Photo and Video Chronology - Kīlauea - July 10, 1998

Release Date:

Eruption Continues and New Land Frequently Collapses

This update current as of July 10, 1998. Eruption updates are posted monthly; more frequent updates will accompany drastic changes in activity or when residential areas are threatened by lava flows.


Episode 55 of Kilauea's east rift zone eruption continues with very little change in the past several weeks. Lava erupts quietly from vents on the southwest flank of Pu`u `O`o and travels about 12 km through lava tubes to the coast. Between 300,000 and 600,000 m3 of lava enter the ocean every day at two entry points -- Waha`ula and Kamokuna. The Kamokuna entry is the more active one, and the new land built outward from a large littoral cone frequently collapsed into the ocean. A large collapse event on July 6 removed about 3.7 hectares (9.1 acres) of new land.

Thick volcanic fume in the inner crater of Pu`u `O`o often prevents scientists from observing details of the activity there, though they do know that lava continues to rise intermittently from vents in the crater floor. Observers have noted a series of new arcuate cracks around several adjacent pits on the southeast flank of the Pu`u `O`o cone. These cracks suggest this part of the cone is subsiding and may develop into a single large pit (see update of 17 December 1997 for early description of these pits).

Lava Entry Points Remain Hazardous

At the coast, the tube system continues to discharge lava into the ocean at two sites, Waha`ula and Kamokuna. Most of the lava enters the ocean at the Kamokuna entry point, where new land collapses into the ocean without warning. Two significant collapses occurred on June 11 and July 6. See a description of the June collapse, Bench collapse sparks lightning, roiling clouds. These collapses are life endangering; the land itself is destroyed, and numerous explosions ensue as the hot lava reacts violently with the ocean water. For more information about this activity and the associated hazards, see:

  • Collapse of new land into the sea
  • Explosions at lava entry points
  • Waves send scalding water onto new land

Growth and collapse of new land at the Kamokuna entry

Diminishing Waha`ula entry point