Photo and Video Chronology – Kīlauea – May 27, 2021

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Kīlauea's summit is no longer erupting; lava supply to the Halemaʻumaʻu lava lake has ceased and sulfur dioxide emissions have decreased to near pre-eruption background levels. HVO field crews—equipped with specialized safety gear—monitor for new changes from within the closed area of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park with NPS permission.

HVO scientists collect detailed data to assess hazards and understand evolving processes 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.

May 27, 2021 — Kīlauea

Close-up view of the now-inactive western fissure within Halema‘uma‘u at the summit of Kīlauea captured on May 27, 2021

This close-up view of the now-inactive western fissure within Halema‘uma‘u at the summit of Kīlauea was captured on Thursday, May 27, 2021. HVO scientists did not observe any incandescent lava or other signs of eruptive activity during a one-hour visit to the crater rim. The fissure complex was measured to be about 20 m (66 ft) tall at the time; small rockslides have been cutting into the fissure and may eventually reduce its overall height. USGS photo taken by M. Zoeller.

(Public domain.)

before
after
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The KW webcam has documented the recent activity within Halema‘uma‘u crater at Kīlauea's summit. The first image, taken on December 20, 2020, just after 6 p.m. HST, shows the water lake that had been growing at the base of the crater over the prior year and a half. Later that evening, an eruption began with vents opening in the walls of Halema‘uma‘u. The water lake, which had risen to a depth of 50 m (164 ft) was quickly vaporized. The eruption generated a lava lake that filled approximately 229 m (751 ft) of the base of the crater. Over the past month, eruptive activity has dwindled and on May 26, 2021, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory lowered the Volcano Alert Level for ground based hazards from WATCH to ADVISORY and the Aviation Color Code from ORANGE to YELLOW reflecting the eruption pause. The second image, taken just after 11 a.m. HST on May 27, 2021, shows the dramatic changes within Halema‘uma‘u crater over the past five months of eruption. You can view live KW webcam images here. USGS webcam photos.

before
after
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An eruption at Kīlauea's summit has significantly changed Halema‘uma‘u crater over the past five months, as documented in these KW webcam images. The first image was taken on December 21, 2020, just after 6:30 a.m. HST and the morning after the eruption began. It shows vents on the north and northwest walls of the crater erupting lava into a growing crater lake. The lake rapidly grew and within a week, the eruption became focused at the vents on the northwest wall. Activity remained focused there for the remainder of the eruption, which waned over the past month. On May 26, 2021, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory lowered the Volcano Alert Level for ground based hazards from WATCH to ADVISORY and the Aviation Color Code from ORANGE to YELLOW reflecting the eruption pause. The second image, taken just after 11 a.m. HST on May 27, 2021, shows the dramatic changes within Halema‘uma‘u crater over the past five months of eruption. You can view live KW webcam images here. USGS webcam photos.

 

May 26, 2021 — Kīlauea

Halema‘uma‘u lava lake

The now inactive lava lake and west vent from the western rim of Halema‘uma‘u, at Kīlauea summit

A wide view of the now inactive lava lake and west vent from the western rim of Halema‘uma‘u, at Kīlauea summit. The lava lake is entirely crusted over with no red, glowing lava at the surface. Diffuse volcanic gas plumes are still being emitted from the west vent and northern lake margin. This photo was taken in an area of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park that remains closed to the public due to safety reasons. USGS photograph taken by D. Downs on May 26, 2021.

(Public domain.)