Kamokuna Lava Delta Falls into the Ocean

The Kamokuna lava delta of Kilauea Volcano has collapsed.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory officials have reported the delta, which collapsed on Wednesday, to be growing since late March, but began to note instability last week.

HVO captured images of the lava delta at the volcano’s lava entry collapsing. The collapse reportedly occurred over a five-minute period and has nearly completely collapsed into the ocean.

After the collapse, HVO scientists say that it is likely that a small, localized tsunami was generated by the collapse, causing rocks to wash ashore in the area.

The episode 61g flow, which feeds the ocean entry, remains active and entering the ocean.

HVO continues to report webcam activity that suggests active breakouts of lava within the upper portion of the 61g flow field, near the pali.

The flows pose no threat to nearby communities at this time.

“As a strong caution to visitors viewing the ocean entry (where lava meets the sea), there are additional significant hazards besides walking on uneven surfaces and around unstable, extremely steep sea cliffs,” HVO noted in its Friday Kilauea update. “Venturing too close to an ocean entry on land or the ocean exposes you to flying debris created by sudden explosive interaction between lava and water.

“Also, the new land created is unstable because it is built on unconsolidated lava fragments and sand. This loose material can easily be eroded away by surf, causing the new land to become unsupported and slide into the sea. In several instances, such collapses, once started, have also incorporated parts of the older sea cliff.”