In Your Honor
If you know me you know I have something of an obsession with volcanoes and lava so it won't come as a shock if this post is about volcanoes.
Unless you've been living under a rock (Ha! Get it?) you no doubt know that Kilauea has entered a new phase of eruption. Magma has found it's way further down rift and it is putting on a fantastic show. It's unfortunate that Kilauea caused the loss of several homes but given only one injury has occurred it is testament to Kilauea's tameness. One. And no deaths. While it seems the show she is putting on is both fantastic and frightening, if you compare her to other volcanoes (in the 20th century to present) such as Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Pinatubo, Nevado del Ruiz, and El Chichón; Kilauea has largely claimed structures, not lives. In fact, in the nearly 40 years of continuous eruption (since 1983) Kilauea has claimed exactly zero lives (directly). Zero. Kilauea is dangerous but given that she's more prone to actual lava outbreaks and (so far) mild ash plumes as opposed to explosive eruptions involving pyroclastic flows and lahars, she's relatively tame. That tameness allows us to study the science of how the Earth works. She also provides us a National Park in her honor because she's safe enough to observe from a distance; but a distance that's good enough to appreciate the power of Earth's dynamics, even on a small scale.
I've saved one last photo for editing from my trip almost two years ago to edit and publish for some special occasion and I suppose this latest outbreak is as good as any. I hope to go back and document (hopefully artistically) this latest outbreak. It's almost physically painful to watch all this coverage and not be there to see it and photograph it in person but then I can't tear myself away from watching it. I'm like a moth to flame (only metaphorically though!).
Keywords: Ash, Big Island, Editing, Eruption, Hawaii, Kilauea, Lava, Lava Photography, National Parks, Volcano, Volcano National Park
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