As Hawaii’s Kilauea’s volcano continues to erupt, blue flames are being created from burning methane, which were seen in nighttime photos released yesterday (May 23rd) by the U.S. Geological Survey. The flames were shown coming from cracks in the pavement in the Leilani Estates neighborhood, where the volcano has been pushing out lava for the past three weeks. The methane is produced when hot lava buries and burns plants and trees. It can then seep through cracks and cause explosions when it’s ignited underground. Kilauea has opened more than 20 fissures in the ground through which lava, sulfur dioxide and steam have been coming out, and lava has been pouring down the volcano and into the ocean miles away.
The blue burning flames of methane gas were observed in the cracks on Kahukai Street, in the Leilani Estates Subdivision, on May 22, around 11:30 PM, HST. The view is to the southeast.When hot lava buries plants and shrubs, methane gas is produced as a byproduct of burning vegetation. Methane gas can seep into subsurface voids and explode when heated, or as shown in this video, emerge from cracks in the ground several feet away from the lava. When ignited, the methane produces a blue flame.Intermittent short bursts of methane are visible in the center area of the video. Lava fountaining is visible to the right and left sides of the video.Photos and videos are on the USGS–Hawaiian Volcano Observatory webpage at https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_chronology.html#usgs #hvo #hawaiianvolcanoobservatory #kilauea #volcano #KilaueaErupts #LERZeruption #LERZ #KilaueaEruption
Posted by USGS Volcanoes on Wednesday, May 23, 2018