Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sizzling lava

Big Island visitors: be sure to put Volcanoes National Park on your itinerary.

"Activity Summary for past 24 hours: Kilauea continued to erupt from two vents-one in Halema`uma`u and the other on the east rift zone. Sulfur dioxide emission rates from these two vents remain elevated. At the summit, spattering and short spatter-fed lava flows were visible from an opening at the bottom of a deep pit inset within the floor of Halema`uma`u Crater, resulting in glow above the vent overnight. On the east rift zone, lava erupting from that vent continued to flow through tubes to the coast where it entered the ocean just west of Kalapana."

The day before you leave go to these sites for the most recent update:

http://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/lava2.htm
http://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/halemaumau_newgasvent.htm

You'll find driving and hiking directions to all the viewing sites in your Hawaii Big Island Trailblazer.

To view an awesome video of the deepest erupting undersea volcano yet discovered (near Samoa) go to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website. University of Hawaii geochemist Ken Rubin believes this active Boninite eruption provides a unique opportunity to study magma formation at volcanoes and how the Earth recycles material where one tectonic plate is subducted under another – a long-term goal of many Earth scientists.