Water depth plot for Kilauea Volcano summit water lake

Plot of water depth in the lake at Kilauea Volcano

Detailed Description

Water formed a tiny pond at the bottom of Halema‘uma‘u crater, at the summit of KÄ«lauea Volcano, in late July 2019. The pond has slowly deepened since then. HVO scientists measure water level almost daily using a small laser rangefinder mounted on a tripod. The measurements are made dependent on weather, wind, and staff availability. The rangefinder calculates the vertical distance (in meters; one meter is approximately equal to one yard) above the water surface. This distance is subtracted from the known elevation of the laser rangefinder to yield the elevation of the water surface. The elevation of the floor of Halema‘uma‘u crater, determined before the pond formed, is then subtracted from the elevation of the water surface to give the depth of the pond above. The water depths depicted here result from 15–20 measurements made for several minutes on one particular day. The water body is more than one kilometer from the rangefinder, and measurement errors at this distance may yield small apparent fluctuations in water depth that are not real.


Image Dimensions: 900 x 300

Date Taken:

Location Taken: US