Kīlauea summit eruption—brief lava breakout at the west vent

This sequence of four photos was taken from the south rim of Halema'uma'u looking to the northwest

Detailed Description

This sequence of four photos was taken from the south rim of Halema'uma'u looking to the northwest. It shows the brief (less than 20 minutes) changes in near-vent activity when a portion of the western vent spatter cone collapsed on January 13, 2021. The first photo was taken seconds after the collapse at 5:06 p.m., showing the main lava spillway. Three minutes later, at 5:09 p.m., a second vent to the east (right) sent a new lava stream down the side of the spatter cone. This ephemeral (short-lived) stream remained active until 5:25 p.m., with the waning stages shown in the bottom photos.

Two hours before this short-term change, HVO scientists had observed a small glowing hole at the source point of the ephemeral lava flow. Occasionally, a small amount of spatter would be ejected from this area, although no spatter was observed from there in the hour before this ephemeral lava flow began.

The three photos at 5:13 p.m., 5:25 p.m., and 5:27 p.m. show that lava from the brief flow created a small delta on the solidified rim of the lava lake.

HVO scientists continue to monitor the eruption within an area of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park that remains closed to the public for safety reasons.

USGS photos by N. Deligne.

Details

Image Dimensions: 6250 x 4167

Date Taken:

Location Taken: US