Water Instead Of Lava

Halema’uma’u Crater at Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii, 13 July 2018 (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

Late last month observers discovered a small green pond at the bottom of Halema’uma’u Crater at Kilauea volcano. Water inside the crater is rather amazing since Kilauea is the active volcano on the Big Island of Hawai’i that erupted violently in 2018, destroying parts of Leilani Estates, Highway 132, Vacationland and Kapoho.

Geologists wondered if the green spot was a rock or algae so they flew over the crater several times looking for a telltale reflection to indicate it was water. Yes, it’s wet.

A week’s worth of photos also showed that pond had grown since it’s original “size of a pickup truck.”

Halema’uma’u, as taken by the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory on August 1, 2019. Inset shows water pond. USGS photos taken by S. Conway.

Geologists don’t know how the pond got there but it’s worth watching to find out more. Fortunately by August 2 they’d found a safe place to view it from the crater’s edge.

Read more about the pond here or follow the news on Volcano Watch at USGS.

UPDATE, 4 Sep 2019: The pond has grown and it’s boiling.

(photo credits: crater view from Wikimedia Commons, Halema’uma’u pond from USGS; click on the captions to see the originals)

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