comscore Lava flow on Puna Geothermal property appears to have stopped | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Top News

Lava flow on Puna Geothermal property appears to have stopped

  • Video by Andrew Gomes

    Hawaii Army National Guard Major Jeff Hickman talks about a new vent, fissure 24, that opened up Sunday in Leilani Estates.

  • Video by Andrew Gomes

    Hawaii Army National Guard Major Jeff Hickman describes the advance of lava from vent seven, which advanced 30 yards over the last 24 hours leading up to midday Sunday.


    An aerial view of the Puna Geothermal Venture plant.


    Lava moves on Wednesday in Leilani Estates in the direction of Puna Geothermal Venture plant.


    A map of volcanic activity on Hawaii island.

The lava flow on the Puna Geothermal Venture property on Hawaii island appears to have stopped and has not reached any wells there, a scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey said today.

Lava on Saturday had entered the property from fissures that began in nearby Leilani Estates subdivision and crossed Pohoiki Road.

But the flow that was approaching a well pad slowed overnight and appears to have stopped, Steve Brantley, deputy scientist in charge of the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, told reporters. He did not have information on how close the lava got to the well.

Hydrogen sulfide has not been detected in the area.

The PGV power plant was shut down shortly after the Kilauea eruption began May 3. Wells on the property were plugged and flammable gas called pentane was removed to reduce the chance of explosions.

Also today, the speed limit on Highway 130 between Leilani Estates and Kamalii Road was lowered to 25 mph. The reduced speed is a safety measure for drivers going over steel plates on the road.


10 a.m.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported a new fissure this morning. Fissure 24 is between Kupono and Nohea streets in Leilani Estates. It’s not threatening any structures at this time.

The lava flow that crossed onto the Puna Geothermal Venture property has not impacted any wells. No hydrogen sulfide has been detected.

6:30 a.m.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said a lava flow in Leilani Estates crossed onto the Puna Geothermal Venture property overnight.

No hyrodgen sulfide has been detected as county, state and federal agencies are monitoring levels.

Volcanic gases and vog emissions may increase in areas down wind of the vents. Portions of Kamalii Road are experiencing elevated levels of sulfur dioxide.


6 p.m.

The lava flow in Leilani Estates has crossed Pohoiki Road slightly north of the HGPA site, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports.

The flows to the south continue to enter the ocean near MacKenzie State Park. Lava is now covering 2,372 acres.

Halemaumau crater is also letting out small bursts of volcanic ash, which is slowly being pushed downwind, southwest into the Kau District.

Volcanic gases, vog and ash emissions may increase in areas down wind of the vents. Areas along Kamalii Road are experiencing elevated levels of sulfur dioxide.

Due to the volcanic activity, ash fallout may cause poor driving conditions. Residents nearby must remain alert to changes in the flow direction, and are advised to prepare for evacuation if their areas become threatened.

Kilauea Lower East Rift Zone Fissures and Flows, May 26 by Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Scribd

2 p.m.

While Kilauea Volcano continues to pump 10,000 tons of emissions into the sky per day, county officials have now determined that 41 of the 82 structures consumed by lava were homes.

Four explosions from Kilauea crater over night sent ash plumes 12,000 feet above sea level or higher as meteorologists warn that wind patterns could change Monday or Tuesday.

Winds are expected to continue blowing south/south-west into Sunday, said John Bravender of the National Weather Service. But more volcanic eruptions — coupled with changing wind patterns to the north/north-west starting Monday — “will bear watching,” Bravender told reporters today.

“From a vog and S02 (sulfur dioxide) standpoint, this could lead to higher concentrations of gases in more populated places, Pahoa, and other places across the Big Island,” he said.

So far, hot gas coming out of cracks along Highway 130 — the major road leading into Lower Puna — show that levels of hydrogen sulfide are “below the detection limit,” said Wendy Stovall of the Hawaii Volcano Observatory.

The levels indicate that the heat coming out of the cracks “is just steam,” she said.

“Yes, it is hot,” Stovall said. “There is magma beneath those cracks, but it is not close to the surface and it has not breached the water table, as far as we know.”

Evidence of hydrogen sulfide, Stovall said, “means that magma is encountering the ground water and it’s starting to boil away the ground water, which would mean the magma is moving closer to the surface. … But there’s no indication that cracks around Highway 130 are close to showing signs that magma is at, or close to, the surface.”

Comments (2)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up