The current on-going eruption along Kilauea's East Rift Zone began on January 3, 1983, and shows no signs of ending any time soon. The early stages of activity were marked by several phases of high fountain eruptions that at times sent lava up to 2000 feet into the air before it would fall back to earth to flow down the volcanoes flank in molten rivers. More recently the eruption has been producing an average of 500,000 cubic meters of lava a day which for the most part travels through a system of lava tubes to flow into the Pacific ocean along the islands southern coast.
Featuring the work of photographer Dorian Weisel, the Absolutely Volcanic Web Site's archives allow you to preview images of every aspect of Kilauea's eruptive activity. In our Eruptions section you will find images of many phases of the High Fountains at Puu Oo, the Fissure Eruptions that have marked the changes in activity, and the Kupaianaha and Puu Oo Lava Lakes.
As lava flows away from the vents it takes on a myriad of forms. In the Lava Flows section we present a wide variety of images of both Pahoehoe and Aa lava as it flows through the many different environments of the volcanoes flank. The Skylights section is devoted entirely to images of holes that develop in shallow lava tubes that allow witnesses to get a glimpse of the inner workings of the volcano as they watch lava flowing underground.
One of the most dynamic processes of all is the mixture of fire and water as lava from Kilauea reaches the islands coast and flows into the sea. In our Lava Into the Sea section you will find a wide selection of images depicting the endless variety of forms this incredible process takes.
In July of 1986, after the early phases of high fountaining at the Puu Oo vent, the eruption sifted to a second vent at Kupaianaha. For the following year the Puu Oo Cinder Cone graced the horizon and established itself with the distinction as the single largest edifice on Kilauea volcano. Then, in the summer of 1987 the Puu Oo Cinder Cone began to collapse. The original vent, from which all the lava that built the cone came, was approximately 50 feet in diameter. In a series of collapse events the vent, or rather what has become a crater, has expanded to more than 1,000 feet in diameter and the remaining cone shows continual signs of further degradation. In our Puu Oo Cone section you can preview pictures of all phases of these changes.
The current eruption is situated on the eastern boundary of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the lava flows have for the most part found a path to the sea with little or no destruction to developed property. Unfortunately, this was not the case in 1990 when lava from the Kupaianaha lava lake took a more easterly track than the previous flows and inundated the town of Kalapana. By the end of the summer the entire town lay covered with a blanket of rock that in places is up to 100 feet thick. You will find images of this, to some, agonizing event, along with several other pictures depicting the interaction of man and these dynamic processes in our Lava and Man section.
For the most part Kilauea is a protested volcano. With most of its land within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park there is little chance for development to impact the pristine environments that thousands of years of eruptions have created. In the Landscapes and Aerials sections we present a wide variety of images of this volcanic landscape.
Besides images of Kilauea we encourage you to use the list of links to the left to preview samples of our collection of images from Around the Island, get information on how to acquire the Use Rights to images in our collection, and find out about our books. To contact us please use the numbers below or Email Us directly.