Tag Archives: Hawaiian volcano Pu’u O’o

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Update

Kilauea remains very active, but the activity keeps changing

Two months ago, I visited Hawaii’s Big Island and wrote several blog posts about where I went and what I saw (and on Culinary Colorado, what I ate). One post was called “Hawaii’s Changing Landscape on View” and focused on Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. I also wrote about the park for a website National Parks Traveler. “Hawaii Volcanoes National Park’s Changing Landscape is the Only Constant.”  Same island. Same experiences. Different words.

Photo of Pu' O'o Cone taken in 1983 by the U.S. Geological Survey's George Ulrich. The cone became a crater but more recently as changed its volcanic tune again.

The words have to be different, because the volcanoes have shifted geologic gears again. When I was there in late June, no lava was flowing but a huge plume of gases, steam and particulate matter was steadily emitted into the sky from the Pu’u O’o crater. At night, the emission glowed. It still does.

During the years while this was going on, fiery lava lakes developed deep within the Pu’u O’o crater, and on Aug. 3, the bottom seemed to fall out of the lake, which dropped precipitously, and following rapid-fire volcanic activity, lava began flowing again. Earlier this month, the Park Service posted a map and status report and regularly updates reports on road, trail and facility openings and closures, depending on current activity.