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Lava pours into deep pit of Makaopuhi Crater from a fissure system ...

Detailed Description

Lava pours into deep west pit of Makaopuhi Crater from a fissure system cutting the floor of the larger east crater. August 9, 1972. Lava fed by flows from 'Alae repeatedly cascaded 200 m (650 ft) into the deep pit of Makaopuhi Crater, 1.1 km (0.7 mi) from 'Alae, in 1972, nearly filling it by August. Then, surprisingly, a small fissure system opened across the main floor of the crater, which formed a mezzanine above the deep pit, into which lava fell. Researchers at the time considered the mezzanine fissures to be rootless, perhaps developed in response to the weight of lava filling the deep western pit. As the eruption continued, the deep west pit was filled up to the level of the mezzanine.