USGS
Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Photo Information



Lava fountain erupts from Kilauea Iki Crater
Photograph by J.P. Eaton at 7:00 a.m. on December 11, 1959

Early in the morning of December 11, the lava fountain jetted straight up to heights of 180 to 300 m (above). At 3:30 a.m., however, the fountain suddenly bent over to about 45° and sent a shower of spatter onto the opposite side of Kilauea Iki (trees in foreground). Some pieces of spatter were 1 m in diameter. The bombardment of the north crater rim covered an area of about 0.4 hectare (1 acre) with spatter and completely denuded the lush forest. This was the only occasion during the entire eruption that lava landed in this area. The area was often crowded with visitors watching the activity, and it was indeed fortunate that the shower occurred so early in the morning.


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Updated: 24 May 2000