Crater wall collapse triggers explosion on Kilauea

This image was taken from a webcam positioned on the rim of Halemaumau and shows spatter in the air directly in front of the camera. (Photo: HVO/USGS)
This image was taken from a webcam positioned on the rim of Halemaumau and shows spatter in the air directly in front of the camera. (Photo: HVO/USGS)

Cameras captured an explosive phenomenon on Kilauea Wednesday morning.

Just after 10 a.m., the southeastern wall of Overlook crater in Halemaumau collapsed and fell into the summit lava lake, according to scientists with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

The collapse triggered a small explosion that threw spatter bombs onto the rim of Halemaumau, at the site of the old tourist overlook, which has been closed since 2008.

Lava fragments ranged in size from dust-sized particles up to spatter bombs measuring 30 inches across. The spatter that was ejected was coated in dust and filled with small lithic fragments.

Some landed on wooden fencing on the ground, igniting it in a few places, scientists said.

The collapsed wall of Overlook crater at Halemaumau on Kilauea (Photo: HVO/USGS)
The collapsed wall of Overlook crater at Halemaumau on Kilauea (Photo: HVO/USGS)

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