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
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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 and bursts. It dramatically spews molten rock into the air and 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 and sent lava trickling down the mountainside and into the Pacific Ocean for the first time 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, damaging a nearby visitor overlook.
 
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 around the 10th anniversary of the current eruption in 2018.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why did the videographer need to wear a gas mask?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (13)
  • jadem-sto
    10/13/2016 - 11:37 a.m.

    the videographer needed to wear a gas mask because of the toxic smoke coming from the volcano.

  • gmandy-dav
    10/13/2016 - 04:59 p.m.

    In response to "New video shows spectacular lava lake," I agree that team was reminded that the filming area was splattered with hot lava just a week after they were there. One reason I agree is that it is by a volcano so its going to have a splash of water here and there. Another reason is that lava is dangerous so they were warned. It says in the article in 2008 several small earthquakes opened a qurater in Kilaeus. Even though this was a very dangerous, I think
    this is super cool and interesting.

  • davide1-cas
    10/17/2016 - 03:52 p.m.

    volcanos are instresting because volcano have camara that could be able to see how they erupt and how they start smocking

  • rileighsh-har
    10/18/2016 - 01:35 p.m.

    They had to were gas masks so they did not breath in chemical that could possibly kill you.

  • edrew-dav
    10/19/2016 - 04:51 p.m.

    In response to "New video shows spectacular lava lake", the videographers had to where gas masks. One reason they had to where the masks are because of the toxic gas that the summit released. Another reason they had to wear the masks were to keep them and the equipment safe.It says in the passage that "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."In conclusion those are the reasons that they had to wear the gas masks.

  • wlauren-dav
    10/20/2016 - 01:57 p.m.

    because the toxic smoke from the volcano could lead to damage if inhaled frequently.

  • sscha-wim
    10/21/2016 - 11:33 a.m.

    I am glad that I am not in Hawaii because of all of the volcanoes that occur there

  • adriana-lew
    10/27/2016 - 12:54 p.m.

    The gas mask would'nt intoxicate their lungs. So using the mask its filter will filter the air.

  • kariml1-mac
    11/04/2016 - 09:50 a.m.

    The videographer needed to wear a a gas mask because there are some chemicals that if u breath it can possibly kill you

  • lukeh-orv
    11/07/2016 - 12:57 p.m.

    because of the deadly fumes that the volcano emits

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