Luamanu and July 1974 Flow

Volcanic crater with barren bottom surrounded by forest

NPS Photo/A. LaValle

Quick Facts
Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park

Parking - Auto, Scenic View/Photo Spot

Lua = hole / pit / crater
Manu = bird
Luamanu = "bird crater"

On July 19, 1974 a volcanic fissure opened to the east of Luamanu. A lava flow that spewed from the fissure crept across Chain of Craters Road, consuming the forest as it moved. It soon entered Luamanu crater, filling it with about 50 feet (15 m) of red-hot lava. However, about two-thirds of this lava later drained back into a fissure that cut the east crater wall. Today on the crater walls you can still see the "high lava mark" that was left behind as the lava receded.

Take a look at the July 1974 lava flow around you. Notice the stark tree line at the flow's edge and how this flow cut a clear swath through the verdant rainforest. Slowly, ʻōhiʻa trees and ʻamaʻu ferns are re-establishing vegetation on the flow, nearly fifty years later.


Learn more about how pit craters form.

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park

Last updated: December 18, 2020