July-October 2000

On August 1st Jenda filmed this beautiful "firehose" flow shooting out from the cliff. This happens when a lava tube has had time to work its way down into the ground and/or bury itself under more lava flows. When the bench collapses, the tube gets cut off and is exposed. These never last long - they tend to quickly build out new land and seal themselves over. It is rare to catch them when they happen (and when the steam is blowing away!). Check out the video clip!

September was a very exciting time for all of us, but especially for Ken. There was a brief pause at the beginning of Sept, then on the 8th it restarted, so Jenda and Cheryl flew out with HVO to check it out. A huge flow had broken out and charged down a very steep part of the pali (steep slope or cliff). It had followed the channel of an old aa flow from 1985, but was bursting out of it in several places. A photo is to the right, and a video clip below.

Meanwhile, on the ground, Ken watched as that surge came rushing down the pali. He was in the trees at the base of a smaller cliff and lost sight of the surge as it hit the bottom. He waited for a while, wondering if it would come his way. He was filming a small channel when suddenly the forest above him roared into flame (right). Lava was gushing out of both sides of the channel on the cliff above him. The surge was arriving! You can hear and see it in more detail in the new Fall 2000 Eruption Update Video. The still pictures and video below show the sequence.

He says it was a pretty scary moment, waiting to see if the surge would hit where he was standing. He describes it as looking like "liquid fire" as it poured over the edge. Hard to believe how fast it was moving, so far away from the vent! He kept a careful eye on his escape route, ready to run away if necessary. When it looked like the lava was mostly on the other side of the channel, he was free to just stand and stare, and wonder at the awesome force of nature.

Multiple channels of lava (avi, 613Kb)

Lava rushing through the trees (avi,291Kb)

Tree surrounded by lava.

The lava went on to feed some big flows. That part of the forest was pretty old and had some ancient Hawaiian trails, beautifully paved with fitted stones. Sadly, these were all quickly buried.

By October, lava had made its way back to the ocean, much more quickly than usual! Here's a photo of the new bench as it formed:

We'll be back when we've got something different to report!

© 2000 Volcano Video Productions, All Rights Reserved.