Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Volume of lava erupted into and drained from Kilauea Iki Crater
November 14 - December 20, 1959

Graph: volume of lava erupted into Kilauea Iki Crater
Figure from Richter et. al., 1970.

The volume of lava erupted into Kilauea Iki Crater, and of that drained away, was calculated on the basis of the lava-lake level and the known topography of the crater. Each measurement of the lake level is indicated by a black point. Each rise in the lake surface was followed by some lava flowing back into the depths of Kilauea; each rise and fall of the lake defined an eruptive episode.

Note the rapid increase in discharge beginning on November 17. The volume of lava in the lake increased dramatically at the beginning of the fourth episode, because lava was erupted from an area 12 m higher in the vent, which allowed the lake level to increase by the same amount.

The maximum volume of lava contained in Kilauea Iki Crater was 44.3 million m3 (58 million yd3) when the lake was 126.2 m (414 ft) deep.


Back to Eruption of Kilauea Iki Crater


Richter, D.H., Eaton, J.P., Murata, K.J., Ault, W.U., and Krivoy, H.L., 1970, Chronological narrative of the 1959-60 eruption of Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 537-E, 73 p.

HomeVolcano WatchProductsPhoto GalleryPress Releases
How Hawaiian Volcanoes Work

The URL of this page is
Updated: 24 May 2000 (SRB)