Hawaii’s largest freshwater lake is gone. Lava from Fissure 8 boiled away Green Lake, a source of freshwater for the Big Island, in about five hours. A white plume of steam resulted, and lava has filled the former lake.
Hawaii's largest freshwater lake is the latest casualty from the Big Island's Kilauea volcano. Steam billowed up from Green Lake in Kapoho as lava flow evaporated its placid waters within a few hours. https://t.co/5mFaN5owro pic.twitter.com/Em1JMZ41n9
— CNN (@CNN) June 7, 2018
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said in a June 2 status report: “At 10 a.m., lava entered Green Lake within Kapoho Crater producing a large steam plume. By 1:30 p.m. the steam plume had ceased and by 3 p.m., a Hawaii County Fire Department overflight reported that lava had filled the lake and apparently evaporated all the water.”
Green Lake was a popular swimming location, and was once around 200 feet deep, CNN reported. Hawaii Community College geography lecturer Drew Kapp told CNN affiliate KHNL/KGMB, “I couldn’t believe it. I’ve never even heard of anything like that happening before.”
Kapoho Bay, known for tide pools, was totally filled by lava earlier this week, according to CNN. Reuters reported Kilauea has now been erupting for more than one month, and Hawaii County mayor Harry Kim said around 600 homes are destroyed. The homes were located in Leilani Estates, Vacationland and the Kapoho Beach Lots. Around 2,500 people have been displaced. This event has been the Kilauea Volcano’s most destructive eruption in the modern era, according to Kim. Reuters said thousands of earthquakes have occurred during the eruption; most have been of relatively small magnitude.
In the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory’s most recent update at time of writing, lava fountaining from Fissure 8 continues, with the lava reaching around 170 to 200 feet in the air. None of the other fissures are active. Pele’s hair and volcanic glasses are falling downwind of Fissure 8 and accumulating in Leilani Estates, and volcanic gas emissions are still high.
Image via U.S. Geological Survey