Part I: Movies of Active Lava
The Island of Hawaii is home to Kilauea volcano, one of the most active volcanoes on Earth. The lava flows from Kilauea are derived from the Earth's mantle, approximately 60 kilometers below the surface. Lava flowing out of the Earth and into the sea is the process that formed the Hawaiian Islands out of the great depths of the Pacific Ocean, and which continues to enlarge the Big Island today. The latest phase of Kilauea's periodic eruptions started in January of 1983, when fountains of molten lava started to build the cinder cone called Pu'u O'o.
The three video segments shown here illustrate some of the activity that characterized the active of a vent called Kupaianaha was active to the east of Pu'u O'o between 1989 and 1992. Although each video is quite short, they provide interesting glimpses of active volcanic processes that are difficult to study from still photography.
This video shows a general view of the lava lake, which at this time was ~30 meters wide and 15 meters deep. In this view we get a good view of the start of three active lava tubes on the downslope side of the lake. It is through these tubes that the lava starts its 10 km journey to the ocean.
Here we can see in this video that the solid lake surface is denser than the molten lava, and so sinks into the lake, causing new molten rock to take its place on the surface.
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Diving and video movie: Richard Pyle, Jane Culp, Frank Sansone, Gordon Tribble, Jane Tribble, David Schideler, Kevin Kelly, John Earle, Randall Kosaki;Copyright 1990 LavaVideo Productions, 741 N. Kalaheo Avenue, Kailua, HI 96734.
Digitization and HTML presentation: Cristina Lumpkin and Pierre Flament
To see some related photos and for references to some more information that may be of interest, please check out the link to Frank Sansone's web page on our Project Linkspage.