Some residents on the Big Island of Hawaii continue to experience hell. That’s because of the constant eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano. Just this morning, a new explosive eruption occurred at the summit, which caused a magnitude-5.4 earthquake. Earthquakes of this strength have been occurring numerous times each week since Kilauea first erupted over one month ago, back on May 3rd.

Thousands of residents have been displaced due to the lava flows that have destroyed over 500 homes, especially near Kapoho Bay. The below and after photos from the Sentinel-2 satellite captured on May 14th and June 7th, respectively, capture the changed landscape and the disappearance of Kapoho Bay on the coast. This is because the lava has completely filled the bay, thus evaporating all of its water and forming a new lava delta.

Original Image Original
Modified Image Modified

Credit: NASA

Fissure 8 remains the most active, producing lava fountains to heights of 130-140 feet from within the growing cone of cinder and spatter. According to the US Geological Survey, “Pele’s hair and other lightweight volcanic glass from fountaining of Fissure 8 are falling downwind of the fissure and accumulating on the ground within Leilani Estates.” There are two active lava flows that continue to transport lava from this active fissure to the ocean. Once this molten, hot lava meets the water, it produces a new hazard, laze. Laza is extremely dangerous and is a combination of small glass particles and hydrochloric acid. That and the toxic, surfur dioxide are two elements that officials are warning residents about by urging them to remain inside.

Because Kilauea has been erupting for over a month, a lot of lava has been emitted. According to NASA and the US Geological Survey, “Since May 3, 2018, Kilauea has erupted more than 110 million cubic meters of lava. That is enough to fill 45,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools, cover Manhattan Island to a depth of 2 meters (7 feet), or fill 11 million dump trucks […] However, that is only about half of the volume erupted at nearby Mauna Loa in a major eruption in 1984.”



Gallery of Images Since the Past Week:

The following images are courtesy of the US Geological Survey.

Lava-filled Kapoho Bay emitting laze.
Fissure 8 fountains reached heights up to 160 feet overnight.
Lava flows over KÄ«lauea’s lower East Rift Zone.



Remains of the Kapoho Beach Lots subdivision and the Fissure 8 flow front.
Kapoho Bay filled completely with lava.
The vigorous lava fountain at Fissure 8 reached heights of 150 feet.



Fissure 8 lava fountain heights fluctuated between about 130 and 230 feet.
Aerial view of the ocean entry at Kapoho, where a lava delta about 250 acres in size is filling the bay.



 

Author

Jackson is Head of Content at WeatherOptics and produces several forecasts and manages all social media platforms. Previously, Jackson forecasted local weather for southwestern Connecticut, founding his website, Jackson's Weather, in the March of 2015. He is currently studying Meteorology and Broadcast Journalism as the University of Miami.

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