Lava from Kilauea Volcano began entering the ocean once again on Saturday, drawing more visitors to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
Kilauea lava steams into sea in 3 cascades
VOLCANO, Hawaii » Officials at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park report an increase in the number of visitors since Saturday, when lava from Kilauea once again began entering the ocean.
As of yesterday the current surface flow was about 100 yards wide and penetrating up to 15 yards further into the ocean from the existing coastline.
"Lava in the PKK flow continues to pour onto the old Lae'apuki delta and then into the ocean," reports Don Swanson, research scientist at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. "From a distance, three large cascades are visible coming down the old sea cliff, and other smaller cascades drop into the sea from the front of the delta."
Lava from Kilauea last reached the ocean in late summer.
While the ocean entry is spectacular, it can also be dangerous. When the lava hits the ocean, it creates an acid steam plume of "laze," or lava haze containing sulfuric, hydrochloric and other harmful acids.
Ranger Jim Gale, the park's chief of interpretation, warns park visitors about other unique dangers caused by current conditions.
"'Limu o pele' are tiny glass pieces in the laze that look like flecks of thin, transparent seaweed," said Gale. "The hydrofluoric acid in the steam plume can even scratch eyeglasses and camera lenses, to say nothing of what it can do to your eyes and throat."
Current activity is occurring inside the park about three miles along the coastline from the end of Chain of Craters Road. A typical round-trip hike from that point to the flow takes four to six hours, Gale said.
Seen in the Honolulu StarBulletin
Cross-posted to abouthawaii