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September 18, 2020

Vibrant color variations at Kīlauea's summit water lake

Color photograph of volcanic lake
Color variations are common at Kīlauea's summit water lake, and are usually dominated by tan and brown hues. Today, the interaction between different color zones produced a large swirl in the center of the lake.


This video shows a close-up of the northern shoreline of the water lake at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano. Steaming and subtle ripples are present on the water surface. Zooming out gives a sense of the scale of the lake. The lake level is approximately 576 meters (1890 ft) below the camera. USGS video by M. Patrick.
The color zones on the lake surface shift from minute to minute. This video shows how the color zones were creating a large swirl in the lake center. USGS video by M. Patrick.