December 26, 2020—Kīlauea summit topographic changes

Graphic showing digital elevation models and profiles

Detailed Description

This graphic depicts the changes to Kīlauea Volcano's summit resulting from the eruption that began on December 20, 2020. Pre-eruption topography of Halema'uma'u crater, collected in 2019, is shown on the left and compared to the topography at the summit on December 26, 2020. The models show that the deepest portion of Halema'uma'u at Kīlauea Volcano's summit has been filled with a lava lake. The eruptive vents, both active and inactive, are evident on the wall of Halema'uma'u, as are the "islands" that migrate on the lava lake surface. The December 26, 2020, Digital Elevation Model (DEM) was created from aerial imagery collected that day during an overflight of Kīlauea Volcano's summit at approximately 10:00 a.m. HST. Since then, the lava lake level has not varied greatly. As of 11:30 a.m. HST on December 28, 2020, the lava lake level is 179 m (588 ft) deep. December 26 DEM by B. Carr. Graphic by K. Mulliken. 


Image Dimensions: 3300 x 2550

Date Taken:

Location Taken: US