Hawai'i, Kilauea in April 2005

Pu`u`O`o lava lake



tb tb

Briefly after sunrise these photographs shows a little the size of this lava lake which is principle a collapsed tube. Starting from the tube on the right this lava lake was seething up enormously in the morning hours. Up to three meters large lava shreds ascended on eye level (down photos). The heat development was so enormous that the observations were not longer possible. The right tube was filled completely with lava.

tb tb tb

If you use the crater rim as heat shield you had the possibility to evade the enormous temperatures . Short apperance at the edge permitted detailled photos, thereby numerous larger shreds did nearly hit us seriously. I like that best to have the glowing “Peles Tears” in the neck collar or preferentially in the shirt bag whereby the glowing ejecta can stay a little while, until it finally reaches the soil by using the burning through method. By the way after this volcano trip all the clothes changed into rubbish and didn't reached the European mainland.

tb tb tb

The lava tunnel in a  calmer phase. Over night the activities changed in their violence. “Drop stones” on the left side are actually glass fiber-similar formations. The so called “Peles hair” appears mostly in ejections and around the cones. If you have a nearer view at the cone surface you can discover a lot of spider web similar filaments which are covering partly the cone. See more in the chapter, 'Peles tears  & hairs'.

tb tb tb


Ejections over the edge had been not a rarity. In the middle picture smaller explosions at the “sucking tunnel” can be seen. To get good long exposures was very difficult, because the back luminosity of the pond was very high.

tb tb

Entrance of the 'sucking tunnel', and a torred lava layer.

The lava lake level five meter below the edge was always in motion, i.e. with a strong activity the current was moving from right to left by tearing the lava crust constantly up and disappeared again in the left tube. The torn crust plates were aspirated formally like a vacuum cleaner. If the lake came into a calmer phase the currency was even in the opposite direction.

mrmrtb tb

After some experiments we are asserting that the silver-shining lava crust is reaching a very large stability by floating high elastically on the liquid lava. Throwing heavier rocks on the crust the reaction was at zero. While the heat radiation at the edge was enormous, the isolating layer in the center shielded the heat nearly completely. By throwing plastic bottles etc. on the crust of the the sea, only a little stewing effect begans until the whole rubbish disappeared in the 'sucking tunnel'. Notable that some centimeters under the the crust you have temperatures up to 1100 C°.

tb tb tb mr

 Taken up the total view of the lava lake with the fisheye objective from Martin.



Note: The crater rim can collapse without preliminary warning. Sudden activities, or up to meter large lava shreds can hurt you lethal.

See more

Maps of the region


Source: The HVO - Site

On this fiery tour: Martin Rietze, Richard Roscoe, Thorsten Boeckel



Etna    Stromboli    Volcano world    Cinema

From Etna to Stromboli     Planets & Space

©2005 photos & text by Th. Boeckel (tb), photos by Martin Rietze (mr)

This private, non-commercial web site do not use cookies !