East Hawaii News

Lava Explosions: Rockfalls Impact Halema’uma’u

January 5, 2016, 11:55 AM HST
* Updated January 5, 5:04 PM
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In this image, captured by a USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory webcam, the dusty gas plume can be seen rising from the vent after rocks impacted the lava lake. Incandescence from molten lava exposed by the disrupted lava lake surface lit up the vent wall and the night sky above Halemaʻumaʻu Crater. HVO image.

In this image, captured by a USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory webcam, the dusty gas plume can be seen rising from the vent after rocks impacted the lava lake. HVO image.

No, it wasn’t fireworks, but nature rang in the New Year at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park over the weekend and into Monday.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports that on Saturday, a rockfall from the east rim of the Overlook vent within Halema’uma’u Crater generated a small explosive event around 2:17 p.m. as it impacted the lava lake.

Another rockfall early Monday morning generated another small explosive event, according to officials. The event took place around 3:18 a.m. and was captured on HVO webcam imagery, where a dusty gas plume could be seen rising from the lava lake surface.

In this photo of Kīlauea Volcano's summit lava lake, the light-colored rock in the vent wall to the left of the spattering lava shows were the rockfall occurred on January 2. HVO image.

The light-colored rock in the vent wall to the left of the spattering lava shows were the rockfall occurred on January 2. HVO image.

On Tuesday morning, activity within the lava lake had risen slightly through an inflation period. HVO personnel recorded the lava lake to be about 92 feet below the floor of the crater.

In addition, activity continues at Kilauea’s Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater, with webcam imagery between Monday and Tuesday showing persistent glow at long-term sources, according to officials.

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Low seismic activity and flat tilt has been recorded on HVO tiltmeters at Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

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Jan. 3 marked Kilauea’s 33rd anniversary of its current and ongoing eruption.

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