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The Dynamic Earth

October 18, 2012



Lava erupting from a vent on the northeast flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō travels through tubes to the coastal plain, where surface flows are currently active. Holes in the roof of the lava tube, called skylights, reveal the lava stream contained within. This photo shows the brightly incandescent orange-yellow lava stream as it travels from right to left and drops over a steeper incline. The roof of the tube is equally bright, and the slightly darker triangular-shaped feature at the center of the photo in the background is the gap between the lava stream and the roof. (USGS)


The small lava lake in the pit on the northeastern side of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater floor remains active as well. Lava rises at the right side of the lake (west) and sinks where the heavy fume is rising at the left side (east). (USGS)


The lava lake at Kīlauea’s summit remains high, probably 45–50 m (150–165 ft) below the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu crater. This view, looking toward the southwest, shows the lava ledge on the rarely seen southern side of the pit. The spattering is at the point where the circulating lava lake sinks back down. The overhang on the north side of the pit (to the right) is also more apparent from this perspective. The lava lake extends back under the overhang ~40 m (130 ft)—a distance about even with the right edge of the photo. (USGS)


A closer view of the spattering at the point of downwelling. From the position of the Halemaʻumaʻu webcam at the visitor overlook, the spattering looks like it might be at the base of the crater wall. This photo shows that the spattering is actually 60–70 m (200–230 ft) out from the wall, toward the center of the pit. (USGS)


For the latest information on the current eruption of Kilauea, visit the official website of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.




One Comment leave one →


  1. Lava Lake Continues Tantalizing Trend – Cool Youtube Clip of Lava Reaching the Ocean « Hawaii News and Island Information

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