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 INFORMATION STATEMENT
U.S. Geological Survey
Friday, October 23, 2020, 2:02 PM HST (Saturday, October 24, 2020, 00:02 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
KĪLAUEA INFORMATION STATEMENT
Kīlauea Volcano is not erupting. A small swarm of shallow seismicity over the past 24 hours has occurred near the Ka'ōiki fault system, northwest of Kīlauea's summit. Other Kīlauea monitoring data streams remain stable and show no signs of increased activity.
On October 22–23, 2020, the US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) has recorded over 130 earthquakes beneath the northeastern tip of the Ka'ōiki fault system, about 1 mile (less than 2 km) west of Nāmakanipaio Campground. These earthquakes are occurring in a cluster about 1 mi (2 km) wide and 1–3 mi (2–5 km) below the surface.
The largest event in the sequence was a magnitude-3 earthquake, with the bulk of the events being less than magnitude-2 and not reported widely felt by residents. Reported felt events were described as weak shaking, with a maximum Intensity of III on the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale.
Clustering of shallow earthquakes in this region does not mean an eruption is imminent. HVO has recorded shallow earthquakes in this area for many decades across several eruptive cycles at both Kīlauea and Mauna Loa. Other monitoring data streams for Kīlauea and Mauna Loa, including ground deformation, gas, and imagery, show no signs of increased activity.
HVO continues to closely monitor geologic changes, seismicity, deformation, and gas emissions at Kīlauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes. HVO will issue additional messages and alert level changes as warranted by changing activity.
For more information on earthquakes in the Kaʻōiki Pali area, please see the Volcano Watch article titled, "Why do swarms of earthquakes occur around the Ka'ōiki Pali?" published by HVO scientists on March 1, 2012: https://www.usgs.gov/center-news/volcano-watch-why-do-swarms-earthquakes-occur-around-ka-iki-pali.
HVO Contact Information: askHVO@usgs.gov
Activity summary for Mauna Loa is also available by phone: (808) 967-8866
Subscribe to these messages: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vns2/
Webcam images: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/mauna-loa/webcams
FAQs of Mauna Loa: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/mauna-loa/faqs
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/volcanoes/mauna-loa/monitoring
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.