Don't ever underestimate the fiery threat of a volcano. This bright flow of lava from Kilauea poured into the Pacific Ocean for days last week, causing explosions of steam and sending chunks of rock flying into the air. 

By Lauren Phillips
February 03, 2017

This amazing video, captured by the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, shows lava from Kilauea, one of Hawaii’s active volcanoes, pouring from a lava tube at the Kamokuna ocean entry into the Pacific Ocean, sending steam and bits of lava and rock shooting into the air from pulsating explosions. Some spatter flew as high as the sea cliff itself, more than 90 feet.

The lava stream poured out of a crack in a sea cliff in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, on Hawaii’s Big Island, until February 2, when the sea cliff collapsed with no warning, hiding the lava flow from sight. Lava continues to flow into the ocean, though, as the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory says a steam plume and explosions of spatter are still emerging from the sea.

Scientists say that the flow of lava heated the water in the area to scalding temperatures—it reached 130 degrees Fahrenheit at one point. For more information on the Kamokuna ocean entry, visit the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory’s website. All images and videos are courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey.