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This month in Hawaiian volcano history . . . June

June 1, 1950 blackdotHigh on Mauna Loa's southwest rift zone, a 2.4-km (1.5 mi) long fissure began erupting at 9:04 p.m. Minutes later, the roar of lava fountains could be heard from Highway 11, up to 24 km (15 mi) away. Within three hours, an 'a'ā lava flow crossed the highway and inundated the village of Ho`okena-mauka. All villagers reached safety unharmed, but, for some, it was a close call. Thirty-five minutes later, lava entered the ocean, creating billowy clouds of steam that rose 3,000 m (10,000 ft) into the air. This Mauna Loa eruption destroyed about two dozen structures and cut Highway 11 in three places, burying more than 1.6 km (1 mi) of the road, before ending on June 23.
Image from June 1, 1950 Mauna Loa southwest rift zone fissure eruption

June 27, 1952 Kīlauea's 1952 summit eruption June 27, 1952 blackdotPrior to Kīlauea's 1952 summit eruption, the volcano had been quiet for 18 years. But on June 27, doubts that Kīlauea was still alive were put to rest when a fissure opened on the floor of Halema'uma'u Crater, which was more than twice its current depth. Lava erupting from a continuous line of fountains covered the entire crater floor to a depth of more than 10 m (33 ft) within half an hour. HVO scientists driving to the crater encountered a choking cloud of sulfurous fume and a hail of falling tephra (pumice) so thick that it sandblasted the car???s exterior. The extrusion rate quickly declined, but the lava lake activity persisted until November 10, when the last fountains were observed.


 
Archive of previous feature stories

  Halema`uma`u plume captures the sun in the early morning, creating a picturesque sight.
Photograph by M. Poland
November 14, 2008

Hanging with the sun and the moon

Top: Halema`uma`u plume captures the sun in the early morning, creating a picturesque sight.

Bottom: With stagnant winds present, Halema`uma`u plume stands straight up, showing off the distant, but bright, full moon.

Archive of Featured Photographs

  With stagnant winds present, Halema`uma`u plume stands straight up, showing off the distant, but bright, full moon.
Photograph by M. Poland
November 13, 2008

 

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