View From The Ridge

View From The Ridge

Friday, November 2, 2012

Visting a live volcano

Steam plume from  Kilauea Volcano
Last week it was doing the Zip line, this week it was standing on the edge of a live volcano.  Yes, folks, it is never dull living on the Big Island of Hawai'i.  There is always something going on every weekend and this week it has been the Kona Coffee festival and the Big Island Farm Show, what ever that is.  We will have to check that out.

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.  

A group of fishermen narrowly escape in their vehicle as lava covers a section of Highway 130 in Kalapana, on 17 July 2010
 group of fishermen narrowly escape in their vehicle as lava covers a section of Highway 130 in Kalapana, on 17 July 2010 (picture from volcano web site)
Lava enters Gary Sleik's back garden, burning trees and shrubbery

erupting since 1983

Lava enters Gary Sleik's back garden, burning trees and shrubbery(picture from Volcano web site)
    The current eruption of Kilauea (known as the Pu`u `O`o Eruption) started in Jan. 1983 and as of January 2000, had produced 1.9 km3of lava, had covered 102 km2, and had added 205 hectares to Kilauea's southern shore. In the process, lava flows unfortunately destroyed 181 houses and resurfaced 13 km of highway with as much as 25 m of lava. It has also destroyed the National Park visitor center and a 700 year-old Hawaiian temple ("Waha'ula heiau"). There are no signs that the current eruption is slowing or will come to an end anytime soon.  Hawaii, nicknamed BIG ISLAND because of it's 8 major volcanoes, is currently 4038 square miles (approx. 6 500 square km ) and grows around 42 acres every year thanks to all of mount Kilauea's eruptions.  Since 1983 it has grown approximately 1290 acres.

While all of this is going on, just off the coast of Hawaii there is a new island being formed 

The island of Hawaii, showing Loihi's position southeast of the main landmassʻihi Seamount is an active submarine volcano located around 35 km (22 mi) off the southeast coast of the island of Hawaiʻi[6] 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.[4]
ʻihi 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.

ʻihi Seamount
Yellow rocks underwater with a few red and green regions
Yellow iron oxide-covered lava rock on the flank of Lōʻihi

Last house standing, Jack Thompson's place in 2010
I took this picture of Jack Thompson's place while on a helicopter tour of the volcano in 2010.  The following year the Lava finally took out his place.

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

Turtles of Hawaii Lizards of Hawaii Snakes of Hawaii Frogs of Hawaii

In 1972, the Jackson's Chameleon (Chamaeloeo jacksonii) was introduced to the Hawaiian Islands from its native land of Kenya and Tanzania. In the last 30 + years, these species have multiplied and formed a large breeding population on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii. In particular they can be found on the Koolau range, Oahu. Their abundance may be underestimated based on the fact that these chameleon's are difficult to see unless you happen to look right at one.

Judie and Jeri caught sight of this one walking on the neighbors power line and I went out and took several photos of it.   
 The longer I live the more amazed I am with this planet we occupy.  I am a died in the wool creationist because of the evidence that surrounds me no matter what part of this earth I happen to be on.  There is such a diversity of plant, animal, insect, fish and bird life that I find it very difficult to entertain the idea that all this happened by chance by evolution.  The colors in the landscape, the sunsets, rainbows, the vast number of animals that make me laugh, all of this created by a God who loves us and provided a world that stimulates creativity and wild emotions.  He could have just as easily provide a boring world that lacked the colors and variety of plants and animals.  I believe it would be a world much like that if it were left to chance.   Since returning to the Island we have been continually entertained by the environment through just being alive everyday and  observing what is happening all around us.  We have been a witness to the creativity of God on a daily basis and daily we thank him.  We were privileged to have lived on the ranch on Pumpkin Ridge for 37 years and saw the beauty he created in Eastern Oregon, and now we are privilege to see and enjoy a totally different part of his world.  What an awesome God we serve!

No comments:

Post a Comment