As an earth science nerd, I was excited to see Hawaii in early 2011. The wife and I skipped over Honolulu and the popular beaches and made a bee-line to the Big Island, where Kilauea had been erupting since 1983 and you could see some of the newest land on the planet. Given the recent movement of magma downslope to the Leilani Estates area, I’ve been transfixed — half excited, half horrified — by daily video updates showing the ah-ah pushing down neighborhood streets and vents shooting lava into the air with the roar of a sulfur dioxide jet engine.
This photo is from a quieter time when the lava lake was snuggled deep inside a small crater at the bottom of the much larger Hale Ma’uma’u crater at Kilauea’s summit. While staying nearby in Volcano, Hawaii we ventured out to the visitor center at night, perched on the edge of the crater, and saw the distant, eerie glow of the steam and ash drifting up from the liquid rocks.
To help residents affected by the lava movement into the Puna district, check out the options listed in this article from Hawaii local TV station KHON.
And stay on top of all the Kilauea earth science news from the USGS here.