Lava stream from Hawaii’s Big Island continues to splash into ocean
A stream of molten lava continued to explosively shoot out of a volcano and splash into the Pacific Ocean below on Hawaii’s Big Island on Wednesday, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reported.
In a newly-released statement, the USGS said a “firehose” of molten lava continued to splash into the Pacific Ocean below the cliff and explode upon impact. The federal agency also explained that a firehose is caused when a stream of lava converges into a single huge spout.
The large Kilauea flow is coming from a lava tube at the Kamokuna ocean ingress on the island’s southeast side. The lava is streaming from a tube that was exposed by the collapse of a 26-acre lava delta into the ocean on New Year’s Eve.
Raising concerns over a ‘hot crack’ in the rock above the firehose flow, geologist Janet Babb of the Hawaii Volcano Observatory, said, “The seaward side of that crack could fall away. That is of great concern because if it does, it's going to drop a lot of hot rock into the water and hot rock mixing with cool seawater makes for explosive interactions.”
A hazy layer of volcanic air pollution (vog), primarily consisted of water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2), was detected around the Big Island.
Thermal measurements confirmed high temperatures in the area, but the USGS assured that the molten lava stream wasn’t threatening any local communities as it is flowing into the ocean below.