Livestream of Kilauea’s Summit Crater

The lava fountains and human drama in Hawaii’s Lower Puna District are getting all the headlines, but geologists know there is also drama ongoing at the summit, where the volcano’s crater seems to have been slowly collapsing since the lava lake drained.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory staff were forced to move farther away from the summit area because the many earthquakes there were damaging the building. Now, they have set up a livestream, and it’s fascinating to watch. Basically, the crater walls are slowly crumbling inward, and there is a pile of rocks at the bottom that may be suppressing the explosions — after a period of suppression, of course, there will likely be a big steam blast to relieve pressure, But no one knows if or when that will happen, or what will happen next.

Anyway, here’s the livestream:

For comparison, here’s a video they recorded in March to mark the ten-year anniversary of the lava lake first appearing in the summit crater. Where he’s standing has already collapsed now.

Here is a drone overlight of Halemaumau they did on May 31st. As you can see, the vent where the lava lake used to be has expanded to almost fill the whole crater. And there’s the rock pile down at the bottom, probably supressing, to some extent, the explosions.

And, about an hour ago, the USGS posted this:

Featured image: USGS. Those curved lines on the left is where the visitor’s parking lot used to be.

Guest Video: Kilauea’s East Rift Eruption

Hawaiian volcanoes, lava fields, Pelee – you know the drill.

But these volcanoes are fascinating when you look at them up close, as both scientists and local natives know.

In March 2011, for instance, Pu’u O’o – an active crater on a flank of the huge shield volcano known as Kilauea – collapsed, its floor dropping almost 400 feet.

Not long after that, a rift opened up a little farther east and the ongoing East Rift Eruption began.

There is also molten lava at Kilauea’s summit, and it’s one of the most awesome sights on Earth:

Featured image: