One of the first casualties of the current series of eruptions that started at the Pu'u O'o vent on the East Rift Zone was a settlement called the Royal Gardens subdivision. Here we see a view taken in 1990 that shows how the series of roads (the white lines) became blocked and cut-off by the lava flows (black) that formed in 1983 - 1985.
The Pu'u O'o flow field has continued to grow, and in 1995 the active flow field had moved to the south west. In this view, the active lava flows are entering the ocean at the lower right of the image. Photo by Scott Rowland.
There is a line of weakness called the East rift Zone that transports magma underground from the summit (to the left of this image) to the active Pu'u O'o vent (off to the right). In several places, parts of the tube along which magma is transported collapses, and pit craters form. Here we see two such craters, which are most visible because their floors are covered with young lavas that have not yet been vegetated. At top left is Makaopuhi Crater, and just right of center is Napau Crater. Photo by Scott Rowland.
In 1984, the East Rift Zone upslope from Pu'u O'o (the cone seen on the horizon) was very active, with numerous steam vents (called "fumaroles") marking the position of the underground magma. In recent years this type of activity has decreased.
Copyright by P. Mouginis-Mark