Haʻakulamanu (Sulphur Banks)

Steam rises from mineral deposits in front of a boardwalk
Morning at Haʻakulamanu (Sulphur Banks)

NPS Photo/J. Wei

Quick Facts
Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park

Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits, Scenic View/Photo Spot

At Ha'akulamanu (Sulphur Banks), volcanic gases seep out of the ground, along with ground water steam. These fumes can be amazingly hot. In 1922, scientists drilled two holes to measure underground heat in the area. Temperature measurements remained constant at 205° F (96° C) down to 50 feet (15 m), the maximum depth drilled. Fumes emitted here include sulfur dioxide (SO₂), which smells like a struck match, and hydrogen sulfide (H₂S), the gas that smells like rotten eggs. These two gases react chemically to produce pure sulfur, a yellow mineral known to Hawaiians as kūkaepele, the waste of the volcanic deity Pele.

Take a short day hike to Haʻakulamanu (Sulphur Banks)
Learn more about the phenomenon of Steam Vents and Sulphur Banks

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park

Last updated: June 22, 2022