Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Thermal Image of Halema'uma'u Crater

Detailed Description

This thermal image (white is hot, dark blue is cold), taken during today's helicopter overflight, shows the current vent configuration at Halema`uma`u crater. The vent cavity is about 130 meters (430 ft) wide, and has consumed portions of the wall and floor of Halema`uma`u crater. The vent cavity resides directly below the former Halema`uma`u Overlook, which was badly damaged in the March 19, 2008, vent opening explosion. The active lava surface (about 70 meters, or 230 ft, wide) is situated at a depth of about 200 meters (660 ft) below the rim of the vent cavity. The lava surface consists of large crustal plates—clearly discernable in this image—which slowly migrate from north to south, reflecting circulation in the lava column. A small degassing hole resides on the floor of the vent cavity as well, just south of the lava surface.


Public Domain.