The "Firepit" of HaleMa'uMa'u
Halema'uma'u Crater is the site of the most eruptions at the summit of Kilauea Volcano. which is seen in the foreground. Mouna Loa - the world's largest mountain - is in the background.
Between 1905 and 1924, a period of about 20 years, a dazzling lake of molten lava circulated within its walls. Then, in 1924, the lake drained away, allowing groundwater to penetrate deep inside the volcano. Enourmous steam explosions resulted, showering the landscape with rocky debris, still visible around the rim today.
During the 1924 steam blasts, Halema'uma'u collapsed, forming a gaping pit 1600 meters wide and 40 meters deep. Since then, 17 eruptions and 4 collapses have occured in the crater. The net effect has been a slight increase in the crater's diameter and a decrease in it's depth (from 410 meters to it's present-day 85 meters).
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