USGS
Hawaiian Volcano 
Observatory

Photo Information


Active lava delta, Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i
Photograph by J. Wightman on March 25, 1999

People stand atop the 6 m tall scarp that formed when the lava delta collapsed into the sea early on March 8. The new delta below the scarp is actively growing and now extends between about 30 and 70 m seaward. On a few evenings in the past few weeks, more than 70 people have gathered on these cliffs in the past few weeks to watch lava enter the sea.

This area is about 50 m seaward of warning signs posted by the National Park Service. The signs indicate that the area from the signs to the new land is extremely hazardous.

Numerous ground cracks atop the scarp indicate that the area is unstable and susceptible to collapse onto either the active delta or into the sea during a large collapse of the delta. Such events can occur suddenly and with little warning. Furthermore, the area is covered with spatter and tephra ejected onto the cliff during explosive activity that followed the March 8 collapse. Such explosive activity can also occur without warning.


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Updated: 26 March 1999