Large Kilauea lava pond lighting up nighttime sky
VOLCANO — A sloshing, surging lava pond deep within the summit of Kilauea volcano is creating a bright glow and lighting up the nighttime sky.
The molten rock has illuminated Halema’uma’u crater since Thursday, a result of an interruption in the volcano’s flow since early January.
Magma returning to the volcano following the interruption has caused the pond to rise within 400 feet of the crater floor. The pond is normally about 660 feet below the crater’s surface.
Geologist Tim Orr said heat from the loud, spattering lava flow could be felt from more than 800 feet above the pond.
Orr estimated the pond was slightly smaller than Hilo Bay’s Coconut Island, about 230 to 330 feet across.