Since May 2018, when Kīlauea’s lava lake final drained, the summit crater has stuffed with water, erupted once more, boiled off the water, and refilled with lava.
Four years in the past this month, Hawaiī’s youngest and most energetic volcano unleashed its greatest eruption in no less than 200 years. The Lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) eruption at Kīlauea, which started on May 3, 2018, destroyed 700 buildings and compelled 1000’s of residents to evacuate. Scientists are nonetheless finding out the eruption and its results.
The 2018 eruption was important on a world scale, not only for Hawaiī. Kīlauea emitted as much as 1.Four cubic kilometers (about 0.34 cubic miles) of lava in simply 4 months. By comparability, the eruption from the Puʻuʻōʻō vent on the Middle East Rift Zone—which began in 1983 and continued for 35 years—emitted a complete of 4.Four cubic kilometers (1.1 cubic miles) of lava and destroyed 215 constructions.
The 2018 LERZ eruption additionally drastically modified the volcano’s magma plumbing system. It ended the eruption from the Puʻuʻōʻō vent, the longest-running eruption on the planet. And it collapsed the ground of the Halema‘uma‘u summit crater, reducing it by greater than 500 meters (1,600 ft) and draining the lava lake that had pooled within the summit crater since 2008.
The lava lake was changed by a water lake in July 2019, an occasion unprecedented within the historic document. Over the following yr and a half, water slowly stuffed the crater to a depth of about 50 meters (160 ft).
The water lake was of particular curiosity to scientists as a result of Kīlauea has an uncommon historical past of each effusive and explosive eruptions. The latter are normally extra violent and harmful, and they’re typically pushed by the interplay of magma with water—a incontrovertible fact that stored volcano observers further attentive to exercise. However, in December 2020, a brand new section of eruptive exercise started with an inflow of lava into the crater that boiled off the water lake in a couple of hours. That eruption began a brand new lava lake and continued till May 2021. The newest eruption began in September 2021 and continues at the moment.
The picture above was acquired on April 15, 2022, by the Operational Land Imager-2 (OLI-2) on Landsat 9. The picture features a mixture of seen and infrared gentle (bands 6-5-3), which helps distinguish the warmth signature of the lava.
NASA Earth Observatory image by Lauren Dauphin, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey.