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‘The Ups and Downs of Halema‘uma‘u’

April 15, 2017, 11:30 AM HST
* Updated April 11, 10:20 AM
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Halema‘uma‘u Crater, 1918. Photo by Thomas Jaggar.

Halema‘uma‘u, the large crater in Kīlauea Caldera, has had an eventful past and faces an uncertain (though ultimately fatal) future.

Probably first appearing early in the 19th century, the lava in the crater reached its highest level in 1894, when it stood a mere 282 feet below the Volcano House.

Halema‘uma‘u has enthralled visitors with its lava lakes, lured at least three people to their deaths, and served as a centerpiece for countless photographs and paintings.

Using some of these captivating artistic renderings, Dr. Don Swanson, geologist at the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, will trace the volcanic history of Halema‘uma‘u and share personal anecdotes about his own encounters with the crater from 1967 to 1978 at a presentation at the Lyman Museum.

Presentations will be made on Monday, April 17, from 3 to 4:30 p.m., and again the same evening from 7 to 8:30 p.m.


The nationally accredited and Smithsonian-affiliated Lyman Museum showcases the natural and cultural history of Hawai‘i. Located in historic downtown Hilo at 276 Haili Street, the museum is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to  4:30 p.m.


For more information, call (808) 935-5021 or visit www.lymanmuseum.org.


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