Photo and Video Chronology – Kīlauea – December 25, 2020

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Fountaining continues at two locations in Kīlauea Volcano's summit caldera, Island of Hawai‘i. Activity remains more vigorous at the northern (eastern) vent and intermittent at the western vent; both vents continue to feed the growing lava lake. Gas emissions and seismic activity at the summit remain elevated. HVO continues to closely monitor the situation. 

 

Color photograph of lava lake at night

An early December 25, 2020, morning view of the ongoing eruption in Halema‘uma‘u crater at Kīlauea's summit. Overnight fountaining continued to feed the rising lava lake, which slowly fills Halema‘uma‘u. This photo, taken at approximately 2:30 a.m. from the south rim of the crater, shows the main northern vent that is being drowned by the rising lava lake. Intermittent activity continues at the weaker west vent. USGS photo by J. Schmith and C. Parcheta. 

(Public domain.)

Color photograph of scientist monitoring lava lake

HVO field crews measured Kīlauea's summit lava lake this morning (Dec. 25) around 7:30 a.m. HST. The lake surface is now 445 m (1460 ft) below the crater rim observation site, indicating that the lake has filled 176 m (577 ft) of the bottom of Halema‘uma‘u crater. The lake rose approximately 6 m (20 ft) over the past 24 hours. Fountaining continues at two locations, more vigorously at the northern (eastern) vent that is being drowned by the rising lake, and intermittently at the western vent; both vents continue to feed the growing lava lake. The lava lake volume this morning (Dec. 25) was about 21 million cubic meters (27 million cubic yards or 4.8 billion gallons). High SO2 emissions continue. USGS photo.

(Public domain.)

The Halema‘uma‘u crater at Kīlauea summit continues to slowly fill with lava

The Halema‘uma‘u crater at Kīlauea summit continues to slowly fill with lava from the ongoing eruption. As the lava lake rises, it gradually drowns more of the northern fissure. The western fissure activity continues to weaken, and field crews are reporting that only rare intermittent spattering is visible. USGS photo taken on December 25 by F. Trusdell.

(Public domain.)

The main northern fissure erupting within Halema‘uma‘u is slowly being drowned by the rising lava lake.

The main northern fissure erupting within Halema‘uma‘u is slowly being drowned by the rising lava lake. This telephoto image shows that the fissure has two adjacent fountains, the main fountain is on the east (right side) and there is a tiny fountain to the west (left side). The smaller fountain is not visible from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory webcams located on Halema‘uma‘u’s western rim, because the fissures spatter cone blocks it from view. USGS photo taken on December 25 by F. Trusdell.

(Public domain.)

Color photograph of lava lake

On the evening of December 25, 2020, the eruption in Halema‘uma‘u crater at Kīlauea's summit continued. Throughout the day, fountaining at two vents continued to feed the rising lava lake which slowly fills Halema‘uma‘u. This photo, taken at approximately 6 p.m. HST from the south rim of the crater shows the main northern vent that is being drowned by the rising lava lake. Intermittent activity continues at the weaker west vent. USGS photo by M. Patrick. 

(Public domain.)

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Kīlauea's summit has changed dramatically over the past four days! The KW webcam has captured these recent changes. The first image, taken on December 21, 2020, just after 6:30 a.m. HST shows how much the lava lake had grown since 9:30 p.m. on December 20, when the eruption began. The second image, taken at just after 6:30 p.m. HST on December 25, 2020 shows how much the lava lake has grown over the past fours days. The most recent lake level measurement at 2:14 p.m. on December 25 indicates that the lava lake is 176 m (578 ft) deep. You can view live KW webcam images here. USGS photo.