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    All About Hawai'i Volcanoes and Earthquakes
    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.

    Cautions & Warnings
    Current Activity
    Earthquake Info
    Finding Hot Lava
    Cooking In Lava
    Fun With Lava
    Types Of Lava
    Lava Photo Gallery
    Pu'u 'O'o History


    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.

    Current Eruption

    Kīlauea

    Current Eruption

    Kīlauea Volcano began erupting on 20 December 2020 at about 9:30 p.m. HST in Halema‘uma‘u crater. 

    See the Frequently Asked Questions about Kīlauea's Current Eruption

    Current Kīlauea Updates

    Current Kīlauea Updates

    See the most recent volcano update for Kīlauea.

    Read Update

    Photo & Video Chronology

    Photo & Video Chronology

    A series of posts showing photos and videos from Kīlauea. 

    See More

    Webcams

    Webcams

    Webcams show current conditions on Kīlauea.

    See Webcams
    Graph showing depth of Halemaumau lava lake, Kilauea volcano

    Graph showing the depth of the Halema‘uma‘u crater lava lake at Kīlauea Volcano's summit. Measurements began one day after the start of the eruption on December 20, 2020 and are updated by geologists making observations from the field. HVO field crews use a portable laser range finder to measure the vertical distance between points of known elevation and the lava lake surface. Frequent sets of repeat manual measurements were averaged and plotted to derive the lava lake depth.  

    On January 8, 2021, a novel laser rangefinder was stationed at Kīlauea Volcano's summit. The fixed instrument continuously measures the distance to the lava lake surface, and telemeters data to HVO in real time. The raw data has been edited for this graph, with a running mean average filter of 3600 seconds. 

    Variations in plotted depth can occur due to alternating field crews, the uneven surface of the lava lake, or laser rangefinder returns on gas rather than the lake surface.

    Graph showing Average measurements of SO2 from Kilauea summit since 12 December 2020

    Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission rates measured using an upward-looking ultraviolet spectrometer. These data are collected by traversing the gas plume in a vehicle or helicopter, downwind of Halema‘uma‘u, generally within and/or southwest of Kīlauea caldera. Results from multiple traverses during a day are averaged to yield the emission rates shown here. Successful measurements depend on wind, weather, and staff availability. Values are preliminary and are subject to revision.

    (Public domain.)

    Lastest eruption map

    See additional maps on the Kīlauea Maps Page

    Color map of lava lake at volcano summit

    This map of Halema‘uma‘u at the summit of Kīlauea shows 20 m (66 ft) contour lines (dark gray) that mark locations of equal elevation above sea level (asl). The map shows that the lava lake has filled 224 m (735 ft) of the crater, to an elevation of 741 m (2431 ft) asl since the eruption began on December 20, 2020. Contour lines highlighted in green, purple, and blue mark the approximate rim of Halema‘uma‘u, the edge of the eastern down-dropped block, and the approximate rim of the 2018 collapse, respectively. Lava is expected to be within view of the Kīlauea Overlook visitor area shortly before it rises to the level of the green contour line at 800 m (2625 ft) asl. USGS map.

    (Public domain.)

    "Volcano Watch" articles relevant to the ongoing eruption

    Additional resources related to the eruption:

     

    Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park remains open with COVID restrictions. However, the Jaggar area is closed. Please visit the Park website to learn more about their operations. 

     



    Volcano Books and Videos

    coverBook: Chasing Lava: A Geologist's Adventures at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
    coverBook: Hawai'i's Volcanos: Legends and Facts
    coverBook: Hawai'i Volcano Watch: A Pictorial History, 1779-1991
    coverBook: Mauna Loa: World's Largest Active Volcano
    coverBook: Hawai'i's Kilauea Volcano: The Flow to the Sea
    coverVideo: Volcano - Fountains of Fire
    coverVideo: Lava Flows and Lava Tubes
    coverVideo: 2003 Eruption Update: A Firsthand Account of the Current Eruption of Kilauea Volcano
    coverVideo: 2004 Eruption Update: A Firsthand Account of the Current Eruption of Kilauea Volcano

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    Nene photo in top graphics by Brenda Zaun