Hawaii Island’s Kamokuna Lava Delta Collapses Into The Ocean

Posted: Jan 3 2017, 2:08am CST | by , Updated: Jan 3 2017, 2:15am CST, in News | Latest Science News

 

Hawaii Island’s Kamokuna Lava Delta Collapses into the Ocean
Credit: Travis Delimont
 

The volcanic activity puts on a spectacular display of smoke and fire on New Year's Eve

A huge part of 26 acres of lava delta formed on Hawaii Island collapsed into the ocean on New Year’s Eve, sending a plume of rock debris and ash miles into the air. The collapse lasted for several hours while thundering sound generated by the collapse could be heard ringing throughout the surrounding area.

The spectacular event even caused to crash the area of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park that was designated for public viewing, forcing authorities to push spectators hundreds of yards away from the viewing area on the coastal cliffs. 

“Those 40-foot waves that were generated from the breakoff started to erode the coastal cliff section, so a lot of the coast cliff area that was out there, the former viewing area, all of that fell into the ocean. It's a very, very dangerous situation out there.”  Jessica Ferracane, spokesperson from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park said in a statement.

When erupting lava meets sea water, it creates unstable accumulations of sediments known as lava delta. The lava delta on Hawaii Island was formed by active volcano Kilauea that crept down miles of mountainside and crumbled into the ocean, creating new land and puttin on a spectacular display of smoke and fire.

Crackling loud noises have also been heard underneath the surface, indicating persistent geological activity.

“The episode 61g flow is still active and entering the ocean at Kamokuna. Nearly all of the lava delta at Kamokuna collapsed into the ocean on December 31,” USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory released an update on Monday.

“The lava flows pose no threat to nearby communities at this time. Seismic activity continues at a low rate overall.

According to Hawaii News Now, the park management is checking the condition of the lava viewing area. The area will remain closed until officials deem it safe enough to reopen.

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

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