Perched lava lake rising higher in Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō
Aerial view looking southwest into Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater with its lava lake (shiny surface) perched 5-8 m above the surrounding lava flows. The lake and flows have filled in the crater vertically at least 100 m (328 ft) since the crater collapsed on March 5, and still have about 12 m (39 ft) to reach the previous high point and begin spilling into the pits on the western crater rim (in background). The perched lava lake and high emissions of sulfur dioxide gas make the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō area extremely hazardous. Ground access is restricted by Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and the Kahauale‘a Natural Area Reserve managers.