Man vs Wild - volcanochaser

This is a part of a satellite photo from NASA showing the SW Rift Zone on the summit of Kilauea. The full photo can be found here:

This shows the location of the fissures next to Crater Rim Drive on the summit of Kilauea, which is 4000 feet higher in elevation and nowhere near the active lava zone near the ocean. This also shows how easy it is to go around the fissures instead of trying to cross them or trying to climb down into them for no apparent reason since they are all oriented in the same direction and it is much easier to walk on the surface. Also, most of them are vertical drops and don't have a convenient sloping surface that can be climbed. In fact, Bear goes down into the "Explored fissure" near the rock memorial and is forced to come back out the same end.

The bluish areas are old lava flows whereas the brownish areas are ash deposits. The volcanic fissures were not formed by the ground spreading apart, but more like sink holes where underground lava drained away and the overlying layers collapsed into the voids. Many other ground features look like fissures, but they are gullies created by flash floods eroding away the deep layers of ash.