Mount Kilauea is an active volcano in Hawaii. It’s located on the Big Island of the Hawaiian island chain, and has a notable lava lake at its summit that is widely regarded as one of the most awesome features in nature in the area.
Mount Kilauea also happens to be the most active of all of the volcanoes, and happens to also be one of the five that helped create the Hawaiian Islands. At this point, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory says that the rise has reached just 13 feet short of the rim of the crater, causing some concern about the fact that it could at some point – overflow.
While it did reach within 13 feet of the crater rim on Saturday, scientists are now concerned about the fluctuation that is occurring within the site. It’s rising and lowering, as it actually lowered by Sunday morning. Early Sunday morning, the rise had gotten down to 20 feet below the rim of the crater.
In all, this is creating an unpredictable problem for scientists to keep an eye on. At this point, they don’t believe that the danger is imminent, but this has without question raised their awareness of the problem.
The teams involved in watching this lava lake though pointed out that over the course of the last few years – on average the lava lake level has remained between 100 and 200 feet beneath the rim of the crater. That’s why this new distance is such a concern. Even with as active as the volcano is, and has been – this is a problem that really could cause serious damage should it overflow.
Jessica Ferracane witnessed the first eruption that occurred since the mid-1920s. That eruption took place in 2008, and she said, “There was a lot of spattering that visitors are able to see from the Jagger Museum observation deck and also a lot of rumbling sounds as the crater walls heat up and the rocks fall into that roiling lava lake below.” Ultimately, scientists and officials hope that an eruption isn’t in the future of this particular volcano, but with how active it has become – it’s hard to pinpoint what the next several months could hold for it.