Photographer's Note

Kilauea is considered the most active volcano on Earth. Its most recent eruptions started in 1983, stemming from the Pu'u 'O'o and Kupaianaha craters. Initially, the very viscous and slow moving 'a'a lava solidified before reaching the ocean, but in 1986 the first flow of somewhat less viscous pahoehoe lava, typical for the Hawaii volcanoes, reached the ocean after traversing the highway that circumvented the island. Since then, pahoehoe lava has flown into the ocean for most of the time, expanding the surface of the island. The lava flow has drifted slowly along the coast, leaving behind a lava field 15 kilometers wide and 10 to 35 meters thick.
The easiest way to see the fresh lava flow is to drive the old highway, called now the Chain of Craters Road, to the point shown in the picture where it encounters the lava field. From this point, a few hours hike eastwards across the barren, dark lava field will bring you close to the fresh lava flow and the point where it encounters the ocean, which are shown in my previous posts. The thick, scarred edge of the lava field gives you an idea about how viscous and slow moving the pahoehoe lava is.
More in-depth information about the Kilauea volcano can be found here.

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Additional Photos by Roland Roesler (Roly) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 546 W: 9 N: 436] (2024)
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