Today’s Video of the Day comes thanks to the U.S. Geological Survey and features a waterfall of lava shooting out the Hawaiian Kilauea volcano.
As we reported several weeks ago, the Kamokuna lava delta formed by the active Kilauea volcano collapsed and fell into the ocean. The fall caused massive waves and sent towering clouds of steam and dust into the sky. Lava deltas form when oozing lava reaches the ocean and cools, building new land on a very unstable foundation.
Soon after the collapse, we showed you footage taken from a boat of tourists witnessing molten lava shooting out of the collapsed volcano and into the ocean.
This week, the lava flow continues to furiously pour into the waters of the Pacific Ocean, causing treacherous conditions both on land and at sea.
According to the official USGS report, “At Kīlauea’s ocean entry on Jan. 28 and 29, the interaction of molten lava flowing into cool seawater caused pulsating littoral explosions that threw spatter (fragments of molten lava) high into the air. Some of these incandescent clasts fell on top of the sea cliff behind the ocean entry, forming a small spatter cone. During one exceptionally large burst, spatter was thrown about twice the height of the sea cliff. These ocean entry littoral explosions, both large and small, create hazardous conditions on land and at sea.”
The Kilauea Eruption actually began all the way back in 1983. According to the USGS, it is the “most voluminous outpouring of lava from the volcano’s East Rift Zone in the past five centuries.”
By Rory Arnold, Earth.com Staff Writer
Video Credit: U.S. Geological Survey