Kīlauea Volcano — Methane Gas Flames
One of the most intriguing images from Kilauea eruption near the Leilani Estates Subdivision is the blue burning flame of methane gas, observed in the cracks on Kahukai Street, on May 22, around 11:30 PM, HST. The view is to the southeast.
A blue burning flame of methane gas was observed in the cracks on Kahukai Street, during the overnight hours. When hot lava buries plants and shrubs, methane gas is produced as a byproduct of burning vegetation. Methane gas can seep into subsurface voids and explode when heated, or as shown in this image, emerge from cracks in the ground several feet away from the lava. When ignited, the methane produces a blue flame.