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Nature Video Presents: Hawaii’s surprise volcanic eruption: Lessons from Kilauea 2018

Posted on May 19, 2021

NDPTC's Dr. Bruce Houghton and HVO's Dr. Matthew Patrick

To watch the video go to

In 2018, Hawaii's most active volcano took scientists by surprise. Lava started spewing out not from the summit, but 50km away on the lower slopes of the volcano. This unexpected eruption destroyed farmland, roads, and over 700 homes. Since then, volcanologists have been piecing together the events that triggered it. Using GPS trackers, high-speed cameras, chemical analysis, and more, researchers have learned what happens when volcanic craters collapse and how magma can move not just vertically but horizontally underneath a volcano. These insights help us to understand other similar volcanoes in Iceland, Italy, and La Reunion. The hope is that the next time Kilauea or one of these other volcanoes erupt, we will be better prepared. Read more about the work here: And read more about volcanic and other natural hazards: Sign up for the Nature Briefing: An essential round-up of science news, opinion, and analysis, free in your inbox every weekday: