Lava lake now over 500 feet deep inside Halemaumau Crater on Hawaii island

Lava lake now over 500 feet deep inside Halemaumau Crater on Hawaii island

  • Courtesy U.S. Geological Survey

    Lava continues erupting at Halemaumau Crater atop Kilauea Volcano on Hawaii island. The western vent has become more active than the northern vent, which was spewing lava vigorously at the start of the eruption on Dec. 20. Hawaii Volcano Observatory field crews measured the rising lava lake up to 583 feet deep, as of 3:30 a.m. on Dec. 26.


    The Halemaumau Crater lava lake continues to grow. The northern fissure vent, top center, is inactive as the lava lake continues to drain. The “bathtub ring” of cooled lava is visible around the perimeter of the lava lake.

Lava continues to flow at Kilauea, but the lava lake at Halemaumau Crater is draining into one of the two vents that have been spouting lava.

The northern vent, which has been submerged by the lake, “quieted” early in the morning. The vent has been draining the lake, which is 583 feet deep as of 3:30 a.m. today. The draining leaves behind a narrow black ledge around the north edge of the crater lake “like a ring on a bathtub.”

The western vent became the more vigorous of the two, the USGS reported, after being less active since the eruption began on Sunday. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory field crews measured lava fountains from the western vent to be at least 32 feet high.

A floating “island” in the middle of the lava lake about 850 feet in length and 375 feet in width is cooler, solidified lava.

Sulfur dioxide emission rates have dropped but remain elevated. Seismicity also remains elevated.

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