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Crater wall collapse launches “spatter bombs” at Kilauea


On Tuesday morning, a portion of the crater wall at Kilauea plunged into the lava lake below. That created an explosive event, sending “spatter bombs” of lava onto the rim of Halema‘uma‘u in an area closed to the public, according to Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

The event occurred shortly after 10 a.m.

Lava fragments ranged in size from small dust-sized particles to the spatter bombs, which were about 30 inches across.

The latter dotted the ground around the former tourist overlook, and some wooden fencing left at the site was burnt, according to HVO.

Jim Kauahikaua, HVO scientist-in-charge, said such events aren’t rare, though this one may have been assisted by the high level of the lava lake.

“Clearly, if you disturb the surface when the lava lake is high, the (ejected material) will go further,” he said.

 

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