The lava lake at Halemaumau Crater rose to within 75 feet of the crater floor, high enough so that lava and spattering were visible from the Jaggar Museum overlook this morning.
Early morning visitors to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park got a rare view of the lava.
However, the lava lake dropped later in the morning as the volcano entered a deflationary phase.
Last year for about three weeks in April and May, the lava lake rose and overflowed covering about 28 acres of the crater floor.
The eruption last year raised the crater floor around the vent by 26 feet, said Janet Babb, a public information officer and geologist at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.
“This is the highest level since the April-May 2015 event,” Babb said.
With binoculars, some spattering is still occasionally visible from the Jaggar Museum, but the lake itself was out of view this afternoon, Babb said.
It’s not clear if the lava lake will resume rising or if it will drop further.
For the last few months, the volcano has been on a general inflationary trend with the lake level hovering about 100 feet below the floor. The level fluctuates depending on whether the volcano is inflating or deflating.
“Whether or not it continues to deflate or turns back around and inflates again, it’s just a wait and see,” Babb said. “Yesterday’s inflation was particularly robust and so the lava lake responded.”