Hawaii Volcano Update: Scientists Baffled Over Mysterious Cracks In Kilauea Crater

Four weeks into its eruption, Hawaii's Kilauea volcano continues to spew molten lava across The Big Island's East side - cutting off access to more neighborhoods and destroying 87 homes, ten of which happened in the last two days. 

Scientists are also baffled after aerial drone footage showed concerning changes within Kilauea's main summit crater - including unexplained cracks at the bottom which are spewing hot steam. Concerns have been raised that an "expanding collapsed crater" and debris blocking the vent could trigger a massive new explosion

The Halema‘uma‘u crater has undergone a sudden transformation since the eruptions began in early May, including the surprising disappearance of a lava lake.

The drone footage from the US Geological Survey (USGS) shows "yellow sulfur substance on the rubble-covered floor and a scattering of large ballistic blocks around the crater rim".

USGS officials revealed that the empty vent once housed a 12-acre lava lake up until a few weeks ago. -Express.co.uk

What happens next is unknown:

It’s possible that new explosions will blast through the rubble at the bottom of the vent, and these may or may not be larger than previous explosions,” said USGS geophysicist Kyle Anderson. “It’s also possible that the vent could become permanently blocked, ending the explosions entirely.”

The steady collapse of the crater's internal walls due to draining magma has also enlarged the mouth of the vent considerably - which has grown from 12 acres to 120 acres. The summit itself has also sunken at least five feet in elevation while magma levels continue to drop. 

Meanwhile, Hawaii's Highway 137 has been blocked by lava, cutting off access to Kapoho, Vacationland, Hwy 132 and possibly the Puna Geothermal power plant

(via @MalikaDudley, HawaiiNewsNow)

Officials at the Puna Geothermal Ventrue (PVG) have confirmed that lava is covering the plant's monitoring station, however the Department of Health is monitoring for unsafe levels of hydrogen sulfide with none detected thus far.

That said, plant employees may have just lost their access in and out of the facility, as a Friday Instagram update from PVG reads "if lava crosses Highway 137 then they could lose their only way in and out of the plant."

Puna Geothermal Venture officials confirm lava from the fountaining fissure 8 in Leilani Estates continues to flow across the property — cutting across the main driveway to the plant facility. Mike Kaleikini, the company spokesperson, confirms a substation and a warehouse that stored a drilling rig have burned. He also says two wells have been covered on Well Pad E and a lava made contact with another, Well Pad A, but never passed across it. He says all 9 quenched wells and the two plugged wells are “holding up without any issues” — and confirms there has been no detected release of hydrogen sulfide.

According to Kaleikini, the monitoring station at PGV was covered by lava — so they are depending on the handheld machines their employees are using to check for hydrogen sulfide levels along with the monitors the Department of Health have installed around the area. Kaleikini says the plant is no longer being staffed 24/7, but personnel is on site every day. According to Kaleikini, even though the main driveway to the plant is blocked, there is still an alternate route available. However, if lava crosses Highway 137 (Government Beach Road) then they could lose their only way in and out of the plant. According to Ormat, which owns Puna Geothermal Venture, the company has insurance of up to $100 million in the case of eruptions and earthquakes — but it's not clear if that will cover everything. Ormat says significant damage or an extended shut-down could have an adverse impact on business. Last year, Puna Geothermal brought in about $11 million in net income. -Instagram

A Hawaii National Guard sergeant monitors air quality as lava crosses Pohiki Road on Thursday. (Anthony Quintano/Civil Beat)

What's it like to monitor the ongoing events surrounding the Kilauea eruption? USGS Geologist Matt Patrick explains in this video worth watching fullscreen. 

Meanwhile, video has emerged of Hawaiian hothead John Hubard, 61, pulling a gun at 32-year-old neighbor Ethan Edwards on Tuesday, firing a shot at the sky on before aiming his gun at the man. Hubbard has been arrested. 

When the shot goes off, people can be heard yelling out and Edwards can be seen crouching and covering his head with his arms as Edwards aims the gun at him.

“Are you kidding me? Stop!” people can be heard yelling in the background.

Hubbard tells his neighbor to “Get the f–k out of here” as Edwards, who is walking away with his hands up, screams back “I live here!” repeatedly.

“Happy to be alive,” Edwards wrote in the video’s caption. “Be careful out there folks. This situation is really beginning to take its toll psychologically and the bad weather is contributing to emotional tensions. Folks are breaking down.” -NY Post

Many evacuees are now living in emergency tents as local residents provide food and supplies.


Baron von Bud LetThemEatRand Sun, 06/03/2018 - 00:57 Permalink

No insurance payout on those houses. Heard on the news what really happened in that altercation. Old guy spent six months polishing the concrete on his home-built shuffleboard court. He looks up from his pumice stone buffer to see that lava rolling his way. And then the 32yo leans over the wall and asks if he has a spare condom. Yeah, that could set a guy off.

In reply to by LetThemEatRand

Tarzan Four Star Sun, 06/03/2018 - 07:13 Permalink

Look at that map, the yellow outline of the Geothermal Plant, right in the center of these massive cracks that have drained the lake at the summit, then look me square in the eye, and tell me fracking had nothing to do with this.

Is there anything in the Media that they don't deceive us about?  At every turn, the media's servitude to these huge private corporations, and their willingness at the drop of a hat to tow their line, and ignore the obvious, to tell yet another story that most all who inquire know is not true, they undermine themselves.

