Photo and Video Chronology – Kīlauea – March 8, 2021

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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.

 

March 5, 2021 - Halema‘uma‘u lava lake

 

HVO geologists observed a breakout from the west vent within Halema‘uma‘u crater

On Friday, HVO geologists observed a breakout from the west vent within Halema‘uma‘u crater at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano. This photo shows the vent about an hour before the breakout occurred on the northern side of the cone. Note that no glow or spatter can be seen from the cone (center-left), but loud hissing noises from the vent area were audible to field crews. USGS photo taken by J. Schmith on March 5, 2021.

(Public domain.)

A zoomed-in photo of the west vent (left) in Halema‘uma‘u crater, Kīlauea summit

A zoomed-in photo of the west vent (left) in Halema‘uma‘u crater, Kīlauea summit, about a half hour after the observed lava flow started on the north side of the vent. The activity began with weak incandescent spatter being thrown from the top of the cone at 11:45 a.m. HST, gradually increasing in vigor for about 30 minutes. The molten spatter fed two small lava channels down the northeast side of the cone (center-left). The flows merged at the base of the cone and continued to flow along the northern stagnant lava lake margin. USGS photo taken by J. Schmith on March 5, 2021.

(Public domain.)

A zoomed-in view near the base of the west vent within Halema‘uma‘u crater, Kīlauea summit

A zoomed-in view near the base of the west vent within Halema‘uma‘u crater, Kīlauea summit. As the lava flow continued from the northeast side of the west vent, it spread across the inactive crust of the northwest lava lake margin and eventually spilled into the active lava lake. This photo was taken at 5:00 p.m. HST, about 5 hours after the onset of the spattering at the vent. Lava also continued to enter into the lava lake from the inlet at the base of the west vent (center-left). USGS photo taken by J. Schmith on March 5, 2021.

(Public domain.)