New video shows spectacular lava lake In this July 2016 image taken from video provided by the United States Geological Survey, the lava lake atop Kilauea volcano erupts on Hawaii’s Big Island. Federal officials released new high definition video of the lava lake atop the active volcano on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016, providing a rare close-up glimpse of the powerful summit eruption. (United States Geological Survey via AP)
New video shows spectacular lava lake
Lexile

As the high-definition camera pans across the surface of an active Hawaii volcano's viscous summit lava lake, a large bubble of volcanic gas grows. Then it bursts. Molten rock dramatically spews into the air. And it sends a massive ripple of lava outward across the crater.
 
Federal officials have released high-definition video of the lava lake atop Hawaii's Kilauea volcano. The video provides a rare close-up glimpse of the powerful summit eruption. It was shot in stunning 4K ultra high definition video.
 
The U.S. Geological Survey footage shows lava breaking through the crusted mantle of the lava lake on the Big Island and splashing up the crater walls. Aerial footage shows lava glowing through the cracks of the slightly hardened crust atop the flowing and bubbling lava.
 
USGS video producer Stephen Wessells, geologist Janet Babb and other scientists worked along the edge of the volcano's massive summit. They wore gas masks and other protective gear to capture the images. At times, they were only a few hundred feet away from the lava lake.
 
"It was the greatest shooting experience of my life," said Wessells. He has been producing video for USGS since 1990. "It was just spectacular."
 
The summit eruption has been happening since March 2008. That's when federal officials closed the area to the public.
 
Babb told The Associated Press that the area is full of hazards. Gasses from the volcano, which can swirl around in the strong trade winds on the summit, "can be life-threatening," said Babb. Additionally, "rocks from the vent wall will fall apart and fall into the lava lake. And when they do, there's a big gas release, this big kind of bubble burst, and it will hurl fragments of molten lava...up onto the crater rim."
 
The team was reminded of this danger when a filming location was covered in hot spatter just a week after they were there.
 
"It was a very sobering moment," Babb said.
 
Kilauea has an extensive history of eruptions. While most of Kilauea's activity has been nonexplosive, a 1924 eruption spewed ash and 10-ton rocks into the sky. They left a man dead.
 
A vent adjacent to the summit known as Puu Oo recently erupted. Lava was sent trickling down the mountainside and into the Pacific Ocean. This was first time it reached the sea in several years.
 
A 1983 Puu Oo eruption resulted in lava fountains soaring over 1,500 feet high. In the decades since, the lava flow has buried 48 square miles of land. It has destroyed many homes.
 
In 2008, after a series of small earthquakes rattled the island, Kilauea's summit crater opened. It gushed lava and rock over 75 acres of the mountain. A nearby visitor overlook was destroyed.
 
The video just released is the highest resolution footage the agency has ever captured of the lava lake. It will be included in a longer documentary about the history of the volcano. The footage will be shown around the 10th anniversary of the current eruption. That will be in 2018.

Filed Under:  
Assigned 432 times
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why did the videographer need to wear a gas mask?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (78)
  • zachs-sto
    10/13/2016 - 11:44 a.m.

    be cause of all of the gas the volcano was releasing

  • tiffanyh-ste
    10/13/2016 - 12:06 p.m.

    The lake looks really cool but hopefully it never overflows because that could cause a lot of trouble.

  • jahir-orv
    10/13/2016 - 01:01 p.m.

    because If you inhale the volcanic fumes and ashes they can be bad for your lungs.

  • jacobd2-har
    10/13/2016 - 01:53 p.m.

    That had to wear a gas mask to prevent there hair to fall of there face. because it is so bright they would lose vision. Also there is fumes coming of the lava and they could get sick. If one of the pice of lava burst and hit there eyes that would hurt.

  • richardk-orv
    10/13/2016 - 04:01 p.m.

    they need to wear gas mask because the gas is hazardous and could be a life threatening and ashes can get in your lungs.

  • plaura-dav
    10/13/2016 - 04:47 p.m.



    In response to "New video shows spectacular lava lake," I disagree that this is true because I could be fake. One reason I agree is that this was caught on video. Another reason is that lava lakes exist. It says in the article that a high definition camera caught this. A third reason is that they have all the facts about it. Even though people might not care, I think
    That this is very cool and I hope they can find more.

  • zakarym-stu
    10/14/2016 - 08:13 a.m.

    HOLY MOLY A LAVA LAKE!!! AWESOME

  • carlosn-stu
    10/14/2016 - 08:46 a.m.

    i wonder how wide the volcano is?

  • tylerb-1-coo
    10/14/2016 - 09:24 a.m.

    Volcano and lava lake are same. Gas at lava lake are very toxic to people. Trade wind are worst, that wind can go up for 45 mph. Gas bubbles can pop by little ripples of lava. Little ripples can form little or large rocks fall of the rim.

  • samanthas-1-ste
    10/14/2016 - 01:00 p.m.

    They had to wear gas masks because of all the fumes being released. If they were to breathe them in, they might have affected their lungs or breathing in general. I think those lava lake pictures are really cool. They are very pretty and scientific.

Take the Quiz Leave a comment
ADVERTISEMENT