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Matinee: Kilauea Fissure Eight Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

30 June 2018

Saturday matinees long ago let us escape from the ordinary world to the island of the Swiss Family Robinson or the mutinous decks of the Bounty. Why not, we thought, escape the usual fare here with Saturday matinees of our favorite photography films?

So we're pleased to present the 156th in our series of Saturday matinees today: Kilauea Fissure Eight.

Captured from a helicopter by Mitch Kalber of Tropical Visions Video, these June 23 clips of the lava flow from Kilauea's Fissure Eight on the Big Island of Hawaii are an uncomfortably intimate view of Mother Nature.

Kalber has been documenting Kilauea's eruptions for over 30 years. His company, which provides stock footage of Kilauea's lava flow, specializes in the volcano. As he puts it:

We have more high quality volcano video of Kilauea than anyone on the planet! High fountaining eruption, lava ocean entry flows, littoral explosions, pahoehoe and AA flows captured on the ground and from the air.

But he's sticking to the air with Paradise Helicopters for this eruption, which has, sadly, forced him and his wife Ann to leave their own home in the Leilani Estates on the island.

He describes what the video captured:

We finally accessed Fissure Eight today and OMG ... what a sight! The volume of lava is at least as much as it has been ... and quite possibly more ... her activity is truly phenomenal!

The Volcano Goddess Pele is continually erupting hot liquid rock into the channelized rivers leading to the Pacific Ocean. Most of the fountaining activity is still confined within the nearly 200-foot high spatter cone she has built around that eruptive vent. Her fiery fountains send 6-9 million cubic meters of lava downslope every day ... a volume difficult to even wrap your mind around!

A small overflow from the perched pond at the Northeast corner of the beleaguered subdivision was approaching several houses nearby ... we'll soon know if she destroyed them, stopped short or skirted by.

The ocean entry has gotten even bigger ... her flow front now about a half mile across. The entries have become established near where the beach community of Vacationland stood just two weeks ago. Tons of hot liquid rock are entering the water there, some from a lava river ... and more in many smaller fingers of lava that slowly drip into the water.

Pilot Sean Regehr got us to the best vantage points to capture Pele's magnificence ... Leilani, Rainy Day Ducky. Special Return Guest Jill Briggs, Bruce Omori and I had another amazing charter! Mahalo [thanks] plenty, Sean and Paradise Helicopters!

There are plenty of other Kilauea videos but none of them are as compelling as Kalber's work.

Kalber won an Iris award, two Emmys and was named the National Press Photographers Association's Press Photographer of the Year while working at KMGH and KCNC in Denver. His work on VolcanoScapes, a series of programs documenting the on-going eruption of Kilauea, has earned him national and international honors.

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