Scientists record massive explosion at Hawaiian volcano

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Sunday, January 10, 2016
Rock slide causes massive explosion on Hawaiian volcano
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The volcano in Kilauea exploded when a rock slide fell into a river of lava, scientists say.

KILAUEA, HI (KTRK) -- Nature's fury was on full display as a rockfall in Hawaii cause an impressive explosion at Kilauea volcano.

Volcano watchers recorded the massive explosion on Friday morning, when rocks splashed into the lake of lava at Halemaumau crater.

These types of explosions are likely to occur when the lava lake level is relatively high, as it was on Friday, scientists say.

In fact, the lake was about 100 feet below the vent's rim right before the blast.

When the lava lake is high, scientists say rocks in the vent wall heat up, expand and then become unstable causing a big section of the rocks to collapse.

Fortunately, the explosion does not pose a threat to any neighboring communities.

Kileaua's ongoing eruption began way back in January of 1983.