Enchanting Lava Lake Movement Caught on Video


This is the mesmerizing movement of the lava lake in Halema’uma’u Crater on Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano, revealing how the top cooler layer of crust constantly forms new patterns as the lava churns.

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Kilauea volcano on Hawaii. Photo: Tom Pfeiffer

As you might already know it, the Kilauea volcano, a shield-type volcano on the southeastern side of the Big Island of Hawaii, is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and makes up about 14 percent of the island’s land area. The volcano rises 4,190 feet (1,227 meters) above sea level.

The clip of the lava lake, shown at 30x speed, shows lava upwelling along the northern edge of the lake (top of the video.) As the crust slowly migrates toward the southern edge, it sinks back into the magmatic system making it look like the lava is just about to burst out from the volcano. As the lake surface migrates through lava movement, numerous thin plates of crust split, merge and change shape.

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