Lava no longer flowing into ocean at Kamokuna

  • This photo taken Nov. 22 shows Kīlauea Volcano's episode 61g Kamokuna lava delta, where no lava was entering the ocean or breakouts on the delta. The tiny tube breakout that started over the weekend, approximately 840 m (0.5 mile) from the emergency road, was weakly active today. Closer to the base of the pali, there were more active surface flows, as well as on and above the pali. (USGS, HVO/Special to West Hawaii Today)

Lava continues to flow from Pu‘u ‘O‘o but not where some would prefer.

For about two weeks, the flow has stopped entering the ocean at Kamokuna inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, said Carolyn Parcheta, geologist with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.


She said it’s been active on the coastal plain near the pali, though weather conditions have hindered observations this week.

For tour operators, that means a slight change in plans.

Guided lava hikes are still being offered, but boat tours are no longer promising an up-close look at molten rock entering the sea.

“When lava stops touching the ocean, we traditionally turn to volcano boat tours,” which focus more on the history of the Puna coastline, said Shane Turpin, of Lava Ocean Tours. The company also offers guided hikes.

Kira Altman, a receptionist with Kalapana Cultural Tours, said the surface flow remains active and the company is continuing its hiking tours and bike rentals.

“There’s a lot of it and some really good breakouts right now,” she said.

Parcheta said it’s hard to predict when lava could reach the ocean again.

The output from the Pu‘u ‘O‘o vent on Kilauea’s East Rift Zone remains the same, she said.

“It’s possible surface breakouts are stealing lava from the delta,” Parcheta said.


The most recent ocean entry started in July 2016.

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