Lava Pool Skylight
August 19, 2009
The photo above shows, metaphorically, a glimmer of hope in a field of despair. In this case, however, the glimmer belongs to a patch of incandescent lava. The photo was captured from a helicopter above the Kilauea volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii, in May of 2009. The lava here, if not fresh, is often confined to, or floating in, hardening lava tubes. Ruptures in the fragile roof of a lava tube can create skylights that enable the lava to be seen from above. A skylight can also result when a complete tube fails to form above a lava channel.