Lake inside Kilauea caldera passes 1-year mark

  • The lake inside Kilauea, as seen in August 2019 and July 2020. USGS image.

It’s been a year since a lake began forming within a 1,600-foot-deep pit inside Kilauea caldera.

The lake first was observed July 25, 2019. Since then, it has slowly deepened and grown in size, according to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

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The lake is now more than 130 feet deep and has risen about 2.5 feet per week since it was first discovered.

The volume of the lake is about 125 million gallons — the equivalent of about 200 Olympic-sized swimming pools. The lake measures approximately 885-feet-by-430-feet wide and covers a 6-acre area.

The color of the lake varies, according to HVO. It ranges from green to yellow to orange to dark brown, and likely is influenced by the influx of water.

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The lake’s surface temperature is about 158-185 degrees.

HVO continues to monitor the lake, and two water-sampling missions were conducted in October 2019 and January of this year.

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