Zoom in on Kilauea
It's easy to guess what damage was caused by the September 1982 lava flow
at the summit of Kilauea volcano. The black lava flow erupted to the
left of this picture, and destroyed the road around the caldera as the
lava flowed into the caldera floor at right. Fortunately, the road has
now been rebuilt, so that everybody can enjoy a drive around the
In November 1959, a large eruption on the rim of Kilauea Caldera produced
giant plumes of hot lava that reached more than 600 meters above the
ground. This eruption formed a new cone and the ash from the eruption
buried much of the downwind rain forest. This deposit has formed a part of
the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park that is called Devastation Trail (seen
here), which is being left to recover naturally. The white line on the
left side of the ash deposit is a path that tourists can walk along so that
they can see the new vegetation.
Another interesting eruption on the rim of Kilauea Caldera took place
June 1974. Here we see the lava flow (the bright material in the center of
the picture) produced when a fissure opened on the rim, and lava cascaded
down onto the Caldera floor. The road around the Caldera is at top right.
This is a photograph taken from a NASA aircraft in April 1985, as it was
performing a remote sensing experiment over Kilauea. It shows the main
part of the caldera. Halemaumau Crater is at left, and Volcano House
far right. The dark patches of lava close to Halemaumau are recent lava
flows formed in 1982.
Another view of most of Kilauea Caldera. This one has the caldera at
(Halemaumau is at bottom left), Volcano House at top center, and the 1979
lava flow at bottom right. The ash deposit at Devastation Trail can also
be clearly seen at center right.
Volcano House is built at the top of a large series of old slump blocks
that are seen here and are now heavily vegetated. This vegetation
indicates that this part of the caldera rim has not been affected by
eruptions for several hundred years. There's a really nice nature trail
that one can take from Volcano House that traverses these slump blocks and takes the hiker onto the caldera floor. Highly recommended!
Another air view of Kilauea Caldera, this time looking towards the southeast, with Volcano House at lower left, and Halemaumau at right center.