USGS
Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Photo Information



Lava bench at base of scarp along lava delta, Kilauea Volcano
Photograph by L. Keszthelyi on February 23, 1996
A tall scarp 8-10 m above a lava bench marks the headwall of an earlier bench collapse. The collapse event swept away the previous bench and a significant part of the lava delta above the bench (area to left of scarp). The original sea cliff in this area is completely covered by the delta. Because even more of the delta could be swept into the sea during the next big bench collapse, this area should not be considered safe for viewing the activity.

In this image, lava travels through tubes within the new bench and enters the sea at several entry points as indicated by the steam plumes in the distance. Very small explosions sometimes occur at the entry points when the cooled crust of a lava tube sloughs off and the molten lava within is exposed to waves.




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Updated: 2 June 2000 (SRB)