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Lava Lake at Volcano Explodes Scaring the Crap Out of Tourists

A rockfall from the wall of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater impacted the lava lake around 10:20 am, triggering an explosion of spatter and smaller particles.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

HVO geologists working on the far side of the crater captured the initial moments of the plume rising. The explosion deposited a large amount of spatter around the closed Halemaʻumaʻu visitor overlook.

Rocks falling into the summit lava lake generated an explosion that threw large fragments of molten lava onto the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, 85 m (280 ft) above the lake.

ExplosionThese fragments pose a significant hazard, and are one reason this area remains closed.

Spatter from the explosion also landed on the Halemaʻumaʻu webcam, melting some of the wire insulation but not enough to interrupt its operation.

tephra from 10:20 collapse and explosive eventGas in the lava lake was rapidly released during the 10:20 am explosive event, causing the lava lake surface to drop a few meters (yards).

This photo was taken moments after the explosive event, and shows the overhanging ledge of lava along the rim that was exposed as the lava level dropped.

This photo was taken moments after the explosive event, and shows the overhanging ledge of lava along the rim that was exposed as the lava level dropped.

Early this morning, prior to the explosive event at 10:20 am, the lake was close to the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, with spattering along the lake margin.

428 lava lake