Photos & Video of East Rift Zone, Crater Subsides

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The U.S. Geological Survey released these pictures and video of the East Rift Zone on Tuesday, June 12, 2018.

Events at the summit of Kīlauea over the past few weeks have dramatically reshaped Halema‘uma‘u, shown here in this aerial view, which looks west across the crater. The obvious flat surface (center of photo) is the former Halema‘uma‘u crater floor, which has subsided at least about 300 feet during the past couple weeks.

Halema‘uma‘u Crater, June 13, 2018. Click to enlarge.

Below is a closer view of the cracks cutting across the parking lot for the former Halema‘uma‘u visitor overlook (closed since 2008, when an active vent opened within the crater).

Halema‘uma‘u visitor overlook, June 13, 2018. Click to enlarge

Ground cracks circumferential to the crater rim can be seen cutting across the parking lot for the former Halema‘uma‘u visitor overlook (closed since 2008). The deepest part of Halema‘uma‘u (foreground) is now about 1,000 feet below the crater rim. The Halema‘uma‘u crater rim and walls continue to slump inward and downward with ongoing subsidence at Kīlauea’s summit.

Fissure 8 fountains reached heights up to 160 feet overnight.

USGS image taken June 12, 2018 around 6:10 a.m. Click to enlarge.

Lava fragments falling from the fountains are building a cinder-and-spatter cone around the vent, with the highest part of the cone (about 125 feet high) on the downwind side.


Below, Fissure 8 (fountain visible in distance) feeds lava into an active braided channel that flows about 8 miles (north, then east) to the ocean entry in Kapoho Bay.

USGS image taken June 12, 2018, around 6:50 a.m. Click to enlarge.



Aerial view of the ocean entry at Kapoho, where a lava delta about 250 acres in size is filling the bay.

USGS image taken June 12, 2018, around 6:50 a.m. Click to enlarge.


The south side of the ocean entry was most active on June 12, with many small streams of lava and corresponding steam plumes spread along a fairly broad section of the southern part of the delta.

USGS image taken June 12, 2018, around 6:13 a.m. Click to enlarge.

VIDEO: Aerial views of the ocean entry on Kīlauea Volcano’s lower East Rift Zone on June 12, 2018, around 6:30 a.m. HST, show multiple small lava streams spilling into the ocean along the southern portion of the lava delta in Kapoho Bay. The interaction of molten lava and ocean water creates “laze,” a corrosive mixture of seawater steam, hydrochloric acid and fine volcanic glass particles that can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs.

The helicopter overflight traveled from north to south along the coastline. Fissure 8 is visible in the distance near the end of the video.

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