Lua Manu Crater at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

Lua Manu Crater at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Craters, craters, and more craters.

Our first day in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park began with visits to the Kīlauea Iki Crater Overlook and the Thurston Lava Tube, and a hike along Devastation Trail all off Crater Rim Drive. Next, we turned down Chain Of Craters Road for a couple quick roadside pit stops to check out scenic overlooks above two pit craters. First we stopped at Lua Manu Crater then Puhimau Crater just a half mile farther down the road.

Formed approximately 200 years ago, Lua Manu is a pit crater that is roughly 300 feet across and 125 feet deep. Pit craters are formed when hot magma below the earth’s surface drains, creating a void and causing the earth above to collapse. The rim of the Lua Manu Crater has no cinder or ash, which confirms there was no eruption or explosive event in the forming of this crater.

Natalie and Carter Bourn at The Lua Manu Crater

Lua Manu Crater is the uppermost crater along the Chain of Craters in the upper east rift zone.

In 1974, when Keanakāko‘i erupted, a fissure opened east of Lua Manu and the lava flow entered into the crater. At its deepest point, the lava from this flow was 50 feet deep in the crater, but about two-thirds eventually drained back into a fissure cut in the east crater wall. The high lava mark is still visible today on the crater wall.

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