A hot crack that formed on Hawaii's Kilauea volcano has been continuously pouring out a torrent of lava into the Pacific Ocean since late December last year.
And it looks as though a powerful "waterfall" of lava is gushing into the waters, spurring explosions at the edge of the sea cliff, as seen in a video shared by the United States Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.
"This is by far one of the most amazing events I've witnessed in nearly 10 years of photographing lava," said Warren Fintz, a professional videographer who took his own footage of the scene.
A Powerful 'Waterfall' of Lava
A lava flow into the ocean isn't entirely new, but experts say this most recent lava outpouring is unlike anything they have seen before.
Located at the Kamokuna lava delta in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, the "waterfall" of lava began spewing into the Pacific Ocean after several acres of land there collapsed on Dec. 31.
When researchers examined the sea cliff during the weekend, they discovered the hot crack above the spot where the lava stream, approximately 1 to 2 meters thick, is pouring out. Temperatures as high as 428 degrees Fahrenheit (220 degrees Celsius) were recorded in the site, the USGS said.
Just a few days ago, on Jan. 28 and 29, the lava flowing into the seawater caused explosions that threw fragments of molten lava into the air. Scientists said some of the fragments settled on top of the sea cliff, creating a small spatter cone.
A Reminder for Tourists
Many visitors and hikers are drawn to the spectacular interaction between lava and water to the area around the Kilauea volcano.
In the footage taken by Fintz, he points out two hikers who carefully tread on the dangerous sea cliff, close to the edge where the action is taking place. As a portion of the bottom of the sea cliff falls off, the hikers scramble to safety away from the edge. An explosion from the sea then shoots debris to the area where the hikers had been peering.
The Hawai'I Volcanoes National Park service reminds tourists that hiking and boating are discouraged in the area. Furthermore, the interaction of lava and the water below creates a harsh sea water plume that contains fine volcanic particles and hydrochloric acid that can irritate the eyes, skin, and lungs.
Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano
The Kilauea volcano's eruption from its Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater has been ongoing since 1983 or about 34 years ago, according to USGS. The volcano has always been active ever since its formation about 300,000 to 600,000 years ago.
A Facebook post by the Hawai'I Volcanoes National Park explained that the area from which lava is pouring is considered a sacred place by natives.
In Hawaiian folklore, where the lava reaches the sea is considered the place where the volcano goddess, Pele, battles with her sister and goddess of the ocean, Namakaokahai.
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