Lava Returns to Halema'uma'u: Timelapse Captures, December 20-21, 2020
Lava Returns to Halema'uma'u, as captured in this timelapse from the K2cam, located at the HVO Observation Tower (Kīlauea Volcano). Timelapse is from December 20, 2020, 5:50 a.m. to December 21, 2020, 11:57 p.m. The K2cam is a research camera mounted in the observation tower at the previous Hawaiian Volcano Observatory building on the rim of Kīlauea caldera within Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. The camera is looking SSE towards the southern wall of the 2018 collapsed Halema'uma'u, 1.9 km (1.2 miles) from the webcam. On December 20, 2020, the eruption was preceded by an earthquake swarm beneath the summit, around 8:30 p.m. HST. This video shows the bright glow and vigorous steam plume, generated by the boiling water lake in Halema'uma'u, that was observed on HVO webcams beginning approximately 9:30 p.m. HST on December 20. HVO scientists responded immediately and visually confirmed from the field that lava was visible within Halema'uma'u. The steam plume dissipated shortly thereafter. Several fissures opened in the north and northwest walls of Halema'uma'u. As streams of lava fed by fountaining vents in the crater walls filled the space where the water once pooled, the summit water lake was replaced by a lava lake.