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10 July 2001E. Kupapa`u--just another day in the office
|Views from east of E. Kupapa`u ocean entry at dusk and after dark. The bench is rather large, reaching out about 120 m from the sea cliff. Most activity this evening was at the most seaward point of the bench. Note the new black sand beach formed by deposition of glass created when lava enters the sea.|
|Left. Dusk view of front of E. Kupapa`u bench, with lava behind flowing off the bench into the water. Two floating pieces of incandescent crust are visible at left, kept afloat by expanding gas within the crust and steam from heated sea water along the base of the crust. Right. Glow from the ocean entry reflected off rippled sea surface.|
Large map Map shows lava flows erupted during the 1983-present activity of Pu`u `O`o and Kupaianaha. The flows active from December 17, 2000 through June 30, 2001 are shown in red, above and on Pulama pali and on the coastal plain,. Most of the recent flows are fed from breakout points at 1920-1700 feet, above the pali in the northern part of the large red area. Lava re-entered the sea just west of Kamokuna on January 21, 2001, but soon stopped when activity shifted from the western to the eastern branch of the flow. Since then, activity has been divided between the eastern and western branches. Breakouts from the eastern tube system have destroyed hundreds of meters of the Royal Gardens access road. Lava fed through the eastern system has been entering the ocean since April 25, a few hundred meters northeast of Kupapa`u Point. Since then, a large bench has developed at the E. Kupapa`u entry site. On May 31, a tiny trickle of lava fed through the western tube system dripped into the water about 500 m west of the Kamokuna bench but stopped within a day. Since then, all lava entering the sea has gone through the E. Kupapa`u entry.
The shatter ring is a prominent tumulus near the western branch of the active flow that is a handy reference point for some of our observations.
Eruption-viewing opportunities change constantly, refer to the HVO home page for current information. Those readers planning a visit to Kilauea or Mauna Loa volcanoes can get much useful information from Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.
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