(BIVN) – Lava poured over the sea cliff at the Kamokuna Ocean Entry for a little over nine hours on August 19, before the activity ceased.
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory says the breakout occurred almost 400 ft. up-slope of the ocean entry at 4:10 a.m. HST, and “began to spill over the sea cliff and onto the delta.”
“The lava fall was located to the west of the ramp (tubed-over firehose),” the scientists report, “and produced a small ‘a‘ā flow on the western portion of the delta. This breakout was short-lived and appeared to have died by 1:30 pm HST, lasting about 9.5 hours.”
The activity amazed visiting lava boat tourists led by Kalapana Cultural Tours.
Scientists recorded more dramatic actvity at the ocean entry later that night.
USGS reported at 9:35 p.m. HST on August 19, “there was a large littoral explosion near the front of the delta. Another smaller explosion was seen 5 minutes later. These explosions are typically caused by mixing of cool sea water and hot lava. The August 19 explosions were not followed by obvious delta subsidence or collapse, something we have seen in the past.”
Many cracks remain and continue to widen on the delta, USGS reports. “Crack widening reflects seaward slumping of the delta’s leading edge,” the scientists said in the August 22 activity update. “These cracks highlight the unstable nature of the delta and the potential of sudden collapse into the sea.”
Surface lava flow activity persists on the upper portion of the flow field above and on the pali and high on the coastal plain, and USGS says these flows pose no threat to nearby communities.