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Lower level of Kīlauea's summit lava lake exposes vent wall

Detailed Description

The summit lava lake within Halema‘uma‘u Crater today (Jan. 15, 2017) was about 50.5 m (166 ft) below the crater floor (vent rim). One of the most interesting things exposed by the lower lake level was the clear view of the thick, dark veneer of lava on the eastern vent wall (close-up shown below). This veneer formed when the lava lake level was high; lava next to the vent wall cooled and solidified, leaving "bathtub rings" as the lake level rose and fell. The black rock on the crater floor around the vent was created when the lava lake rose to the point of overflowing in April-May 2015 and October 2016. HVO and Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park's Jaggar Museum, perched on the rim of Kīlauea's summit caldera, are visible in the upper left corner of the photo.


Public Domain.