Photo and Video Chronology – Kīlauea – January 12, 2021

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The eruption in Halema‘uma‘u at Kīlauea's summit on the Island of Hawai‘i continues, with the west vent erupting 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.

 

Over the past few days, the western fissure within Halema‘uma‘u has escalated from weak spattering to continuous fountaining.

Over the past few days, the western fissure within Halema‘uma‘u has escalated from weak spattering to continuous fountaining. Yesterday, January 11, low fountaining was supplying lava to an open channel that was pouring into the lava lake. USGS photo by M. Patrick.

(Public domain.)

A wider view of the western fissure, and western end of the lava lake.

A wider view of the western fissure, and the western end of the lava lake at Kīlauea Volcano's summit. For scale, the top of the fountain is about 40 m (131 ft) above the lake surface. USGS photo by M. Patrick. 

(Public domain.)

Another view of the western fissure within Halema‘uma‘u crater

Another view of the western fissure within Halema‘uma‘u crater. USGS photo by M. Patrick.

(Public domain.)

An HVO geologist measures the elevation of the Halema'uma'u lava lake using a laser rangefinder

An HVO geologist measures the elevation of the Halema'uma'u lava lake using a laser rangefinder. This morning, January 12, the lava lake is about 196 m (643 ft) deep. HVO scientists continue to monitor the eruption within an area of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park that remains closed to the public for safety reasons. USGS photo by M. Patrick.

(Public domain.)

A helicopter overflight on Tuesday provided HVO scientists with high-angle views of the ongoing eruption in Halema‘uma‘u.

A helicopter overflight on Tuesday, January 12, provided HVO scientists with high-angle views of the ongoing eruption in Halema‘uma‘u. The active west fissure is visible at left; displaying more incandescence after the resumption of visible lava fountaining over the weekend. The lava lake itself has a circulating western half, a stagnant eastern half, and several islands; all of this is surrounded by a perched levee that is now 1-2 meters (yards) tall. USGS photo by M. Zoeller.

(Public domain.)

During this morning’s overflight of Halema‘uma‘u, favorable conditions allowed clear views of the western fissure

During this morning’s overflight of Halema‘uma‘u, favorable conditions allowed HVO scientists to get clear views of the active western fissure within the crater. A spatter cone of dark fresh lava has built around both the fountaining vent and its turbulent outflow channel down to the lava lake. USGS photo taken by M. Zoeller on January 12, 2021.

(Public domain.)