Volcanic eruptions are typically short affairs, but occasionally they last a little longer, like the Mauna Ule eruption of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii which went on for a phenomenal 1774 days.
That’s 5 years in total lasting from from 1969 to 1974, making it the longest running eruption ever recorded at the time. During this time it produced approximately 460 million cubic yards of lava.
This rare natural phenomena was viewable to the public via observation platforms, allowing photographer J.B. Judd to take one of the most stunning photographs of volcanic activity to this day.
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
The US Geological Survey recently released this image, taken in 1969, which captured the rare sight of a dome foundation that was around 65 metres in height above sea level. This was one of 12 fountaining events recorded that year, causing spillage into the ocean as far as 7 miles away.
The menacing looking dome lasted for 4 days and was exceptionally unique due to it’s shape. It looks as if it is perched upon the water but in fact what you’re seeing are ripples of lava.
This type of fountaining happens when a strong eruption causes a fissure, and the gas bubbling up causes expansion and an explosion.
Since this picture was taken, the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō eruption now holds the record of longest lasting eruption, which is still ongoing since 1983. Check out an amazing time lapse video of it below.