Lava Lake 70 stories deep, USGS illustration shows


USGS: “A wide view of the ongoing KÄ«lauea summit eruption in Halema’uma’u, taken from the northwest rim of the crater. The lava fountains in the west vent (right) continue to deliver lava into the slowly rising lava lake. Lava fountains are no longer visible through the central and southern parts of the lava lake surface. Over the past two days, the surface crust at the northern and eastern (left) ends of the lava lake has started to stagnate. (USGS photo taken by L. DeSmither on October 7, 2021)

(BIVN) – The lava eruption continues at the top of Kilauea Volcano, with all activity confined to Halema’uma’u Crater in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park.

The level of the lava lake in the crater has risen 37 meters (121 feet) since the eruption began on September 29.

The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory recently released an illustration showing that if the Empire State Building in New York were placed at the bottom of Halema’uma’u Crater, the level of the lava lake could already reach the 70th floor.

USGS: “How much lava filled Halema’uma’u crater?” If the Empire State Building in New York were placed at the bottom of Halema’uma’u Crater, we estimate that the level of the lava lake could already reach the 70th floor! (USGS chart by J. Bard)

From the USGS HVO:

For reference, the base of Halema’uma’u crater after the 2018 collapse was 517.4 m / 1,698 ft above sea level (asl). A water lake occupied the base of the crater from July 2019 to December 2020, at a depth of 50.9 m / 167 ft (equal to an elevation of 568.3 m / 1,865 ft asl). The lake of water evaporated when an eruption began in Halema’uma’u Crater in December 2020. This eruption created a lava lake that reached a depth of 158 m / 518 ft (equal to a altitude of 675.4 m / 2216 ft asl) by December 23, 2020. By the end of this eruption in May 2021, the lava lake had reached a depth of 223 meters / 732 feet (an elevation of about 741 meters / 2431 feet above sea level). The eruption that began on September 29, 2021 continues to fill the bottom of Halema’uma’u crater and by October 6 reached a depth of 256.6 m / 842 ft (an altitude of 774 m / 2,539 ft asl) above the old crater base after it collapsed in 2018. For comparison, the height of the Empire State Building is 443.2 m (1,454 ft).

The HVO will continue to closely monitor the KÄ«lauea volcano and plan to issue daily updates until further notice.

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