Halemaʻumaʻu lava pond on December 30, 2021
During recent multi-day pauses in the ongoing Kīlauea summit eruption, a small portion of the Halemaʻumaʻu lava lake has consistently remained active: a small, ovular lava pond just north of the briefly dormant western fissure. This photo of the lava pond was captured on Thursday, December 30, through the lens of a laser rangefinder device, and the western fissure is just out of frame to the left. Measurements indicated that the lava pond measured approximately 30 meters (98 feet) from end to end at that time. On previous occasions when more vigorous eruptive activity resumed, new breakouts of lava from the fissure and upwelling lava from the pond have reactivated the nearby crusted-over lava lake (lower right). A vertical levee, standing approximately 4 meters (13 feet) tall, bounds the lake and far edge of the pond; distinctive layering in the levee wall marks earlier lava levels when the lake was more full. USGS photo by M. Zoeller.