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hawaii’s largest freshwater lake

hawaii's largest freshwater lake

hawaii’s largest freshwater lake

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hawaii’s largest freshwater lake

Hawaiʻi’s largest freshwater lake is gone. Lava from Fissure 8 boiled away Green Lake, a source of freshwater for the Big Island, in about five hours. A white plume of steam resulted, and lava has filled the former lake.

Hawaii’s largest freshwater lake is the latest casualty from the Big Island’s Kilauea volcano. Steam billowed up from Green Lake in Kapoho as lava flow evaporated its placid waters within a few hours.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said in a June 2 status report: “At 10 a.m., lava entered Green Lake within Kapoho Crater producing a large steam plume. By 1:30 p.m. the steam plume had ceased and by 3 p.m., a Hawaii County Fire Department overflight reported that lava had filled the lake and apparently evaporated all the water.

The lava has advanced at 656 yards per hour, the fastest lava flow rate on record, according to the USGS.

The agency warns that there are still “vigorous lava eruptions” in the lower East Rift Zone, making the Pacific Ocean dangerous to enter in that area. Lava flowing into the ocean can cause explosions, propel rocks and create plumes of “laze,” which Hawaii County officials describe as hydrochloric acid and steam with fine glass particles.

Laze can damage the lungs and irritate skin and eyes.

On Wednesday, Talmadge Magno, Hawaii County’s civil defense administrator, said 410 people were living in shelters and that a residential area had been destroyed.

“Vacationland is totally gone,” he said. “It’s covered by lava.”

Magno said a flight restriction has been placed to prevent drones from interfering with rescue efforts.

“We’ve had some pretty serious encounters with our county helicopter,” he said. “One of those drones in the tail rotor or your main rotor could take that helicopter down.”

hawaii's largest freshwater lake
hawaii’s largest freshwater lake

Hawaii’s Kilauea is creating its own weather

Green Lake was a popular swimming location, and was once around 200 feet deep, CNN reported. Hawaii Community College geography lecturer Drew Kapp told CNN affiliate KHNL/KGMB, “I couldn’t believe it. I’ve never even heard of anything like that happening before.”

Kapoho Bay, known for tide pools, was totally filled by lava earlier this week, according to CNN. Reuters reported Kilauea has now been erupting for more than one month, and Hawaii County mayor Harry Kim said around 600 homes are destroyed. The homes were located in Leilani Estates, Vacationland and the Kapoho Beach Lots. Around 2,500 people have been displaced. moreover,This event has been the Kilauea Volcano’s most destructive eruption in the modern era, according to Kim. Reuters said thousands of earthquakes have occurred during the eruption; most have been of relatively small magnitude.

In the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory’s most recent update at time of writing, lava fountaining from Fissure 8 continues, with the lava reaching around 170 to 200 feet in the air. None of the other fissures are active. Pele’s hair and volcanic glasses are falling downwind of Fissure 8 and accumulating in Leilani Estates, and volcanic gas emissions are still high.

Green Lake is situated in idyllic Kapoho which became a ghost town when lava flow destroyed the entire area after the eruption of Kilauea in 1960. Except for the lighthouse at Cape Kumukahi, all structures were destroyed and buried under molten lava. Kapoho was never resettled.

Other nearby attractions include the Green Mountain which offers spectacular  coastal views and the Kapoho Tide Pools, some of which are volcanically heated.

Lake Waiau; Hawaii

Lake Waiau is located on the dormant volcano of Mauna Kea at an elevation of 3,970 metres above sea level. It is the highest lake in all of Hawaii and one of the highest in the entire country!

The heart-shaped lake sits right inside the cinder cone of the volcano. It is said to be very sacred amongst the locals because it has never touched the ground.

The lake is accessible by walking along a trail off of Saddle Road. It is not a long walk, but it can be difficult for some due to the oxygen levels as you get higher up the volcano.

Lake Waiau is within Puuwaiau cinder cone in Big Island. It is small but one of the highest lakes in the nation, sitting at an elevation gain of about 3,970 m on Mount Kea. Its existence in the volcanic area containing porous soil that seeps water is quite surprising. Also, there isn’t any runoff to supply it with water leaving it to depend on the area’s precipitation.

Lake Waiau is considered a sacred lake in Hawaiian culture, probably named after a snow goddess who used to bathe in the waters. However, visitors are forbidden to use it for any water activity, including swimming and drinking.

Fishing: Fishing might be a prohibited activity as you can only enjoy the views of the lake from a distance.

Other Activities: Hiking, nature gazing

hawaii's largest freshwater lake
hawaii’s largest freshwater lake

Can you swim in Lake Waiau?

