Photo and Video Chronology – Kīlauea – February 25, 2021

Release Date:

Kīlauea's summit eruption continues on the Island of Hawai‘i; the west vent in Halema‘uma‘u erupts lava into the lava lake. Gas emissions and seismic activity at the summit remain elevated. HVO field crews—equipped with specialized safety gear and PPE—monitor the current eruption from within the closed area of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park with NPS permission.

HVO scientists collect detailed data to assess hazards and understand how the eruption is evolving at Kīlauea's summit, all of which are shared with the National Park Service and emergency managers. Access to this hazardous area is by permission from, and in coordination with, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

Close-up view of active lava flow Halema‘uma‘u, February 24, 2021

color photograph of lava flow

In the morning of Tuesday, February 23, a new source of spatter appeared on flank of the active western fissure within Halema‘uma‘u at the summit of Kīlauea. It started to feed a short lava flow down the spatter cone and onto the crusted northwest margin of the lava lake. A field crew on Wednesday observed the flow to be active, and captured this photo through the lens of a laser rangefinder used to measure distances to features within the crater. The fresh, silvery pāhoehoe can be seen descending from the the spatter cone at the left side of the frame. The flow was estimated to be several tens of meters (yards) long at the time, though much of its extent was out-of-view on backside of the cone.

(Public domain.)

View of Halema‘uma‘u lava lake from the west, February 24, 2021

Color photograph of lava lake

On Wednesday, February 24, HVO scientists observed the Kīlauea summit eruption in Halema‘uma‘u from the west rim of the crater. In this photo, the active western fissure is marked by an incandescent skylight on the near side of the lava lake. A plume of sulfur dioxide and other volcanic gases rises constantly from the fissure as it effuses lava into the lake, which measures approximately 900 m (3000 ft) from end-to-end at this time.

(Public domain.)


Spatter at the western vent in Halema‘uma‘u crater

Color photograph of volcanic vent

 A telephoto image of the western fissure within Halema‘uma‘u crater, at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano. On Wednesday, February 24, 2021, the northern-most vent of the fissure was producing occasional weak bursts of spatter (center). This vent fed a new lava flow which was emplace between the spatter cone and the crater wall and advanced a short distance along the northwestern lava lake levee (right). This flow was weakly active when field geologists observed it on Wednesday afternoon. USGS photo taken by L. DeSmither. 

(Public domain.)

Color photograph of lava flow

A telephoto image of the small lava flow from the western fissure within Halema‘uma‘u, at the summit of Kīlauea. Occasional incandescence was visible (center) from the weakly active flow on the northwestern lava lake levee. A portion of the active lava lake is visible in the lower-right. This photo was taken within an area of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park that remains closed to the public due to safety reasons. USGS photo taken by L. DeSmither on February 24, 2021.

(Public domain.)