This is a closer view of the volcano crater rim and the smoke from the eruption, which has been active since 1983. In 1958, a fiery eruption shot lava 1,900 feet (580 meters) into the air. If you enlarge this photo, you will see the tents of the scientists.
This shows the active lava flow. If you click on the photo to enlarge it, you can see several rivers of red lava exposed underneath the gray crust that has cooled on the surface. Most of the lava flow from Kilauea volcano is slow moving and does not pose a danger to careful visitors.
Here is another view that shows the flow of the river of lava working its way from the crater towards the sea.
Where lava has met the sea long ago, beautiful black sand beaches have been created by the pounding waves.
Past lava flows have now been covered with vegetation, the first step towards reforestation when the lava is broken down over time from rock into fertile soil.
If you look closely, you can see a house, where someone still lives, in the center of this photo. The house was cut off from the outside world when the lava flowed on both sides of this house. After the lava cooled, the resident was able to cross the lava field to live in his house.
This photo shows where the lava flow meets the ocean and enlarges the island. The big island of Hawaii is the newest of the Hawaiian islands, as it is still growing. The chain of islands were formed from Northwest to Southeast, making Hawaii and Maui the two most recently formed islands, and Kauai and Oahu older and without as recent volcanic activity. Note the house still standing in the lava field.
My husband, David, lived on Oahu as a child, as his father was a U.S. Naval Officer. To go to elementary school in 1961 - 63, he took a Navy bus to a boat dock, rode in an open air Navy boat across Pearl Harbor to Hickam Air Force Base, caught an Air Force bus to a bus terminal in downtown Honolulu, then transferred to a city bus to his school near Waikiki. It was two hours each way, and this has become his version of the hardships told by some people about walking miles through the snow to go to school as children. It is hard to feel sorry for someone who grew up one block from the beach in Hawaii.