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, May 21, 2019, 9:22 AM HST (Tuesday, May 21, 2019, 19:22 UTC)
19°25'16" N 155°17'13" W,
Summit Elevation 4091 ft (1247 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: NORMAL
Current Aviation Color Code: GREEN
Activity Summary: Kīlauea Volcano is not erupting. Monitoring data over the past nine months have shown relatively low rates of seismicity, deformation, and sulfur dioxide emissions at the summit and East Rift Zone, including the area of the 2018 eruption.
As of March 26, Kīlauea Volcano is at NORMAL/GREEN. For definitions of USGS Volcano Alert Levels and Aviation Color Codes, see: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vhp/about_alerts.html
Despite this classification, Kīlauea remains an active volcano, and it will erupt again. Although we expect clear signs prior to a return to eruption, the time frame of warning may be short. Island of Hawaiʻi residents should be familiar with the long-term hazard map for Kīlauea Volcano (https://pubs.usgs.gov/mf/1992/2193/) and should stay informed about Kīlauea activity.
Observations: Monitoring data have revealed no significant changes in volcanic activity over the past week. Generally low seismicity continues across the volcano, with earthquakes occurring primarily in the summit and south flank regions. The largest Kīlauea earthquake over the past week was a M2.8 event south of Mauna Ulu on May 20, at a depth of 3.6 km (2.2 miles) below ground level. USGS received 4 felt-reports following this event.
Since early March, tiltmeters at the Kīlauea summit have recorded modest inflationary tilt. Over about the same time period, a GPS station within the 2018 collapse area has recorded approximately 5 cm (3 inches) of uplift. Satellite radar data (InSAR) show deformation consistent with inflation of the shallow Halemaʻumaʻu source, confirming the trends noted by both tiltmeters and GPS. One possible interpretation is that magma has begun to slowly accumulate within the shallow portion of the Kīlauea summit magma system, 1-2 km or approximately 1 mile below ground level. However, gas measurements have yet to indicate significant shallowing of large volumes of melt. HVO continues to carefully monitor gas output at the Kīlauea summit and East Rift Zone for important changes.
Further east, GPS stations and tiltmeters continue to show motions consistent with refilling of the deep East Rift Zone magmatic reservoir in the broad region between Puʻu ʻŌʻō and Highway 130. This trend has been observed since the end of the 2018 eruption, and while its significance is unclear, monitoring data do not suggest any imminent change in volcanic hazard for this area.
Hazards remain in the lower East Rift Zone eruption area and at the Kīlauea summit. Residents and visitors near the 2018 fissures, lava flows, and summit collapse area should heed Hawaii County Civil Defense and National Park warnings. Hawaii County Civil Defense advises that lava flows and features created by the 2018 eruption are primarily on private property and persons are asked to be respectful and not enter or park on private property.
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) continues to closely monitor seismicity, deformation, and gas emissions for any sign of increased activity at Kīlauea. HVO maintains visual surveillance of the volcano with web cameras and occasional field visits. HVO will continue to issue a weekly update (every Tuesday) until further notice, and will issue additional messages as warranted by changing activity.
Activity summary also available by phone: (808) 967-8862
Subscribe to these messages: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vns2/
Webcam images: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_webcams.html
Lava flow maps: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_maps.html
Definitions of terms used in update: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/extra/definitions.pdf
Overview of Kīlauea summit (Halemaʻumaʻu) and East Rift Zone (Puʻu ʻŌʻō) eruptions:
Summary of volcanic hazards from Kīlauea eruptions:
Recent earthquakes in Hawaiʻi (map and list):
Explanation of Volcano Alert Levels and Aviation Color Codes:
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.