At this rate, News is nothing but entertainment for itching ears!  The Press has died of a million self inflicted cuts.  So now we're left to read alternative news like eating watermelon, spitting the seeds as we go...

In reply to by Four Star

MasterPo bobcatz Sun, 06/03/2018 - 22:46 Permalink

Scientists (who are pretty much baffled by everything) also baffled by:

Climate change, negative interest rates, free energy, #qanon, which way is up, blockchain, the meaning of life, the fact that we know how really clueless they are.

[List abridged in the interest of time management...] 

In reply to by bobcatz

J S Bach NoDebt Sun, 06/03/2018 - 10:01 Permalink

It’s possible that new explosions will blast through the rubble at the bottom of the vent, and these may or may not be larger than previous explosions”.

May I humbly ask what exactly a “geophysicist” does to earn his or her 6-figure salary?

I mean, “may or may not” is like a meteorologist predicting “partly sunny with a chance or rain”. 

I, too, could make this prediction, but I don't have the vaunted title of geophysicist.

In reply to by NoDebt

toady sabaj49 Sun, 06/03/2018 - 12:43 Permalink

I just reviewed our insurance with our insurance company. Basically, we pay thousands a year, and they have an out for nearly every possibility of paying out.

The only problem they leave a little in the open is fire, but then they can go after others on the back end to get their money back. (Faulty wiring, go after the builder, inspector, etc. Arsonist, go after the owner or interested party (who recieved the payout?) Act of God? Not covered.)

Basically, insurance companies make their money by not paying.

In reply to by sabaj49

my new username Tarzan Sun, 06/03/2018 - 09:40 Permalink

Fracking had and has nothing to do with this. It is called volcanic activity. The Volcano has been active for a long time. Eventually, Big Island will be bigger, and a different shape. The volcano will still be active.
One day, Hawaii will merge with Guam and Yellowstone National Park, and it will still not have been caused by fracking.

In reply to by Tarzan

MoralsAreEssential my new username Sun, 06/03/2018 - 12:11 Permalink

There are at least 2 studies from 2013 one from UC, Santa Cruz, another from USGS that shows fracking causes earthquakes and a 2017 from UTX.  Duke U tested 8 wells at Puna Geothermal Venture and correlated the data EXACTLY with the increase in earthquakes at Kilauea, data that showed FRACKING was taking place which the Israeli owned Ormat Industries a Rothschild connected company DENIED.  Go to www.exopolitics.org and stop spreading lies about how this is all "naturally occurring" which is OF COURSE what Rothschilds' satanic unseen hand wants the Useful Idiots to believe.

In reply to by my new username

nmewn northern vigor Sun, 06/03/2018 - 07:34 Permalink

lol...yes...and when one "mysteriously appears" where there wasn't one yesterday, it gives scientists the opportunity to utter that quote that really is one of my all time favorites for life...

"This changes everything we thought we knew about...X!"

...which is all fine & good on the face of the quote because science really is all about the analysis, the discovery, the exploration, the research, the proof & the disproof etc but...it's probably a bad idea to make decades long, life changing decisions based on what "they think they know now". 

Or you could wind up with some crony policymaker (say, like a Harry Reid & Ormat Technologies) making "money decisions" that puts a geothermal plant on the wrong side (or any side) of an active volcanic slope.

It's what you don't know now that always gets you ;-)

In reply to by northern vigor

JimmyJones Wile-E-Coyote Sun, 06/03/2018 - 07:05 Permalink

30 years ago the Ozone layer was supposed to be gone and the Temperature was going to be 10 degrees hotter than average. Neither has happened, global warming is a scam based on bs science to push a agenda, that is why all opposition must be silenced. They use words like " the debate is over" as if there was any debate. They have been caught faking data to make their formulas work. If something is true you don't have to fake data.

In reply to by Wile-E-Coyote

Son of Loki JimmyJones Sun, 06/03/2018 - 07:38 Permalink

Michael Crichton, the super science writer, analyzed "climate warming" and published his book, "State of Fear" about his thoughts.

" Michael Crichton's book State of Fear has characters debating data (complete with graphs and footnotes) and concepts that cast doubt on the validity of global warming evidence. This doubt is echoed in the author's message at the end of the novel and in public interviews. "


Basically, he did not believe the numbers these global extremists were quoting to support their claim of climate change. I guess he was right; we now know from exposure of their secret emails that many of their numbers were altered to fit their agenda.

"Fake Science"



In reply to by JimmyJones

Faeriedust JimmyJones Sun, 06/03/2018 - 09:21 Permalink

Well, I've worked with scientists.  And the truth is, they all pretty up their data to make it fit the theory a little more neatly .  Because theories are mathematical wonders where all the abstract terms add or multiply perfectly, while real data, in real life, is messy and imperfect and can change according to which lab aide washed the dishware (because there's always one really good dishwasher and a couple of lousy ones who leave the crud from the last experiment on the glass). It's not "faking", not really. But it CAN change the results, and the interpretation, and what conclusions you can draw.  And the conclusions drawn from any study are always those that support the preconceived expectations of the lab director who is paying everybody or the company, agency, or committee that gave him the grant.

All things are true in some sense, false in some sense, and meaningless in some sense in this imperfect human world.  And Truth, while glorious and immortal, is also something of a whore.  Who always looks better in just the right dress.

In reply to by JimmyJones