Photos 6, page 20
Lava Hike
January 15, 2010
At it again!  The lava flow to the ocean had stopped on January 3 and I decided to go out and
visit the scene of the crime - the ocean entry.  I have avoided going out there while it was
happening because it was so dangerous:  flying rocks and hot lava from explosions due to hot
lava hitting (relatively) cold water.  (Normal ocean temperature here is around 80 degrees.)  
After I did that, I decided to head on up to Royal Gardens and visit my favorite
And while I was there, doing a little exploring...  As usual, green line out (3.5 mi), cyan line there (0.37 mi), magenta line
back (2.7 mi), 6.6 mi total. 10:40 AM - 4:24 PM 5.75 hrs.
The overlay on the right denotes the most recent lava flows.  The pink area is older flows (this year) and the dark red is the
most recent flows.  The dim yellow line denotes the lava tube through which the lava flowed to the ocean.
First, let's explore the former ocean entry...
You can see from the overlay on the right that the coastline has been extended by the lava flows - I'm not walking on water!
That's why we say, "The Big Island, getting bigger every day!"
10:41 AM
At the top of the trail to the (former)
lava viewing area
10:51 AM @ 004
All quiet on the pali, except for a
couple of leisurely wisps of steam
10:51 AM @ 004
I'm heading for that little
hump out
there on the coast (1/2 mi)...
11:02 AM @ 005
Getting closer...
littoral cone".
11:08 AM @ "Crack"
Looking left
11:08 AM @ "Crack"
Looking right, toward mound
This crack runs parallel to the coast perhaps a precursor to the whole "bench"
falling off.
11:10 AM @ "Crack"
Looking over the edge at the "bench"
11:11 AM
Looking back at
hump, created by
debris from explosions from lava
entering ocean
11:13 AM
Looking back at lava viewing area.  I
don't know if you can see but there's a
person in a red shirt on the coast
11:15 AM @ 007
Looking down at the "bench" - a lava
delta or shelf that can break off
anytime without warning
11:18 AM @ 010
Going up the side of the
mound (marked "Top"), this is splatter from the lava
explosions, both liquid and solid rock fragments.  This is why I didn't want to be
out here when it was active...
Here's some pictures from 7/19/08 showing the lava explosions that formed the mound.
11:26 AM @ 014
Looking at the mound from the other
11:21 AM @ "Top"
From the top of the mound, a 180-degree panorama of the debris field from the explosions with the pali that the lava comes
down in the background.  You can see the bench on the far left as well as the ocean on the far left and far right.  All that
rock and dust in the foreground are debris from the explosions.  Just behind that, you can see the lava flows that have
come up to it.
11:26 AM @ 014
If you look real close you can see that person with the red shirt on just to the
right of the mound
11:29 AM between 014 and 017
I'm interested in those two monoliths
over there...
11:30 between 014 and 017
That person has reached the mound.  
I'm guessing it's a USGS person
mapping the new coastline...
11:32 AM @ 017
A closer look at the monoliths.  How do
you think they formed?
11:34 AM @ 018
A look at the monoliths from the other
side.  All the black sand is further
debris from the explosions
11:35 AM between 018 and 021
Speaking of black sand, here's a black sand beach being formed.  More debris
from explosions washed by the ocean currents to one spot...
11:37 AM @ 021
I was right:  USGS mapping the new coastline.  We chatted briefly but she looked busy so I didn't want to distract her...