June 4, 2010 – Video courtesy USGS

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has released this video of the active lava pond within Pu`u `Ō `ō crater, imaged with a thermal camera.

The video above, available on the USGS website, is shown at 60 times normal speed, and covers about 25 minutes. Lava is being supplied to the crater from two vents, one visible in the upper right corner of the image and one out of view in the lower left. Geologists say crustal foundering events, in which a section of the thin surface crust ruptures and sinks, exposing the hot interior of the pond, are common. This view is towards the north.

In the daily volcano activity update, geologists say the surface of the growing pond on the crater floor has now risen high enough to drown many of the holes on the south wall the fed it.

Nearly all thermal lava videos released by the USGS to date have been of the lava lake bubbling within the Halemaumau crater at the summit of Kilauea volcano. This is one of the first from the Pu`u `Ō `ō vent, located further down the east rift zone.