Volcanic steam vents are just to the left of the Kīlauea Visitor Center.
When rain or ground water seeps into the ground, the hot volcanic rocks heat it into steam.
The ground here is so hot, anything that needs deep roots can’t survive. Only grass and other plants with shallow roots can live here.
There are steam vents all over the park and they can badly hurt you. This is why you really should stay on the trails.
Steam vents are scattered over this fault-bounded block that has partially slumped into Kilauea Caldera. Rainwater sinks through the ground and is heated by rocks which carry heat from the liquid rock below. Hot water then rises through fissures to condense in the chilled air.
The grassy landscape nearby suggests that soil temperatures are too high for trees to survive easily.
Volcanic fumes are hazardous to your health and may be life threatening
Do not enter this area if you are a person at risk
- Respiratory problems
- Heart problems
- Infants & young children