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Thermal Image Sequence of Summit Lava Lake Motion

October 29, 2013

(CLICK IMAGE to watch) This thermal image sequence shows the typical motion of the lava lake in Kilauea Volcano’s Halemaʻumaʻu Crater. For scale, the lake is about 160 meters (520 feet) wide in this view. The clip spans about 12 minutes, and is shown at 30x speed. The lava upwells along the north margin of the lava lake (in this view, near the top of the image). The crust slowly migrates towards the south, where it sinks back into the magmatic system along the south and southeast margins of the lake (bottom of image). The surface moves at roughly 0.5 meters per second, or about 1 mile per hour. The lake surface consists of numerous thin plates of crust, separated by hot cracks. As the lake surface migrates, these plates split, merge and change shape. (Courtesy Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, USGS)

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