Photo and Video Chronology - Kīlauea - January 19, 2018

Release Date:

Rockfalls trigger explosions in Kīlauea Volcano's summit lava lake

This video shows a rockfall and subsequent explosion that occurred at 7:03 a.m. HST today within the "Overlook crater" at the summit of Kīlauea. This collapse was followed by a smaller rockfall at 7:07 a.m. (not shown in video). Rocks falling into the lava lake agitated the lake surface and caused the lake to "slosh" back-and-forth for at least 15 minutes following the collapse. Explosive events triggered by rockfalls, like those this morning, occur with no warning and are one of the reasons why the Halema‘uma‘u crater rim area remains closed to the public. Fallout from today's explosion would have resulted in serious injury to anyone on the impacted crater rim.

(Public domain.)

 

"Dimples" in the Pele's hair that has accumulated on the rim of Hal...

"Dimples" in the Pele's hair that has accumulated on the rim of Halema‘uma‘u are evidence of ballistic impacts during today's rockfall-triggered explosion in Kīlauea Volcano's summit lava lake. Spatter (fragments of molten lava) blasted from the lava lake landed all around HVO's thermal camera (HTcam) that monitors lake activity. Fortunately, the camera escaped damage, so thermal images of the lava lake can still be viewed on HVO's webcam page (https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hvo/webcam.html?webcam=HTcam).

(Public domain.)

Spatter up to about 30 cm (11.8 in) in size was hurled onto the rim...

Spatter up to about 30 cm (11.8 in) in size was hurled onto the rim of Halema‘uma‘u during today's explosive events. Some fragments were thrown or blown farther downwind, reaching as far as the closed section of Crater Rim Drive in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. The boot of an HVO scientist, who entered the area to check on HVO's webcameras, is shown here for scale.

(Public domain.)