12/13/2014 — 4.2M earthquake strikes Hawaii — New lava flow 1.6miles North of Pahoa + MAN STEPS ON LAVA

Right off the bat, something very cool !  A volcanology teacher demonstrated the viscous nature of the current Hawaiian lava flow by giving his hiking boot a quick step on the 1500F – 2000F temperature lava flow.  (do NOT try this at home, assuming your home is near an active volcano that is to say 🙂 )

lava step hawaii december 2014

Video of the lava step here:

In addition to the new video above (lava stepping),  a new aerial video released by the County of Hawaii reveals a second ongoing outbreak of lava (magma) coming from the new volcanic fissures which opened on the slopes of Pu’u’ O’o volcano (part of the Hawaiian Islands Kilauea volcanic complex).

This newest flow of lava is currently headed towards the town of Pahoa, Hawaii — flowing Northeast towards the marketplace.

On top of the lava flow hitting Pahoa, a noteworthy 4.2M earthquake struck just West of the big Island of Hawaii.

hawaii 4.2m earthquake december 13 2014



M4.2 – 57km WNW of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii 2014-12-13 06:42:49 UTC

Event Time

  1. 2014-12-13 06:42:49 UTC
  2. 2014-12-12 20:42:49 UTC-10:00 at epicenter
  3. 2014-12-13 00:42:49 UTC-06:00 system time


19.753°N 156.526°W depth=11.6km (7.2mi)

Nearby Cities

  1. 57km (35mi) WNW of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
  2. 114km (71mi) S of Kihei, Hawaii
  3. 125km (78mi) S of Wailuku, Hawaii
  4. 125km (78mi) S of Lahaina, Hawaii
  5. 221km (137mi) SE of Honolulu, Hawaii

Update from the USGS / HVO:


“The active flow front continues to advance downslope towards the northeast. This morning, the leading tip of the active lava was 2.6 km (1.6 miles) upslope from Pāhoa Marketplace, as measured along the steepest descent line.


Above: December 12, 2014 , HD photo from the active flow front moving towards Pahoa, Hawaii (USGS)


Seen below: The leading tip of the active portion of the June 27th lava flow continues to advance downslope, and is 3.4 km (2.1 km) from the intersection of Highway 130 and Pāhoa Village Road (as measured along a straight line). The front has advanced 300 meters (0.2 miles) since Sunday, December 7, and 1.4 km (0.9 miles) since our last overflight on December 1. The front is in an area of relatively flat topography, which may explain reduced advance rates over the past few days.



This image below was acquired December 1, 2014 by the WorldView 2 satellite, and shows the activity in the downslope portion of the June 27th lava flow. The portion of the June 27th lava flow that entered Pāhoa in October is inactive, but a new lobe is advancing downslope a short distance west of the earlier flow. The leading tip of the new lobe is evident by its long smoke plume, caused by vegetation burning. A Civil Defense overflight this morning (December 2, 2014) showed that this active tip continues to move towards the northeast.


U.S. Geological Survey
Friday, December 12, 2014 7:35 PM HST (Saturday, December 13, 2014 05:35 UTC)KILAUEA VOLCANO (VNUM #332010)
19°25’16” N 155°17’13” W, Summit Elevation 4091 ft (1247 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: WARNING
Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) scientists conducted field mapping around the leading tip of active lava on the June 27th lava flow. The active lobe has advanced about 900 meters (0.6 miles) since the afternoon of December 9, which is equivalent to an average advance rate of approximately 320 meters per day (0.2 miles per day).

The leading edge of this lobe was 2.7 km (1.7 miles) upslope from the intersection of Highway 130 and Pāhoa Village Road at the Pahoa Marketplace, as measured along a straight line. The active lobe is following a steepest-descent path that takes the flow towards the intersection of Pāhoa Village Road and Highway 130, in the vicinity of the Pahoa Marketplace. The leading edge of the lobe was 2.6 km (1.6 miles) upslope from the edge of Pahoa Marketplace, as measured along this path of steepest-descent.

Daily updates about Kilauea’s ongoing eruptions, recent images and videos of summit and East Rift Zone volcanic activity, and data about recent earthquakes are posted on the HVO Web site at http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov.

Additional Information:

Maps, photos, Webcam views, and other information about Kilauea Volcano are available at http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hvo/activity/kilaueastatus.php . A daily update summary is available by phone at (808) 967-8862.

For a definition of volcano alert levels and aviation color codes: http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/activity/alertsystem/index.php

A map with details of earthquakes located within the past two weeks can be found at http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/seismic/volcweb/earthquakes/

HVO Contact Information: askHVO@usgs.gov

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