VHP Photo Glossary: Fissure Eruption

Fissure eruptions

1975 fissure eruption on Mauna Loa Volcano, Hawai`i

Photograph by D.W. Peterson on 6 July 1975

Mauna Loa Volcano, Hawai`i


Lava erupts from fissures high on the northeast rift zone of Mauna Loa in the early morning hours of July 6, 1975. These fissures fed several lava flows, the longest of which traveled 5.2 km northward toward Mauna Kea (in background).
1984 fissure eruption on Mauna Loa Volcano, Hawai`i

Photograph by D.A. Clague in March 1984

Mauna Loa Volcano, Hawai`i


This eruptive fissure broke out on the northeast rift zone of Mauna Loa about 15 hours after the eruption began in the summit caldera, about 15 km uprift (toward upper left). Initially about 1.6 km long, lava fountains along the fissure were soon restricted to six vent areas. These vents built a spatter rampart, a cinder and spatter cone, and a lava shield along the fissure. The most productive vent is in the upper left.
1983 eruptive fissure on Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i

Photograph by N. Banks on 5 January 1983

Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i


Lava fountains rise from two eruptive fissures in the first week of the Pu`u `O`o-Kupaianaha eruption of Kilauea Volcano. The fissures cut through forest and older lava flows on a remote section of the volcano's east rift zone. See eruption summary for a description and additional photographs of this eruption.