Kilauea is one of, if not the, most active volcanoes in the world. These days, lava flows are almost constantly issuing from the lava tube system below the Pu’u O’o vent and at the summit, Halema’uma’u is aglow with the light from the lava lake that lives at the bottom of the pit crater. It is easy to forget that through all this persistent and consistent volcanism that the activity does not remain the same — it waxes and wanes as the magmatic system fills and drains along the entire tube system that runs along the rift zones of the massive shield volcano. You can begin to get a sense of the changes in the magmatic system by watching the rising and falling of the lava lake at the Halema’uma’u crater. We have seen evidence on multiple occasions where the level of the lava lake has changed dramatically preceding new fissure vent eruptions, so watching how the level drops and then rises as the lava lake refills is a way to monitor the influx of magma into the summit around of Kilauea
Oh, and speaking of how time flies: Don’t forget, our 30th reunion is next year June 9 – 15.