The Big Island is Getting Bigger

Pele, the goddess of fire,  is working on some additions to the Big Island of Hawaii.  New Kilauea volcano activity over recent days has resulted making the island even bigger, but not from new lava flowing into the sea.  This time it is from a new dike that is spreading apart.  The southeast coastline is now an inch or so bigger as a result.  The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has road and area closures due to increase in earthquakes and the new volcano activity. . Here are the current park closures as reported at the park’s official web site:

Park Advisory – June 19, 2007 4:32 p.m.

Road and Area Closures Due to Current Seismic and Volcanic Activity on Kilauea Volcano’s Upper East Rift:

1. Four miles of Crater Rim Drive are closed – from Jaggar Museum to the Chain of Craters Road junction (due to extraordinarily high concentrations of sulfur dioxide gas issuing from Kilauea’s summit caldera).
2. Chain of Craters Road and Hilina Pali Road are closed.
3. The park’s eastern boundary in the Puna district near Kalapana is closed.
4. All east rift and coastal tails are closed.
5. Pu`u `O`o is closed – effective today, the Department of Land and Natural Resources has closed the Captain’s Drive Trail.

Portions of the park do remain open including the visitor’s center, Thurston Lava Tube, and Crater Rim Drive. 

To read more about the latest activity, check out these articles from the Honolulu Advertiser and KGMB:

Kilauea magma hiding from volcano scientists

Volcano activity making Big Island a bit bigger

Lava Surfaces in New Spot at Kilauea

  1. It’s amazing that there are new flows up by Crater Rim drive. As you tour the drive when the roads are normally open, you see the signs and dates of the most recent flows in the area. I think the most recent initially was in the earliest 1980’s. Now there will be a new sign where the new flows are, but they will list 2007 as the most recent.

    Make sure to hit up the Jaggar museum. If you see the seismograph needles jump, those are from true earthquakes happening! The last time I was up there was after the big earthquake months ago. We were surprised to see the needles start flying around, marking the path of what we thought was a fake earthquake or a demonstration. I asked a worker what was happening, and she said, “No, that’s real, there’s a real earthquake happening right now!” Very exciting.

    Word to the wise and for those who aren’t: OBEY THE POSTED SIGNS. I was surprised at how many people don’t obey the posted signs. Mother nature is dangerous, but an active volcano should strike people as a place where extra care should be taken. Be careful when you visit.

  2. Thanks, Keali’i for your comments. I think you are correct about the last flow sign being in the early 80’s, if I remember correctly.

    That is so cool that you observed the seismic recorder during the big earthquake. Was that the one last October? Could you feel it?

    I find Kileaua to be completely fascinating…never a dull moment! I’ve been checking the news and the official park observations pretty frequently recently in anticipation of something exciting.

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