For the first time in nearly a year, lava flowed into the ocean off the Big Island this weekend, treating scientists and hearty hikers to a spectacular sight. Since lava met the sea late Sunday, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) reports that the number of entry points has increased substantially, covering much of the Wilipe‘a lava delta and pouring over 7-10 meter cliffs. And a second, western prong of the flow could bring Pele’s ancient battle with the sea within viewing distance of the end of Chain of Craters road.
This particular flow was dubbed the Banana flow in April because it originated from a lava tube breakout near a Banana Tree clearing on the slopes of Kilauea. The main lava tube, the Mother’s Day flow, emerged on May 12, 2002.
For up-to-date information and photos, visit the HVO’s online Eruption Update.