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Photo and Video Chronology - Kīlauea - December 15, 2017

December 15, 2017

Recent collapses into Kīlauea's summit lava lake

Collapses within Halema‘uma‘u lava lake are common, especially when the lake level drops and the new veneer (coating of lava) peels from the walls. Last week, there were two larger collapses that removed thin slices of the older lithic wall, and slightly changed the size and geometry of the lava lake. The collapses were not large enough to produce explosive events, but did trigger seismic signals and lake surface agitation along with spattering for tens of minutes. This photo from a Halema‘uma‘u time-lapse camera was taken on December 12 and shows the approximate areas (dashed yellow lines) that collapsed on December 5 at 4:40 am (right), and December 7 at 6:56 pm (left).
An image from a Halema‘uma‘u time-lapse camera taken on December 5 at 4:41 am, just after the collapse. The portion of the rim that fell into the Halema‘uma‘u lava lake triggered intense spattering on the lake margin where the material impacted the lake. The collapse also agitated the entire surface of the lava lake, breaking up the crustal plates into many small ones.