The Big Island of Hawai'i is composed of five volcanoes... Kohala, Mauna Kea, Hualālai, Mauna Loa, and Kilauea.|
Hualālai and Mauna Loa are expected to erupt again. Mauna Kea can still be active though there are no current indications. The current active volcano is Kilauea which has been spewing forth lava pretty much nonstop since it began - and is among the worlds most active volcanoes.
Currently lava comes out at the Pu'u 'O'o vent inside the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. Depending on conditions the lava is quite often accessible and offers visitors an experience of a lifetime.
Lava flowing from Pu'u 'O'o normally flows through lava tubes towards the ocean 6 miles away. About two miles before the ocean the lava encounters a 1,200 foot cliff which is flows over, and then two to three miles of coastal flats until it pours into the ocean. Often the lava is visible on the Pali (cliff), on the coastal flats, and at the ocean entry.
In the huge Kilauea Summit caldera itself site Halema'uma'u Crater. On March 19, 2008, a vent opened in the crater causing a portion of Crater Rim Drive to be closed. The vent is still open but lava continues to remain below the surface of the vent.
We have much to say about the volcano and the lava - this page lays out the various sections that you can visit.
Be sure to read the section on Cautions and Warnings as it contains very important information about volcano safety.
Current Volcanic Activity
The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory located in the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park provides a daily update of the eruption activity at Pu'u 'O'o and down on the coastal flats. This is a good place to check to see what is currently going on.
We extract the daily report from USGS and have it for you below along with some of the most recent USGS pictures of the flow. Please visit the USGS website for more details and photographs.
HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY WEEKLY UPDATE
U.S. Geological Survey
Tuesday, July 20, 2021, 9:10 AM HST (Tuesday, July 20, 2021, 19:10 UTC)
19°25'16" N 155°17'13" W,
Summit Elevation 4091 ft (1247 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: ADVISORY
Current Aviation Color Code: YELLOW
Activity Summary: Kīlauea Volcano is not currently erupting. No surface activity has been observed by field crews or in webcam images since May 23, 2021. Seismicity has slowly increased in recent weeks in the summit region, with continued summit inflation over the past several months. Sulfur dioxide emission rates are close to the low levels associated with the non-eruptive period from late 2018 to late 2020. It is possible that the Halema‘uma‘u vent could resume eruption or that Kīlauea is entering a longer period of quiescence prior to the next eruption.
Summit Observations: The most recent sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission rate, measured on July 14, 2021, was 60 tonnes per day (t/d). SO2 emission rates have been approaching levels associated with the non-eruptive period from late 2018 to late 2020 (30-35 t/d) and are significantly lower than emission rates that averaged over 800 t/d from mid-February to mid-April, during the recent eruption. Summit tiltmeters recorded one deflation-inflation cycle over the past week, along with continued gradual inflation. Continued inflation was also recorded by summit GPS instruments; however, the pattern of tilt and GPS motions indicates that the inflation center may have shifted slightly to the southern part of the caldera. Seismicity has been slowly increasing in recent weeks, though it has not yet reached the levels detected immediately prior to the December 2020 eruption.
Halemaʻumaʻu Lava Lake Observations: The lake’s surface is completely covered by solidified lava crust. No surface activity has been observed over the past week. Near-real-time webcam views of the lava lake can be found in the webcam link below.
East Rift Zone Observations: No unusual activity noted in the region. Geodetic monitors indicate that the summit and upper East Rift Zone—between the summit and Puʻuʻōʻō—is refilling at rates similar to those measured over the past two years and before the December 2020 eruption. SO2 and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) emissions from Puʻuʻōʻō were below instrumental detection levels when last measured on January 7, 2021.
Hazard Analysis: Levels of volcanic gas—SO2 and carbon dioxide (CO2)—can remain locally hazardous even though Kīlauea is no longer erupting. SO2 gas emissions have greatly decreased. However, local concentrations of SO2 or hydrogen sulfide (H2S) may persist in downwind areas, and residents may from time to time notice odors of these gases. Significant hazards also remain around Halemaʻumaʻu from crater wall instability, ground cracking, and rockfalls that can be enhanced by earthquakes within the area closed to the public. Even with decreased SO2 emission rates and no signs of lava lake activity, conditions around Halema‘uma‘u crater remain hazardous.
Vog information can be found at https://vog.ivhhn.org/.
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) continues to closely monitor Kīlauea’s seismicity, deformation, and gas emissions, and maintains visual surveillance of the summit and the East Rift Zone.
Kīlauea activity summary also available by phone: (808) 967-8862
Kīlauea webcam images: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/webcams
Kīlauea photos/video: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/photo-video-chronology
Kīlauea lava-flow maps: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/maps
Kīlauea FAQs: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/faqs
Subscribe to these messages: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vns2/
Summary of volcanic hazards from eruptions: https://www.usgs.gov/observatories/hawaiian-volcano-observatory/hazards
Recent earthquakes in Hawaiʻi (map and list): https://www.usgs.gov/observatories/hawaiian-volcano-observatory/earthquakes
Explanation of Volcano Alert Levels and Aviation Color Codes: https://www.usgs.gov/natural-hazards/volcano-hazards/about-alert-levels
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory is one of five volcano observatories within the U.S. Geological Survey and is responsible for monitoring volcanoes and earthquakes in Hawaiʻi.