|Steam plume from Kilauea Volcano|
We were first privileged to view this phenomena of nature, a live erupting volcano, back in 1989 and were able to walk on top of week old lava flows and had access to fresh flows virtually within feet of us, the limits being determined by how much heat you could stand. It is something that was the most exciting thing we have ever seen and is only topped by being able to walk on the temple steps in Jerusalem where Jesus walked.
erupting since 1983
While all of this is going on, just off the coast of Hawaii there is a new island being formed
Lōʻihi Seamount is an active submarine volcano located around 35 km (22 mi) off the southeast coast of the island of Hawaiʻi about 975 m (3,000 ft) below sea level. This seamount lies on the flank of Mauna Loa, the largest shield volcano on Earth. Lōʻihi means "long" in Hawaiian.
Lōʻihi Seamount is the newest volcano in the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain, a string of volcanoes that stretches over 5,800 km (3,600 mi) northwest of Lōʻihi and the island of Hawaiʻi. Unlike most active volcanoes in the Pacific Ocean that make up the active plate margins on the Pacific Ring of Fire, Lōʻihi and the other volcanoes of the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain are hotspot volcanoes and formed well away from the nearest plate boundary. Volcanoes in the Hawaiian Islands arise from the Hawaiʻi hotspot, and as the youngest volcano in the chain, Lōʻihi is the only Hawaiian volcano in the deep submarine preshield stage of development.
Yellow iron oxide-covered lava rock on the flank of Lōʻihi
|Last house standing, Jack Thompson's place in 2010|
There are consequences for living on a live volcano. Ask Jack Thompson and he will give you testimony of thirty years of watching lava trying to burn him and his house alive. For those thirty years he watched the lava flow on either side of him, but in 2011 the lava had built up so that it finally flowed right over his house.
|Lave flow encroaching on Jack Thompson's place. (2011 News Photo)|
|taken in 2010 from helicopter tour|
The amazing thing is that people who lost their homes in a previous lava flow have had their property resurveyed and rebuilt homes on top of the lava covering their original property.
|Hiker on trail of Kilauea Caldera with steam vents|
We took in the walk through a lava tube.
|Light at the end of the tunnel|
We hung around until dusk hoping to get pictures of the lava glow in the steam plume. Unfortunately it was also raining which provide some really neat rainbows but not so good for the glow. Maybe next time.
|Double rainbow over Kilauea Calder|