Volcano Watch: New instrument measures lava lake with laser

Continuous Laser Rangefinder gauge on crater rim measures Halema’uma’u lava lake at Kilauea Volcano’s summit on Dec. 26. Exploded drawing of instrument optical enclosure is shown at upper right. (USGS photo and drawing by F. Younger/Special to West Hawaii Today)

Eyewitnesses drawn to the crater rim were excited, reverent, and watchful. The eruption onset was observed near and far via technology. The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) was onsite and online, transmitting scientific information as the eruption response mounted.