March 10th, 2011

authentic Hawaiian coconut tree

E Ku`u Home Hawai`i Nei... what's the Hawaiian word for "badass"?

I think I may have mentioned that my home is way way way cooler than yours? Like, no offense, I'm sure your home is very nice and I would love to visit it, but ACTIVE VOLCANOES TRUMP EVERYTHING, sorry.

As of March 6th we've got a brand new eruption at a brand new vent on Kilauea, between Pu`u `Ō`ō (where most of the lava's been coming out since this eruption started in 1983) and Nāpau Crater; they're calling it the Kamoamoa eruption. Which I somehow failed to hear about until my mother emailed me a couple of pictures this morning, prompting me to go into a flurry of news-finding and gleeflly gazing at photos and videos and very nearly missing the bus.

Apparently there's been a lot of interesting stuff going on at Kilauea recently; I guess up until recently Halema`uma`u (the summit crater, the other active vent besides Pu`u `Ō`ō, and the home of the volcano goddess Pele) had a pretty sweet lava lake going in it. In recent days bits of the crater wall and rim collapsed into the lake, creating plumes of ash, and the lava lake started retreating into the vent. We had ash plumes at Pu`u `Ō`ō as well as the crater floor started to collapse (all of this magma draining away from under these two vents to feed the new one, presumably). Kamoamoa started up, a fissure opening up in the tephra and spitting out lava. It's a curtain of fire type dealie, with "vigorous spattering" and "low-level fountaining" up to 65 feet high.

I'm really loving the timing on this. AAAAAHHHH, PELE, YOU GORGEOUS, GLORIOUS WOMAN, I MISS YOU TOO!! TT_TT I'LL BE HOME SOON, I PROMISE! You are so freaking badass, okay, you are my very favorite goddess always and forever. PLEASE DON'T BURN DOWN MY HOUSE.

The National Park Service has a pretty excellent video of the new eruption here, and USGS has a really excellent collection of images and videos of the recent activity, updated daily, here. Check it out, yo.

I leave you with my favorite photo from the USGS collection. Under a cut because VOLCANOES ARE HUGE.

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