Lava 'firehose' causing cracks to Hawaii's main island

02 February, 2017, 00:41 | Author: Archie Newman

The spectacular sight of a Hawaiian volcano spewing a thick plume of molten lava into the Pacific Ocean has been caught on camera.

The authorities at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park are discouraging people from hiking to get a close look at the flowing lava which is pouring into the ocean.

The lava cools, expands and the bursts as it interacts with the ocean water, the USGS said.

According to the USGS, the lava is so hot and intense that it is making the sea cliff unstable.

The lava stream is perched high on a cliff and causes explosions as the molten rock flows into the ocean. On New Year's Eve 2016, a huge portion of the 26-acre lava delta formed by the lava flow collapsed into the sea, causing a temporary closure at the Kamokuna ocean entry.

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This crack means the cliff is extremely unstable and could be about to break apart and fall into the sea, reports 9News.com.

It also warned that the littoral explosions are creating hazardous conditions on both land and sea.

Volcanologists flying above the site used special thermal imaging cameras to photograph the crack, which is reaching 220 degrees at it's eastern end.

At Kīlauea's ocean entry on January 28 and 29, the interaction of molten lava flowing into cool seawater caused pulsating littoral explosions that threw spatter (fragments of molten lava) high into the air.

'Some of these incandescent clasts fell on top of the sea cliff behind the ocean entry, forming a small spatter cone, ' the USGS wrote.

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