January-April 1998

January-April: Pu'u O'o has continued to degrade, though less drastically than last year. A new pit (Puka Nui= Great Pit) started growing in December and has continued to expand, eating away at the high side of the cone. A few times when we've been out there has been lots of lava lake activity and fountaining, but for the most part the fume has been so thick you can't see much at all.

Mid-April: Ken and Cheryl were out shooting at the coast not long after a bench collapse. There were spectacular littoral explosions building up a big debris cone by the cliff edge. It was like watching the most amazing fireworks display. Below are some pics and video clips, but the best place to see it is on the Eruption Update video!

Here are some night shots. In the image below, can you pick out the tiny form of HVO geologist Dave Sherrod silhouetted in front of the lava fountains?

A few days later... we returned to the coast to find that a bench had begun building out and lava was now flowing quietly into the sea. It was deceptively quiet, however. Not long after we were out there, a person climbing on the cone slid onto the bench, got trapped, and never made it out. Just a warning: Kilauea may be an "approachable" volcano, but it is still dangerous and warning signs should be taken seriously!

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