Scientist Shovels Molten Lava Into A Bucket To Carry It Away For Testing

Geologists from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory recently conducted an aerial survey of the ongoing eruption within the Kīlauea summit caldera on the 11th of September 2023.

This eruption is centred in the eastern section of the Halemaʻumaʻu crater and on the down-dropped block to the east, which was formed during the summit collapse in 2018.

Halemaʻumaʻu crater holds immense cultural significance for Native Hawaiian communities, as it is believed to be the dwelling place of Pele, the Hawaiian volcano goddess.

During the overflight, a secure location on the downdropped block was identified, allowing a geologist to safely collect a molten sample of the newly erupted material. This sample will offer crucial insights into the storage and transport of magma prior to its eruption as lava. It is essential to note that access to this hazardous area requires permission and coordination with Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park.

This scientific endeavour promises to deepen our understanding of volcanic processes and contribute to the safety of local communities.


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