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Lava Flows on Kilauea
This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated. At the time of publication, it represented the best available science. However, more recent observations and studies may have rendered some content obsolete.
The rift zone on the eastern slopes of Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano has been erupting since January 1983, the longest eruption in recorded history. Pu‘u ‘O‘o and the Thanksgiving Eve Breakout vent—two centers of volcanic activity—emit steam and other gases in this natural-color satellite image. Lava currently reaches the surface at the Thanksgiving Eve Breakout vent and flows southeast (towards the lower right) through a lave tube to the ocean. Small plumes of gas reveal the path of the lava. In general, the youngest lava flows are black, and older, weathered, flows are gray or brown. Surviving vegetation is bright green.
The Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA’s EO-1 satellite acquired this image on November 2, 2009.
NASA Earth Observatory image by Robert Simmon, using EO-1 ALI data provided by the NASA EO-1 team. Caption by Robert Simmon.
Pu'u 'O'o and the Thanksgiving Eve Breakout vent on Kilauea--two centers of volcanic activity--emit steam and other gases in this satellite image.