Photo and Video Chronology - Kīlauea - May 20, 2011

Release Date:

Aerial view of the perched lava lake in Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater.

Aerial view of the perched lava lake in Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater

Aerial view of the perched lava lake in Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater...

Aerial view of the perched lava lake in Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater. Small fluctuations in the lava lake level lead to frequent overflows. These serve to build the levee around the lake even higher, amplifying the perched appearance.

(Public domain.)

A low-angle view of the perched lava lake shows how it is elevated ...

A low-angle view of the perched lava lake shows how it is elevated above the floor of the crater, like an above-ground swimming pool. The levee around the stands some 8-10 m (26-33 ft) above the surrounding crater floor. Also visible as the bottom of the photo is a new vent which began erupting around midnight last night on the western edge of the crater floor. There are three scientists standing on the crater rim in the background, just left of center. Can you spot them?

(Public domain.)