Posted by: Anna Webb | June 7, 2009

Halema’uma’u Crater Lava Glow Visible in Lower Puna


Lava "Glow" on clouds over Rt 130 ridge at Kalapana from Halema'uma'u Crater

Lava "Glow" on clouds over Rt 130 ridge at Kalapana from Halema'uma'u Crater


There is a visible “glow” over the ridge off to the side of my house again only this time it’s not from the Pu’u’O’o vent, it’s from the Halema’uma’u crater within the Kilauea caldera in Volcanoes National Park.

In March of 2008, lava “glow” over the ridge was present for months. Now it’s back but we realized last evening it’s in a different location and in reading the current Kilauea eruption update see that the Halema’uma’u Crater lava incandescence is now visible from the SE coast of Puna.


Halema'uma'u Crater incandescence visible from lower Puna District

Halema'uma'u Crater incandescence visible from lower Puna District


It’s an eerie sight but one which enraptures you with its fiery essence. The clouds seem to be on fire and it serves as a reminder that we live on an island continuously expanded by inner Earth. Five volcanoes are located on Hawaii’s Big Island; two dormant and three still active.

According to the Kilauea eruption update* molten lava is present in the neck of a funnel shaped cavity in the floor of the Halema’uma’u Crater. Seismic levels increased steadily until June 2nd but remain moderate**. I have provided links at the end of this article for you to review real-time Big Island earthquakes and the Kilauea eruption status.

It’s a “tough call” to say what will be the ultimate result with the escalated emissions and lava under this crater. But for now its beauty and power is redundant on early evening clouds.


Another view of evening clouds reflecting Earth's inner fire

Another view of evening clouds reflecting Earth's inner fire

*Kilauea eruption status page

**Big Island real-time earthquake website


  1. Anna, I’m sending a link to my family on the mainland….most of them cannot understand how we can live here and are fascinated when our volcanoes put on a show. Great photos!

  2. Thanks for sending the photos they are fantastic, too bad I’m not there to see it “up close” sort to speak. Sandra

  3. Thank for the photos. Beautiful.

  4. My pleasure. It has to be shared!

  5. Great photos! Has the vent at Halemaumau opened up even more in the last couple of weeks? I’d love to see it again if it has, or some pictures hint, hint ;). Alas, with the price of gas these days it is a risk I am not sure I’ll take. Your blog is motivating me however!

  6. Anna, Sandra is my sister and Raul is one of my dear friends. They are both in Miami. Sandra has seen a very placid Halema’uma’u when she was here a couple of years ago….

  7. Great to have your family and friends visit my blog, Sonia!
    It’s anything but placid now. In answer to Michael’s comment, they WERE referring to it as a pool underneath and now they are referring to it as a “funnel-shaped cavity” – so I have to think it’s opening up more.
    Stay tuned!

  8. I can’t wait to go see it! Last time I was there (Jan 09) we could only see the crater from the Jaggar Museum overlook because of the steam and vog.. Crater Rim road was closed. Do you know if they let you still go to the Jaggar overlook?
    I would love to go see it up close and personal 😉

  9. Someone told me last week that the park was closed past the crater…but I’m not certain at what point.
    Here is a link to the park and it has a link for “Advisories and Closures”.

    Here is what it says:
    A portion of Crater Rim Drive, between Jaggar Museum and the Chain of Craters Road junction, is closed indefinitely due to the new vent that opened within Halema`uma`u Crater in March 2008.

    • The chain of craters road is closed just beyond the Jagger lookout (the Halemaumau overlook).

  10. Yes, that part was already closed back in January when we visited with cousins from the mainland. You could only go as far as the Jaggar viewing point.


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