- USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
On the morning of Monday, July 25, at 1:12 a.m., a Hawaiian lava flow reached the Pacific Ocean. The Kilauea Volcano’s Puʻu ʻŌʻō vent had been slowly releasing lava since May 24, but the lava has just this week made contact with the water.
This is the first time in three years that lava from this particular Hawaiian volcano has made it to the ocean.
— MotherNatureNetwork (@MotherNatureNet) July 27, 2016
According to the Hawaiian Volcanic Observatory, the lava measures around 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit, so when it hits the water, there is a lot of smoke and steam, the ocean water bubbles, and the lava turns from a bright red, liquid mass into a dark gray, solid rock.
A spokeswoman from the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park said that late Monday, around 200-300 people hiked to see the lava flow before it reached the ocean, and according to the Honolulu Star Advertiser, that hike is a ten mile round-trip.
— Mental Floss (@mental_floss) July 27, 2016
It has been three years since this phenomenon last occurred. The previous event was when the Peace Day flow hit the water in 2011. That particular eruption kept dumping lava into the ocean until 2013.
Kilauea is one of the most active in the world and has been erupting almost nonstop for more 33 years.