USGS
Hawaiian Volcano 
Observatory

Photo Information


1974 lava flow along southwest caldera rim
Photograph by S.R. Brantley on August 19, 1998

View is from Crater Rim Drive toward the south-southeast. The low 20-m-high caldera wall is mantled with the brown deposits of the Keanakako`i Ash Member. Atop the southwest caldera rim the tephra deposits are as thick as 2-4 m; on the southwest caldera floor the deposits are as thick as 7-8 m. The deposits were formed by a series of explosive eruptions, the latest of which in A.D. 1790 overwhelmed a party of Hawaiian warriors traveling down the southwest rift zone near the caldera. At least 80 were killed by the suffocating ash.

Golden pumice erupted in about A.D. 1820 covers the Keanakako`i Ash Member in places.

Left of the caldera wall, a pahoehoe flow erupted onto the caldera floor in 1974 covers the Keanakako`i Ash Member.

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Updated: 15 September 1998