Scientists in helicopters survey lava rising from a crater floor on Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano on March 6.
The volcano’s Pu’u ‘O’o crater collapsed on Saturday, and a 0.33-mile-long (0.5-kilometer-long) fissure ripped open on a separate region of the volcano. The new vent has since been sporadically erupting lava up to 80 feet (25 meters) high, according to the Hawaii Volcano Observatory, which is run by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
A fissure opening in this area is not unusual—a similar event occurred in 1997, according to John Eichelberger, coordinator for the USGS Volcanic Hazards Program.
In fact, Kilauea is the world’s most active volcano, and it has erupted 34 times since 1952, according to the observatory. Kilauea has been erupting consistently since January 1983, during which time the volcano has spewed at least 0.5 cubic mile (2 cubic kilometers) of lava, Eichelberger said.