Rockfall triggers small explosive event at Halemaumau lava lake

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory released a video of a portion of the Halemaumau Crater wall collapsing into the lava lake below.

The event happened at 1:20 p.m. Sunday and triggered a small explosion of spatter with a robust particle-laden plume.

Fist-size clasts were deposited around the closed Halemaumau visitor overlook.


Above is a sequence of still images taken from a webcam positioned at the closed Halemaumau overlook. The collapse originated from a portion of the wall directly below the webcam, and just out of view.

Large pieces of molten spatter can be seen flying through the air and being deposited on the crater walls below the camera.

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The image above shows the overlook crater lava lake level at 55 m (180 ft) below the vent rim on March 18, 2015 (left), then another image from April 26, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. HST showing the lava lake level about 3 m (10 ft) below the vent rim (right).

HVO says this inflation that started on the afternoon of April 22, 2015 has reached record heights.

HVO scientists are closely monitoring the lava lake, and changes in the lava lake level are posted in HVO’s daily Kilauea eruption update.

Because of the high lava lake level, visitors at the Jaggar Museum Overlook in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park can, for the first time since the Kilauea summit eruption began in March 2008, see the actual lake surface, as well as molten lava spattering above the vent rim.

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