Photo and Video Chronology – Kīlauea – May 18, 2021

Release Date:

Kīlauea's summit eruption continues on the Island of Hawai‘i; Halema‘uma‘u west vent erupts lava into the lava lake, which was 229 m (751 ft) deep this morning, May 18. Gas emissions and seismic activity at the summit remain elevated. HVO field crews—equipped with specialized safety gear—monitor the 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.

Color photograph of lava lake

This close-up view of the of the Halema‘uma‘u lava lake at the summit of Kīlauea was captured on Tuesday, May 18. During an approximately one-hour visit to the crater rim, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists' only observation of active lava was the crustal foundering event captured here, which lasted approximately five minutes. All that remains of the active lava lake surface is the smoother kidney-shaped feature around the incandescence in the lower right; the scientists estimated that it measured less than 30 m (98 ft) in length. The the remaining lava lake is framed by the western fissure in the left and center of this photo.

(Public domain.)