Kilauea lies on the south east side of the Big Island of Hawai’i and is the only one of the three volcanoes on the island that is currently active. It’s been blowing its top (or, at least, bubbling lava) continuously since 1983. Unlike many of the volcanoes you see on the news which erupt explosively, Kilauea is a shield volcano which oozes lava from one or more vents. Vast quantities of lava flow from these vents downhill, destroying everything in their path as they head towards the ocean including, in this case, a subdivision called Royal Gardens that happened to be in the way.
In this shot, you can see the main crater of the vent and a line of steam plumes heading into the distance. These mark the line of the lava flow which is in a tube just below the surface. The tubes are formed when the lava in contact with the air cools and solidifies while the material below remains liquid. The flow heads downhill for two or three miles before surfacing just short of the shoreline and forming vast, black, silvery sheets. Flows which reach the ocean push the land forward and result in an increase in the size of the island over time.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.