Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Hawaiian Activitiy Revisited

When we went to Hawaii last January (2010), my wife and I trekked over to Kalapana and watched the lava. Well sort of. At that time, the lava was entering the sea outside the park boundary, and the county highway department wasn't too keen on letting people get too close. So they had a viewing area set up about half a mile away from the action. With a telephoto lens, I managed to see some nice splashes, but mostly it was just kind of okay. Nothing like you see in the documentaries or hear tell of stories where the silly tourist in flip-flops nearly burns their leg off by getting close to an active flow...

The trail was well-marked, but rough.
Hawaii_2738Click to embiggen.

The first view was somewhat uninspiring. But I reminded myself that I was on an active volcano, which was better than not being on an active volcano.
Hawaii_2747Click to embiggen.

Long lenses were de rigueur.
Hawaii_2749Click to embiggen.

Much of the late evening views were nice, but not stunning. It wasn't until the sun almost hit the horizon that the light really looked surreal. (note tour boat for scale at left)
Hawaii_2819Click to embiggen.

Once the sky darkened, the light from the glowing lava began to color the base of the steam plume.
Hawaii_2868Click to embiggen.

Hawaii_2835Click to embiggen.

There were some nice vortices kicked up by the rising plume. At dusk, the steam had a nice sculptural quality to it.
Hawaii_2779Click to embiggen.

Hawaii_2760Click to embiggen.

I need to reprocess this image to remove some of the digital noise. Zoomed in at 400mm, it still seems small and harmless.
Hawaii_2932Click to embiggen.

Currently, there are reports that the new vent activity near Napau is siphoning off the lava from the tube supplying the sea entry activity. Only time will tell if the current activity will form a new point of entry for the lava. That's the way it is with these dynamic systems.

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