Photo and Video Chronology – Kīlauea – September 29, 2021

Release Date:

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.

 

At approximately 3:20 p.m. HST on September 29, 2021, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) detected glow in Kīlauea summi

At approximately 3:20 p.m. HST on September 29, 2021, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) detected glow in Kīlauea summit webcams indicating an eruption has commenced within Halemaʻumaʻu crater. This thermal webcam image from 3:38 p.m. shows fissures, which opened on the surface of the recently active lava lake within Halemaʻumaʻu crater.

(Public domain.)

before
after
Download images

The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory KWcam at Kīlauea's summit has captured the onset of a new eruption within Halemaʻumaʻu crater on September 29, 2021. At approximately 3:21 pm, HST, new fissures opened at the base of Halemaʻumaʻu crater. These fissures opened east of the large island near the center of the lava lake that was active within Halemaʻumaʻu crater from December 2020 until May 2021. The new fissures are generating lava flows on the surface of the previous lava lake surface. USGS webcam images. 

Color map of lava lake at volcano summit

At approximately 3:20 p.m. HST on September 29, 2021, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) detected glow in Kīlauea summit webcam images indicating that an eruption has commenced within Halemaʻumaʻu crater in Kīlauea’s summit caldera, within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Webcam imagery shows fissures at the base of Halemaʻumaʻu crater, within the area circled on this image. These fissures are generating lava flows on the surface of the lava lake that was active until May 2021, which is visible on the basemap generated from aerial visual and thermal imagery collected on June 8, 2021. The scale of the base thermal map ranges from blue to red, with blue colors indicative of cooler temperatures and red colors indicative of warmer temperatures. USGS map by M. Patrick.

(Public domain.)

Color photograph of fissure eruption

Kīlauea volcano is erupting. At approximately 3:20 p.m. HST on September 29, 2021, an eruption began within Halemaʻumaʻu crater in Kīlauea’s summit caldera, within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Fissures at the base of Halemaʻumaʻu crater are generating lava flows on the surface of the lava lake that was active until May 2021. USGS image. 

(Public domain.)

Color photograph of fissure eruption

At approximately 3:20 p.m. HST on September 29, 2021, an eruption began within Halemaʻumaʻu crater in Kīlauea’s summit caldera, within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Fissures opened to the east of the large island within the lava lake that was active in Halemaʻumaʻu crater from December 2020 until May 2021, and are generating lava flows on the surface of the older lava lake. At approximately 4:43 p.m. HST, another vent opened on the west wall of Halemaʻumaʻu crater, and is visible in the left side of this image. USGS image. 

(Public domain.)

Color photograph of tephra

The new eruption within Halema‘uma‘u crater at Kīlauea's summit is depositing tephra downwind of the erupting vents. Tephra is a term that describes products of an eruption that travel through the air before being deposited. Tephra products include cinder, pumice, Pele’s Hair and Pele’s tears, which form during lava fountaining, and are light weight and can be wafted downwind with the plume. USGS image. 

(Public domain.)

Color photograph of volcanic vent erupting

At approximately 4:43 p.m. HST on September 29, 2021, another vent opened on the west wall of Halemaʻumaʻu crater. This telephoto image shows the vent area and lava fountain through volcanic gas. USGS image. 

(Public domain.)

Color photograph of volcanic vents

At approximately 4:43 p.m. HST on September 29, 2021, another vent opened on the west wall of Halemaʻumaʻu crater, a little more than an hour after new fissure vents opened on the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu crater. By 5:09 p.m., when this photo was taken, the west wall vents had grown. These vents are located about 100 m (109 yd) south of the west vent that was active in Halemaʻumaʻu crater until May 2021. USGS image. 

(Public domain.)

An image of the new Kīlauea summit fissure eruption within Halema'uma'u crater taken at approximately 4:15 p.m. HST on September

An image of the new Kīlauea summit fissure eruption within Halema'uma'u crater taken at approximately 4:15 p.m. HST on September 29, 2021. This photo, taken from the western rim of Halema'uma'u, shows large amounts of volcanic gas—primarily water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), and sulfur dioxide (SO2)— which are continuously released during eruptions of Kīlauea volcano. High levels of volcanic gases are the primary hazard of concern, as this hazard can have far-reaching effects down-wind. USGS photo taken by D. Downs.

(Public domain.)

Color photograph of lava lake

An eruption began within Halemaʻumaʻu crater in Kīlauea’s summit caldera, within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, on September 29, 2021. Vigorous lava fountains formed in the middle part of the lava lake that was active in Halemaʻumaʻu crater from December 2020 until May 2021. The lava fountains fed lava flows that quickly covered the entire floor of Halemaʻumaʻu crater. USGS image. 

(Public domain.)

Color image of volcanic gas

The eruption that began today within Halemaʻumaʻu crater in Kīlauea’s summit caldera, within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, is generating a vigorous plume of volcanic gas. The volcanic gas, which includes sulfur dioxide (SO2), interacts in the atmosphere with oxygen, moisture, dust, and sunlight over minutes to days and forms volcanic air pollution, or VOG, which can be transported downwind. Vog Learn more about vog here: https://www.usgs.gov/observatories/hawaiian-volcano-observatory/frequent... image. 

(Public domain.)

This animated image (GIF) shows Kīlauea summit thermal webcam images from the F1cam taken between approximately 2:45 and 5:45 p

This annimated image (GIF) shows Kīlauea summit thermal webcam images from the F1cam taken between approximately 2:45 and 5:45 p.m. HST on September 29, 2021. The new Kīlauea summit eruption, which began within Halema'uma'u at approximately 3:20 p.m., is producing lava flows that have covered most of the December 2020-May 2021 lava. The solidified "lava island" from the last eruption is visible in the center (dark blue) and the top of the west vent, which is being drowned by the lava level rise, is visible in the lower center. In the thermal images, warmer colors are indicative of hotter temperatures and cooler colors are indicative of colder temperatures. USGS annimation by L. DeSmither.

(Public domain.)

A USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist takes video of the eruption that started within Halema'uma'u crater Kīlauea summit

A USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist takes video of the eruption that started within Halema'uma'u crater, Kīlauea summit, at about 3:20 p.m. on September 29, 2021. Scientists continue to monitor the eruption and hazards from within an area of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park that remains closed to the public due to safety reasons. USGS photo taken from the south rim of Halema'uma'u by D. Downs.

(Public domain.)