The Sciences

Lava lakes remain active on Kilauea

Rocky Planet iconRocky PlanetBy Erik KlemettiJun 8, 2011 1:58 PM

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I fully realize I tend to have a bias towards explosive eruptions - I mean, it is hard to ignore something like this. However, that doesn't mean I should have neglected all the action going on right now in Hawai`i, where basalt lavas are doing that effusive thing they do so well. 

The lava lake at the Halema`uma`u Crater has been very active over the last week and a lava flow has been feeding directly into the lava lake. HVO has released some great video of the lava streams entering the lava lake, impressively disrupting the cooling crust of the lava lake. Overall, however, the lava lake levels at the summit crater have been dropping as deflation has continued. Over at Pu`u O`o, the perched lava lake is still active as well. Successive overflows of the perched lava lake have raised the floor of the crater to 128 feet from the edge of the rim, up over 40 feet in the last week.

Remember, you can watch all these volcanic events live thanks to the bevy of webcams set up by HVO watching Halema`uma`u and Pu`u O`o.

And if you're looking for some summer reading, check out the USGS eBook (for free) Eruptions of Hawaiian Volcanoes: Past, Present and Future. It is quite a treasure trove of Hawaiian volcanic information. {Hat tip to Chris Reykjavik for reminding me of this.}

Top left: A lava flow entering the lava lake at Halema`uma`u Crater on Kilauea as seen on June 2, 2011. Click on the image to see a larger version.

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