Monday, 1 December 2008

A little more from the volcano

Here are a few more shots from my so-called "shopping" trip to the Volcano National Park the other day. The first is of a now solidified lava flow from Mauna Ulu just before it drops down the pali to sea level more than two thousand feet below. There are two types of lava you can see here, pahoehoe which is the smoother, ropey and lighter coloured rock in the foreground (and the stuff my house sits on!) and a`a, the darker more "crinkly" rock a little further away. Pahoehoe is the fast-flowing lava you see in disaster movies while a`a is much slower moving - both are destructive.

As I mentioned previously I was hoping to get a shot of the ocean entry but it just wasn't on. This was my best effort but the vog was simply too thick and the entry point is just too far away right now. These ocean entry points are fascinating to see close up, but can also be lethal. If memory serves a couple were killed at one just a few years ago. The land is unstable and can collapse into the ocean, explosions of lava and scalding water occur and the reaction between sea water and lava produces a rather nasty acidic cloud that's best to avoid.

On the way back up the sunset was impressive but so was the plume from the Halema`uma`u crater at Kilauea's summit. Here it is poking above the local horizon catching the last rays from the setting sun and with Mauna Loa in the background, the world's largest active volcano. The yellow sign is a warning about the endangered Nene goose, a species that's endemic to Hawai`i and nest in the park, although I suspect given the amount of vog these days they've moved to somewhere a little more comfortable, at least temporarily.

Finally, another shot of the Kilauea plume being blown down the pali, a little clearer than in my previous post and accompanied by the last few rays of sunlight for the day.


Zuzana said...

Gosh, reading about the potential danger made me shiver.This beauty is indeed a dangerous one. Nevertheless, the nature in your picture is so very striking.

Diane said...

I can't imagine living in such a beautiful (and potentially volatile!) place... though living with my ex was sort of like that... not the beautiful part, mind you, just the volatile part ;).

PS... I agree with you RE Edinburgh... but I'm partial, having been born there :)

Leave a comment the next time you stop by!! I love me some comments! ;)

Tom said...

Protege - it's really not too dangerous as long as you use common sense - don't get too close to the ocean entry and don't go too close to active lava flows! The park rangers are very good at keeping people safe but sometimes people just don't think about their own safety.

Diane - I promise to stop by very soon and leave a comment, although right now strange dog poo and ex-husbands aren't areas I feel I have enough expertise to comment about! ;)

Keera Ann Fox said...

What weird landscape! I really like the photo of the row of clouds from the plume.

Never heard of the Nene goose before. *googles* Hawai'i's state bird, adapted to breeding on lava. Wow! And it's pretty.

Keera Ann Fox said...

What the - ? S/b Hawai'i'. Spent too many hours with a PC keyboard earlier. :-)