Geologists have captured mesmerising footage of a huge dome of molten lava flooding to the surface and rapidly calling as it spreads.
The video was recorded in Hawaii at the Kilauea Volcano’s Halema’uma’u crater where the fountain-like dome of molten rock was flowing upwards.
The United States Geological Survey captured the ‘dome fountain’ phenomenon scene on January 5, two weeks after the volcano first began erupting.
The agency said: ‘Lava from the western vent cascades beneath roofed vertical channels to enter the lava lake at an inlet that has become partially submerged.
‘The result is a rolling upwelling of lava near the inlet called a ‘dome fountain’. The feature resembles, in part, a bubbling water fountain.’
The USGS said the ‘dome fountain’ was formed due to the lava coming out of a vent beneath the surface of the lava lake, but it can also be formed when the lava emerges from a vent or fissure that is constricted.
The height of the lava fountain was approximately five meters and it was around 10 metres wide.
An estimated 100,000 gallons of lava currently emerge from the crater per minute, flowing into the 3 square kilometres, 190-metre deep lake.
The USGS said that during a previous eruption, a ‘very rare symmetrical dome fountain’ reached the height of about 20 metres was observed in the Kilauea Volcano in October 1969.