Thursday, February 19, 2009

Up Close and Personal with Madam Pele

Madam Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of fire, treated us to quite the reception as we cruised about 1 mile off shore of the big island of Hawaii. In the first photo hot lava enters the Pacific ocean at Waikupanaha, Hawaii, creating spectacular steam explosions (also called littoral explosions, because they occur at the shoreline, or littoral zone). Huge plumes of steam, gas and debris rise above the boiling water.

Kilauea Lava Flow

Further east along the coast, at Waha'ula, another lava flow drips like candle wax over the sea cliff.

Kilauea Lava Flow

The welcome we received from Madam Pele was indeed very, very warm.