Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

East Lae'apuki Lava Delta Collapse (November 28, 2005)

Right-click and save to download

Detailed Description

At 11:10 in the morning on November 28, 2005, the lava delta at the East Lae'apuki ocean entry, on Hawai'i's southeastern coast, began to collapse into the ocean. This was not a catastrophic failure with the entire 34-acre delta going at once, but instead occurred in a piece-meal fashion over a period of just less than 5 hours. The collapse removed the almost the entire East Lae'apuki delta, plus another 10 acres of the older sea cliff inland from the delta. The resulting embayment was 830 meters (2,725 feet) long (parallel to the shoreline) and 320 meters (1, 050 feet) wide (perpendicular to the shoreline)--this is more than half a mile long and just under a quarter mile wide! At the time of the collapse, the ocean entry was being fed by lava flowing through a lava tube that originated on the southwestern flank of the Pu'u 'O'o cone.

For additional information see the Press Release ( or this Volcano Watch article ( The growth and collapse of lava deltas are discussed on this HVO Webpage (

The images that comprise this video were acquired by a time-lapse camera positioned on the edge of the older sea-cliff at the northeastern end of the East Lae'apuki delta. The image acquisition rate was 1 frame per minute, and the resulting video is played at 10 frames per second.




Public Domain.