava flow.

Surface flows spreading downhill.

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Fissures appearing in the surface crust of the lava flows.

Smooth Pahoehoe lava flows.

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A broad view of the lava flows from the helicopter.

This series of flows is in a very remote area, away from the national park.

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Kilauea 2006

Stands of trees, burned by the lava.

Here is a link to the 2006 lava flow activity

 

Pu'u 'O'o Vent

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Large amounts of steam and sulfur dioxide gas streaming from the vent.

The new lava flows in the distance behind Pu'u 'O'o.

 

Lava Ponds

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Several ponds of lava have formed, perched up on older lava flows.

View from above, looking down into the lava pond.

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A long, slender reservoir of lava.

The lava at the surface would cool and crust over, then sink down into the liquid rock over & over again.

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An overview of the entire lava reservoir.

 

Royal Gardens Subdivision

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In 1987, the lava flows reached the Royal Gardens Subdivision. Most of the area was completely covered with only a few structures remaining today.

A wider view, showing how desolate the area has become.

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Roads that once accessed houses now lead to nowhere.

Not much remains of the subdivision.