Photo Information

Aerial view of the early Kia`i vent, Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i
Photograph by G. Eaton on 27 September 1977
Aerial view of lava fountains along a 250-m-long fissure during the September 1977 eruption of Kilauea Volcano. Lava fountains from the steep spatter cone in lower left reached 100 m high, but no significant flow came from this vent. The middle vent would soon build a large rampart and feed the main flows of the eruption. During the next four days, continued fountaining resulted in coalescence of all the vent deposits to form a large spatter cone, Pu`u Kia`i (Hawaiian for Guardian Hill).

The 1977 eruption began on September 13 when a discontinuous, en-echelon fissure broke out in the middle east rift zone between Kalalua and Pu`u Kauka. The initial fissure was 5.5 km long. The eruption lasted only 18 days.