Volcano Watch: The lava lakes of Kilauea then and now

  • A helicopter overflight on March 26, 2021, at approximately 8 a.m. HST allowed for aerial visual and thermal imagery to be collected of the eruption within Halema’uma’u crater at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano. Active surface lava is largely limited to the western side of the lake; the eastern portion of the lake has stagnated and is dominated by cooling, solidified crust. The scale of the thermal map ranges from blue to red, with blue colors indicative of cooler temperatures and red colors indicative of warmer temperatures. (USGS map by B. Carr/Public domain)

  • Panorama photos taken of Halemaʻumaʻu lava lake on December 11, 1919, showing the outer ring-shaped lake, the ring-shaped island of tilted crusts along the inner edge, and the central lava lake at Kīlauea’s summit. (USGS photos by T.A. Jaggar/Public domain)

One of the most interesting aspects of the current activity in Halema‘uma‘u is the occasional oozing of lava around the edges of the entire crater while the lava surface is rising. Has that phenomenon been reported before in any accounts of previous Kilauea activity?