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January 1, 2021

Eruption and Lava Lake in Halema'uma'u (Jan 1, 2021)

Videos of the eruption and lava lake in Halema‘uma‘u on January 1, 2021.

  • Clip 1: Halema‘uma‘u west vents and lava entering the lava lake at approximately 5:30 p.m. HST.
  • Clip 2: Telephoto view of lava from Halema‘uma‘u west vents entering the lava lake at approximately 5 p.m. HST.
  • Clip 3: The lava lake overflows onto a lower edge along the
Color photograph of lava lake
January 1, 2021

Halema‘uma‘u lava lake beginning to perch

Over the past week, the lava lake in Halema‘uma‘u has developed a subtle levee around its perimeter that allows the lake to be slightly perched above its base, like a mesa. The levees grow from repeated small overflows, and the rafting and piling of pieces of surface crust that fuse together into a barrier that impounds the fluid lake. This is called a "perched" lava lake

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Color photograph of lava lake surface
January 1, 2021

Kīlauea eruption in Halema‘uma‘u on Jan. 1, 2021

Kīlauea eruption in Halema‘uma‘u on Jan. 1, 2021. The channel-like feature remains visible on the lava lake surface within Halemaʻumaʻu crater at Kīlauea Volcano's summit. This feature originates from the influx of lava from the western fissure. USGS photo by M. Patrick. 

Color photograph of road damaged by earthquakes
January 1, 2021

Scientists deploy temporary seismic instruments at Kīlauea on 1/1/2021

On January 1, 2021, with permission from Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, HVO researchers set up temporary seismic instruments around Halema‘uma‘u crater to collect data that will help them learn more about how magma travels in the shallow magmatic plumbing system beneath Kīlauea Volcano. In this photo, the field crew hikes along a portion of Crater Rim Drive road that was

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Color photograph of lava lake crust
January 1, 2021

Kīlauea eruption in Halema‘uma‘u on Jan. 1, 2021

Kīlauea's summit lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu is continually re-surfacing. Like the 2008-2018 lava lake, the current lava lake is exhibiting crustal foundering, when fragments of solidified lava crust on the surface break and sink back into the liquid portion.  USGS photo by M. Patrick. 

Color photograph of scientist installing instrument in field
January 1, 2021

Scientists deploy temporary seismic instruments at Kīlauea on 1/1/2021

Within an hour of the Kīlauea summit eruption starting on December 20, 2020, HVO's permanent seismic network detected a signal called volcanic tremor. This tremor signal has been continuous since that time, creating an uninterrupted signal that travels through the subsurface as magma degasses and erupts from vents to fill a lava lake at the summit.  This photo shows a an

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Color photograph of lava lake crust
January 1, 2021

Kīlauea eruption in Halema‘uma‘u on Jan. 1, 2021

Kīlauea's summit lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu continues to re-surface. This process is called crustal foundering, in which pieces of solidified lava crust on the surface of the lava lake break and sink back into the liquid portion. USGS photo by M. Patrick. 

Color photograph of scientist installing instrument in field
January 1, 2021

Scientists deploy temporary seismic instruments at Kīlauea on 1/1/2021

With the onset of the eruption at Kīlauea summit on December 20, 2020, the HVO monitoring network has been recording volcanic tremor, a signal that travels through the subsurface as magma degasses and erupts from vents to fill a lava lake at the summit. Since the signal is continuous, it can be used to track the migration and storage of magma in Kīlauea's shallow volcanic

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Color photograph of lava lake
January 1, 2021

Kīlauea summit eruption - Jan. 1, 2021 at 6:30 a.m. HST

The KW webcam captured this image of Kīlauea's ongoing summit eruption, which continued overnight. The KW webcam looks in an east direction; north is to the left in the photo, south to the right, west to the bottom, and east to the top. This photo, taken at 6:30 a.m. HST on January 1, 2021, shows that the west vent (bottom of photo) remains active. You can view live KW

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Color photograph of lava lake margin
January 1, 2021

Kīlauea eruption in Halema‘uma‘u on Jan. 1, 2021

The margins of the lava lake in Halema‘uma‘u are showing a subtle levee around the perimeter. The levees grow from repeated small overflows, and the rafting and piling of pieces of surface crust that fuse together into a barrier that impounds the lake. This results in a "perched" lava lake, and this geometry has been common for lava lakes at Kīlauea's summit and rift zones

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Color photograph of scientist deploying instrument in field
January 1, 2021

Scientists deploy instruments at Kīlauea summit - 1/1/2021

HVO field crews deployed a dense network of temporary seismic instruments at Kīlauea’s summit on January 1, 2021, and with permission from Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. The temporary instruments supplement data already being collected by HVO's permanent seismic network and will help to track the migration and storage of magma in the shallow volcanic plumbing system

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Map of seismicity in the Yellowstone region during 2020
January 1, 2021

Map of seismicity in the Yellowstone region during 2020

Map of seismicity (red circles) in the Yellowstone region during 2020. Gray lines are roads, red line shows the caldera boundary, Yellowstone National Park is outlined by black dashed line, and gray dashed lines denote state boundaries.