Scorching-Hot Lava Evaporates Entire Lake in Hawaii

Green Lake in Hawaii
The water within Green Lake evaporated away in a steamy white plume on Saturday (June 2). (Image credit: Hawaii County Fire Department; U.S. Geological Survey)

Fiery lava from Hawaii's ongoing volcanic eruption has completely evaporated the water from Green Lake, the Big Island's largest freshwater lake, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

The assassination by evaporation began this past Saturday morning (June 2), when lava from Fissure 8 flowed into the lake and boiled the water away. The lake didn't go peacefully, either. Rather, the boiling water turned into a thick white plume that reached high into the sky, the USGS reported.

The Hawaii County Fire Department (HCFD) snapped a photo showing the tail end of the annihilation. The above image shows the still-steaming lava in Green Lake, which is located near the intersection of highways 132 and 137, the USGS said. [Photos: Fiery Lava from Kilauea Volcano Erupts on Hawaii's Big Island]

"By 1:30 p.m. [local time], the steam plume had ceased, and by 3 p.m., an HCFD overflight reported that lava had filled the lake and apparently evaporated all the water," the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said.

A bird's-eye view of Green Lake, taken before it completely evaporated. (Image credit: DigitalGlobe/Google)

Green Lake, also known as Ka Wai a Pele, was a popular swimming spot and was about 200 feet (60 meters) deep, according to Hawaii News Now. Reviewers of Green Lake on Google Maps mourned the loss of the lake and wrote a few funny quips about how the "lake is lit" and how it "should be renamed Lava Lake."

Lava from the roughly month-old Kilauea volcano eruption has covered about 7.7 square miles (20 square kilometers) of land so far, CNN reported. Lava has also poured into Kapoho Bay and formed a delta there, forever changing Hawaii's landscape, the USGS reported.

Original article on Live Science.

Laura Geggel

Laura is the archaeology and Life's Little Mysteries editor at Live Science. She also reports on general science, including paleontology. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Scholastic, Popular Science and Spectrum, a site on autism research. She has won multiple awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association for her reporting at a weekly newspaper near Seattle. Laura holds a bachelor's degree in English literature and psychology from Washington University in St. Louis and a master's degree in science writing from NYU.