Photo and Video Chronology – Kīlauea – October 11, 2021

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A new eruption at Kīlauea's summit began at approximately 3:20 p.m. HST on September 29, 2021. Lava activity is currently confined within Halema'uma'u crater. 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 volcanic vent

Fountaining at the western vent in Halema‘uma‘u crater, at Kīlauea volcano's summit, was approximately 15 meters (50 feet) high on the evening of October 10, 2021. Spatter from the fountaining would occasionally land on the wall of the vent cone and cool (visible on the right). Lava exited the pond within the cone and entered the lake through a gap on the eastern side of the cone, seen here on the left. USGS image by B. Carr. 

(Public domain.)

Color photograph of lava lake

Lava fountaining activity continues from the western vent in Halema‘uma‘u, within Kīlauea summit caldera, viewed at dusk on October 10, 2021, from the west rim of the crater. Only the western half of the lake surface is active; the eastern half is covered by a cooling, solidified crust. USGS image by B. Carr.

(Public domain.)

Color photograph of volcanic vent

HVO scientists captured this zoomed-in photo of the western fissure within Halema‘uma‘u through the lens of a laser rangefinder on October 9, 2021. The fissure has formed a horseshoe-shaped spatter cone around its source, with an opening on the east (right) side allowing lava to flow into the active lava lake. The spatter cone was measured to be standing 30 m (98 ft) tall relative to the surrounding lava; this is 50% taller than the western fissure from the December 2020–May 2021 eruption, which stood approximately 20 m (66 ft) in height during the later stages of that eruption. USGS image by M. Zoeller.

(Public domain.)

Color photograph of scientist monitoring eruption

USGS scientist takes video of the erupting west vent within Halema‘uma‘u crater, at the summit of Kīlauea. Photo taken from the northwest rim of Halema‘uma‘u at 12:27 p.m. HST on Oct. 8, 2021. USGS photo by J.M. Chang.

(Credit: Julie Chang. Public domain.)

Color photograph of volcanic vent and bird

A Koa‘e Kea (white-tailed tropicbird) flies above the erupting west vent within Halema‘uma‘u crater, at the summit of Kīlauea. Photo taken from the south rim of Halema‘uma‘u at 10:41 a.m. HST on Oct. 8, 2021. USGS photo by J.M. Chang. 

(Credit: Julie Chang. Public domain.)