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
Thursday, January 14, 2021, 7:14 PM HST (Friday, January 15, 2021, 05:14 UTC)
19°25'16" N 155°17'13" W,
Summit Elevation 4091 ft (1247 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: WATCH
Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE
KĪLAUEA INFORMATION STATEMENT
The U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) recorded a magnitude-4.0 earthquake located beneath the south part of the Island of Hawai‘i, in the district of Kaʻū, on Thursday, January 14, at 6:15 p.m., HST.
The earthquake was centered about 8 km (5 miles) northeast of Pāhala, at a depth of 34 km (21 miles). A map showing its location is posted on the HVO website at http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hvo/earthquakes/. More details are available at the National Earthquake Information Center website at https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/hv72320262/.
Moderate shaking, with maximum Intensity of V on the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale, has been reported across parts of the Island of Hawai‘i. At that intensity, significant damage to buildings or structures is not expected. The USGS "Did you feel it?" service (http://earthquake.usgs.gov/dyfi/) received over 580 felt reports within the first hour of the earthquake.
According to HVO acting Scientist-in-Charge, David Phillips, the earthquake had no observable impact on the ongoing eruption at Kīlauea’s summit at the time of this Information Statement. “This earthquake is part of the ongoing seismic swarm under the Pāhala area, which started in August 2019. Unlike most events associated with this swarm, this earthquake was widely felt across the Island of Hawai‘i, and as far away as Oʻahu. Please be aware that aftershocks are possible and may be felt. HVO continues to monitor Hawaiian volcanoes for any changes. The Alert Levels / Color Codes remain at WATCH/ORANGE for Kilauea and at ADVISORY/YELLOW for Mauna Loa at this time.”
Earthquakes beneath Kīlauea's lower Southwest Rift Zone occur mostly at depths of 25-40 km (15-25 miles), beneath the town of Pāhala and extending about 10 km (6 miles) offshore. Earthquakes in this region have been observed at least as far back as the 1960s and are posited to be related to deep magma pathways under the island.
For information on recent earthquakes in Hawaii and eruption updates, visit the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory website at http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hvo/earthquakes/.
HVO Contact Information: askHVO@usgs.gov
Kilauea Activity summary also available by phone: (808) 967-8862
Other Hawaiian volcanoes summary also available by phone: (808) 967-8877
Subscribe to these messages: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vns2/
Kilauea Webcam images: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/webcams
Kilauea Photos/video: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/photo-video-chronology
Kilauea Lava flow maps: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/maps
Haleakala Summary: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/haleakala
Hualalai Summary: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/hualalai
Loihi Summary: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/loihi-seamount
Mauna Kea Summary: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/mauna-kea
Definitions of terms used in update: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/extra/definitions.pdf
Summary of volcanic hazards from Kīlauea eruptions: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/extra/hazards.pdf
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.