Watch a Spectacular Lava “Dome Fountain” Flow in Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano Crater

Emerging from the active lava lake of the Halema’uma’u Crater in Callaway, the Geological Survey of the United States (USGS) enters fresh lava from a creek, holding an incredible dome fountain 5 meters (16. feet) high in the air and forcing it upwards. The footage was captured on January 2-3 and was detailed in a recent Kīlauea volcano update. Sitting in Hawaii’s Kīlauea volcano, which erupted famously in 2018, the Halema’uma’u hole will now live in a wide lava lake after a recent eruption in December 2020.

The hole was initially a lake of water, but the fissure on the sidewall caused the lava to slowly shake before it could be filled with lava, and the lake evaporated. It continues to fill and has now reached a depth of 191 meters (627 feet), but the lava is confined to the hole. Try creating a flowing dome of lava as it rises from the lake before crashing.

The lake is fed by continuous vents in the walls of the crater, which causes the appearance of a spectacular waterfall, which is estimated to be about 10 meters (33 feet) wide. “Lava Lake is partially submerged and lava from the western vent cascade below the roofed vertical channel for entry. The result is rolling lava near an arch called a ‘dome fountain,’ ”the USGS told the video.

“Dome fountains have been observed during rupture in Mauna Ulu and Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō. Dome waterfalls can occur when lava erupts rapidly from a narrow vent or eruption to the bottom or as if the lava is below the surface of the lake. The feature is, in part, like a fountain of bubble water. Standing at 4,091 feet (1,247 m), Kīlauea is an active shield volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii. Formed 210,000-280,000 years ago, volcanoes remain highly active and erupted almost uninterruptedly from 1983 to 2018, culminating in an explosive eruption in May 2018. The last eruption took place in December 2020, leading to the formation of Halema’uma’u lake.

The fast-filling lake has been under intense surveillance since its recent formation, with levels of sulfur dioxide being regularly checked for dangerously high emissions. A real-time webcam feed near Crater Lake can be seen here. The USGS will regularly monitor the lake for any potential hazards, the main focus of which is a large amount of toxic volcanic gas and particles that are coming out of the lake and will be carried to nearby residential areas by air. The report called on residents to take precautionary measures and reduce exposure to volcanic particles where possible.