Global Volcanism Program | Image GVP-03486
These footprints in hardened ash are those of Hawaiian warriors and their families who were crossing the Kau Desert, SW of Kīlauea caldera, at the time of a violent explosive eruption in 1790. The eruption produced pyroclastic surges that killed 80-100 people. The rest of the party of 250 warriors and family members survived, leaving these and other footprints in the muddy ash. Explosive eruptions are not unknown at Kīlauea. They have occurred on several occasions when collapse of the summit allowed groundwater access to the magma column.
Copyrighted photo by Katia and Maurice Krafft, 1987.
Copyrighted image used with permission. All Rights Reserved. Contact photographer for any usage requests.