From the parking area, cross the Mauna Kea Summit Road and find the trail to Lake Waiau to the west. This short spur trail travels into Pu’u Waiau’s eroded cinder cone and Lake Waiau. Enjoy the lake from a distance. Do not drink or swim in the water.

Why is Lake Waiau a Lake?

Believe it or not, but the existence of lake Waiau is still somewhat of a mystery!  Lakes are rare features among the volcanic slopes of the Hawaiian island chain. moreover, The few basins that could hold water on these slopes are normally on top of permeable lava flows or cinder and ash, which favor the rapid seepage of precipitation. Yet, Lake Waiau exists. How does this happen?

There are currently three explanations that offer insight:

  1. A possible explanation for the lake is that sulfur-bearing steam from MaunaKea altered the cinders and ash locally to fine clay minerals that reduce the permeability of the soil.moreover, This reduced permeability can account for the retention of water, which in turn leads to the formation of Lake Waiau.
  2. A second explanation involves the glacial past of MaunaKea. Long ago, the summit of MaunaKea hosted glaciers. Fine-grained ash beds are commonly produced when rising magma interacts with shallow groundwater or surface water. If an eruption occurred beneath glacial ice, these ashes could have been produced, and, up to this day,  slow the seepage of water from the small crater.
  3. The last explanation posits that the impervious layer beneath Lake Waiau is made of permafrost. Permafrost has been found to exists at the MaunaKea summit cone. Shallow holes drilled 30 years ago passed through this permafrost at depths of 10 m (33 ft).
hawaii's largest freshwater lake
hawaii’s largest freshwater lake

What are two major bodies of water in Hawaii?

Hawaii is an island state that is completely surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. This means that the majority of inbound and outbound trade goods and supplies come through ports, harbors and bays. Kawaihae and Hilo bay are the main bays in Hawaii.

Does Hawaii have fresh water?

The six major Hawaiian islands – Kaua’i, O’ahu, Maui, Lāna’i, Moloka’i and Hawai’i – are located at the southeastern end of the Hawaiian archipelago. Despite the abundance of fresh water and hundreds of streams, the only freshwater fishes native to Hawai’i are four gobies and an eleotrid, collectively known as o’opu.

Which is the largest natural lake in Hawaii?

Halulu Lake; Niʻihau This is the largest natural lake in all of Hawaii, having a total area of 74 hectare. Still, Halulu Lake is known to shrink in the dry season and can get as large as 150 hectare in the rainy season. Halulu Lake is a beautiful natural freshwater lake that is surrounded by sand and trees.

Which is the best fishing lake in Hawaii?

Also known as Wilson Lake, Wahiawa Reservoir is located in the town of Wahiawa, which sits along three sides of the lake. There are spots in the town where there is shore fishing, with a boat ramp being found in the Wahiawa State Freshwater Fishing Park.

Halulu Lake

Halulu Lake, flowing in the south-central region of Niihau Island, is a large natural lake. It measures about 182 acres during the rainy season but becomes relatively dry in summer. It probably gets its name from the island’s high chief. However, some believe it is named after a man-eating halalu bird mentioned in Hawaiian mythology. You can clearly notice a reddish tone in the lakebed, maybe due to the soil deposits from the volcanic rock rich in iron content.

Fishing: Young mullets enter the lake from the sea through lava tubes. Once they grow, they are sold in the markets, especially in the islands of Kauaʻi and Oʻahu.

Other Activities: Nature viewing

hawaii's largest freshwater lake
hawaii’s largest freshwater lake

Halema ʻumaʻu Lava Lake Observations

The lava lake became visible within Halema‘uma‘u crater beginning at 1:20 a.m. HST this morning, February 9, when lava began to overflow the west vent filling the active lava lake that occupies the western portion of Halema‘uma‘u by 2 a.m. last night.

Immediately preceding resumption of eruptive activity, the surface of the active lava lake was 820 meters (2690 feet) above sea level, with a depth of approximately 79 meters (259 feet) relative to when lava emerged on September 29, 2021. Since the eruption resumed, the active lake surface has increased approximately 15 meters (49 feet). Measurements on January 28 indicated that the total lava volume effused since the beginning of the eruption was approximately 45 million cubic meters (12.0 billion gallons) at that time.

Summit Observations: Summit tiltmeters began tracking a sharp inflationary tilt around 12 a.m. HST this morning. Seismic data shows that volcanic tremor increased in signal strength approximately 15 minutes before the eruption resumed. Earthquake activity in the summit region remains below background level. A sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission rate of approximately ~330 tonnes per day (t/d) was measured yesterday, February 8, during an eruptive pause.


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