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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Lava Lake

Lava Lake

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Monday, September 12, 2016/Categories: natural history, photography, video, environment, adventure

                              Kiluaea Summit Lave Lake, Hawai'i (credit: USGS, 9-10-16)

A lake of lava has developed at the summit of Kilauea volcano. Aerial photography and video feeds, from the observatory in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, have captured the lake's development and moltedn rock flowing down the mountain's slopes into the ocean.

Kilauea is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. It is located along the coast of the big island of Hawai'i. Geologically, the mountain emerged from the Pacific Ocean about 100,000 years ago from the mid-ocean  hotspot and is the current center of volcanic eruptions in the Hawaiian Islands. Maui's Mount Haleakala, also a national park, is currently dormant. That dramatic mountain was created by the same process as islands developed over the volcanic hotspot as the continental plate moved.

      

                         Kīlauea Volcano with Active Lava Flow Vents (credit: Landsat-8 satellite)

Kilauea is one of the few volcanoes almost in a constant state of eruption and has become a major tourist destination. The lava solidifies when it hits the ocean adding new land to the Hawai'i in the process. The Park Service issues regular warnings of locations that are safe or unsafe to view lava meeting the sea.

For the ancient Hawaiian's, Kīlauea represented Pele, the goddess of fire, lightning, wind, and volcanoes. Mythology about the mountain continues with superstitious concerns maintained against rocks being removed from the volcano less Madame Pele brings someone bad luck. Being able to watch the power of island building should be wonder enough without needing to haul off a tourist trinket as a souvenir.

WHB

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