|Photo by JB Judd/USGS|
A photograph captured by US Geological Survey (USGS) photographer JB Judd in 1969 is ‘going viral’ online this week. The photo shows a massive, symmetrical lava dome fountain that was captured during a 5-year-long eruption of the Kilauea volcano’s Mauna Ulu cone between 1969 and 1974.
The so-called lava “bubble” measured approximately 65ft / 20m in height, and it owes its Internet fame to this “Throwback Thursday” tweet by the USGS:
Dome fountain of episode 10, October 10–13, 1969, eruption of Kilauea Volcano. This dome fountain is about 20 m (65 ft) high. Symmetrical dome fountains such as this are rare. #Tbt #HI @Volcanoes_NPS pic.twitter.com/sKSQaVINKs
— USGS (@USGS) March 29, 2018
After a bit of digging, the internet managed to unearth Judd’s original photograph of the lava bubble, which seems to have been flipped horizontally, straightened, and edited to produce the image shared on Twitter. The USGS photo page lists the estimated height of the bubble as 50 to 75 meters, or approximately 164 to 246 feet, and describes symmetrical dome fountains such as these as “rare.”
The image is one of many public domain photos in the USGS photo archive. To see more, head over to the USGS website where you can browse the full collection.