April 16, 2021: View of active western fissure in Halema‘uma‘u
This close-up of the erupting western fissure within Halema‘uma‘u was captured during a helicopter overflight of Kīlauea's summit on Friday, April 16. Favorable winds allowed geologists to photograph the eruption from unusual angles, and here the fissure is viewed from the north side. The portion of the fissure that was active through early March can be seen towards the upper-right, marked by red oxidized lava fragments. The presently active portion of the fissure, marked by the incandescence at center, is building a spatter cone that now stands approximately 15 m (49 ft) above the lava lake surface. The lava tube feeding the inlet to the lake (top) is believed to wrap around the spatter cone on the left side of this image, since a small lava breakout can be seen in the far lower-left. USGS image.