Coming closer to Earth than the Space Shuttle picture is this view from an overlook across the Kilauea lava flows stretching to the sea. These flows are from Pu'u O'o - a small vent that has built up as part of the Kilauea eruption that started in 1983. This is the longest continuous eruption known from the flanks of Kilauea volcano. If you want to travel somewhere to see red lava, Kilauea is the best place in the world to go! Photo by Chuck Wood, March, 1993.
This picture shows the lava flows seen in the pictures above actually entering the Pacific Ocean. Activity such as this continues today, in 1995. Usually the flows quietly slide off the edge of the land and continue underwater. Sometimes, the entry to the sea is explosive, and jets of tiny fragments of ash shoot up at water's edge, building small cones. More dangerous is that sometimes the ledges of cooled lava - such as these people are sitting on - suddenly collapse into the sea. In 1993, the day after I took this picture, a collapse occurred and one tourist fell into the sea and was killed. He was only the second person to die in a Hawaiian eruption this century. For more pictures of this long-lived Kilauea eruption see Scott Rowland's wonderful photos. Photo by Chuck Wood, March, 1993.
To keep up with Kilauea's continuing activity check the weekly report, Volcano Watch, from David Clague, the Director of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.
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