Pu’u ‘O’o Crater & Petunia Flow

The East Pond vent, on the eastern side of the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater, has hosted a small lava pond for the last couple of years. Sloshing and weak spattering on the pond surface frequently ejects small pieces of spatter and Pele’s tears. The small wooden boxes, seen in this photo on the edge of the vent just below the area of strongest spattering, are used to collect these stray pieces of lava. Chemical analyses of the spatter and tears allows us to study the evolution of the lava to better understand the eruption.

 

Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater and Petunia flow

 

Left. The East Pond vent, on the eastern side of the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater, has hosted a small lava pond for the last couple of years. Sloshing and weak spattering on the pond surface frequently ejects small pieces of spatter and Pele’s tears. The small wooden boxes, seen in this photo on the edge of the vent just below the area of strongest spattering, are used to collect these stray pieces of lava. Chemical analyses of the spatter and tears allows us to study the evolution of the lava to better understand the eruption. Right. The Petunia flow, which began in mid-May, continues to push toward the southeast. The upper part of the lava flow has already evolved into a well-developed lava tube that easily transports lava down-slope to feed the terminus of the lengthening flow. A new skylight near the breakout point of the flow provides the first look of the 3-meter-wide lava stream inside the tube.

Lava toes and old roads

Left. While pictures showing the spectacular side of volcanic eruptions are what generally captures the imagination, the little details can often be just as interesting. This photo shows off the fascinating surface texture of a barely active toe of lava. Right. Large `a`ā flows invaded the upper reaches of the Royal Gardens subdivision between 1983 and 1986. Since that time, pāhoehoe flows have surrounded the subdivision and cut off access by road. Earlier this year, lava from the Campout flow buried the last remnants of Royal Gardens at the base of the pali. This photo shows one of the subdivision streets, its bottom buried by lava, disappearing up-slope into the rain.

 
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