A time-lapse video spanning from November 19 last year through last October 30 shows the lake’s evolution. The edited footage is composed of one webcam image per week.
The USGS shared the video on its Facebook account on November 4 to mark Native Heritage Month.
The post also contained a mythological story relating to the volcano and the origin of the lake.
A statement accompanying the video read: “This animated image file includes a series of webcam images in a continuous loop showing the changes in the summit water lake between November 1, 2019 and October 30, 2020, using approximately one image per week.
“In the first image in this GIF the lake is at a depth of approximately 46 ft, compared to the last image where the lake is approximately 154 ft deep.
“The water table in this area is estimated to be ~230 ft above the crater floor, so the lake level will slowly continue to rise until it equilibrates with the local water table.”
Located atop one of the world’s most active volcanoes, the hot water lake is currently deeper than a ten story building.
A post shared by Hawaii Volcanoes National Park across its social media platforms, claimed that “a ten-story building could disappear into its depths”.
It added: “Within the massive crater it may look small, but perspective is everything.
“Today, the lake—now with a rusty brown sheen on its surface due to chemical reactions taking place in the water—has an area larger than five football fields combined and a maximum depth of roughly 30 meters (100 feet).”
Don Swanson, a volcanologist at the US Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory explained how the water accumulated in the crater.
He said: “We have a drill hole a little more than one kilometre south of the crater where we measure the level of the water table.
“We know that the crater floor dropped a little more than 70 meters below the water table in 2018.