Kīlauea summit eruption four-month anniversary
April 20 was the four-month anniversary of Kīlauea's ongoing summit eruption in Halema‘uma‘u. This animated GIF features approximately one thermal image for each day of the eruption and demonstrates eruptive activity over the past four months. At 9:30 p.m. HST on December 20, 2020, vents opened in the northwest and north walls of Halema‘uma‘u, erupting lava and vaporizing the water lake that was at the base of Halema‘uma‘u. A lava lake quickly formed, which continues to fill Halema‘uma‘u crater. Within the first week of the eruption, activity became focused at the west vent area, where it continues today. Initially mobile islands became frozen as the eastern portion of the lava lake surface solidified, and the active western portion of the lava lake has slowly decreased in size as the eruption has progressed. Despite this, the entire lake surface rises as the eruption continues, indicating that the active western portion of the lake is hydraulically connected to the eastern portion beneath its solidified surface. The eastern portion remains molten beneath its surface, and lava occasionally oozes out along the perimeter of the lake as the surface slowly rises. Check the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory F1cam for live thermal images of the active lava lake within Halema‘uma‘u. With National Park Service permission, USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists continue to monitor this eruption from within the closed area of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. USGS GIF.