Kilauea Volcano Eruption Update 
  History - Eruption Status and Photos of
Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii

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17 July 2008

View into TEB and blankets of paper-thin limu o Pele at Waikupanaha



Left. The top of the TEB collapsed in the past week, permitting a view into the vent for the first time in several weeks. Lava was rushing from left to right, in this view, then turning abruptly toward the top of the photo where it enters the tube system.Right. Flows in the past week expanded eastward and consumed more of the Royal Gardens subdivision. One house, at lower right, narrowly avoided destruction, while two more structures, near the burned trees in the center of the photo, were buried completely.



Left. The Waikupanaha plume was more modest today, illustrating the erratic behavior of the ocean entry. Shortly after this photo was taken, large explosions resumed and the plume grew again to enormous size. Notice the thick haze in the background. This the volcanic plume from Pu`u `O`o out of site at upper right.Right. The frequent littoral explosions at Waikupanaha have blanketed the down-wind lava surface with paper-thin limu o Pele fragments. Notice the abrupt boundary between the brown limu o Pele fallout and the shiny pahoehoe. Limu o Pele is composed, basically, of pieces of bubble walls. It forms when lava bubbles burst and when wind blows laterally through sheets of molten lava thrown up during the explosions.


Besides the blanket of limu of Pele described above, the large explosions at Waikupanaha have also built a littoral spatter cone in an arc around the ocean entry. The cone is not obvious in the photo on the left due to the oblique angle and shadowing from the plume. In the infrared (IR) image on the right, the portion of the littoral cone built on the beach shows up nicely just below image center. A small littoral explosion, hidden by fume in the photo, is apparent just right of image center in the IR image. The bright dots scattered around on the littoral cone in the IR image are hot blobs of recently-ejected spatter.

Photos Courtesy USGS


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