Volcano Hazards Program Office

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Color photograph of volcanic vent
January 1, 2021

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

Telephoto view of the west vent area in Halema‘uma‘u, Kīlauea Volcano. The west vents are in the northwestern wall of Halema‘uma‘u crater; intermittent spattering at the vents has constructed a perched pointed cone on the crater wall. USGS photo by M. Patrick. 

Color photograph of volcanic vent
January 1, 2021

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

Another telephoto view of the west vent area in Halema‘uma‘u, Kīlauea Volcano. The west vents are in the northwestern wall of Halema‘uma‘u crater; intermittent spattering at the vents has constructed a perched pointed cone on the crater wall. USGS photo by M. Patrick. 

Color photograph of lava lake
January 1, 2021

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

The western portion of the lava lake in Halema‘uma‘u, Kīlauea Volcano summit. The island has migrated closer to the west vent area, which remains active. USGS photo by M. Patrick. 

Experimental apparatus for reacting hot water and rhyolite
January 1, 2021

Experimental apparatus for reacting hot water and rhyolite

Experimental apparatus for reacting hot water and rhyolite. The photo on the left shows the inert gold bags into which the rhyolite fragments and water were inserted. After being sealed, the gold bag is then placed into a steel pressure vessel, which itself is loaded into a furnace (photo on the right). The furnace is connected through several wires to a controller that

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Color map of volcano
December 31, 2020

December 31, 2020—Kīlauea summit eruption contour map

This map of Halema‘uma‘u at the summit of Kīlauea shows 20 m (66 ft) contour lines (dark gray) that mark locations of equal elevation above sea level (asl). The map shows that the lava lake (approximate area marked in red) has filled 184 m (603 ft) of Halema‘uma‘u since the eruption began at approximately 9:30 p.m. HST on December 20, 2020. USGS map. 

Color photograph of lava lake crust
December 31, 2020

December 31, 2020—Kīlauea summit eruption

Kīlauea's summit lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu is continually re-surfacing. HVO geologists monitoring the activity in the field have observed 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 on 12/31/2020. 

Color photograph of lava lake crust
December 31, 2020

December 31, 2020—Kīlauea summit eruption

Kīlauea's summit lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu is continually re-surfacing. HVO geologists monitoring the activity in the field have observed 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 on 12/31/2020. 

Color photograph of volcanic vent
December 31, 2020

December 31, 2020—Kīlauea summit eruption

The western fissure in Halemaʻumaʻu wall remains active. Glowing vents and a prominent spatter cone are visible in this photo. This view looks steeply down from Kīlauea's west caldera rim, and the lava lake surface is visible in the background. USGS photo by M. Patrick on 12/31/2020. 

Color photograph of lava lake crust
December 31, 2020

December 31, 2020—Kīlauea summit eruption

The view from Kīlauea Volcano's western caldera rim shows the eastern portion of the lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu crater. The main island is visible in the bottom of the photograph, and smaller islands can be seen above it (to the east). USGS photo by M. Patrick on 12/31/2020. 

Color photograph of lava lake crust
December 31, 2020

December 31, 2020—Kīlauea summit eruption

A channel-like feature is 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, just out of view on the bottom of the photograph. USGS photo by M. Patrick on 12/31/2020. 

Color photograph of lava lake crust
December 31, 2020

December 31, 2020—Kīlauea summit eruption

View of the northern portion of the lava lake within Halemaʻumaʻu crater at Kīlauea Volcano's summit. Smaller islands present in the northeastern portion of the lava lake are visible. USGS photo by M. Patrick on 12/31/2020. 

Color photograph of lava lake crust
December 31, 2020

December 31, 2020—Kīlauea summit eruption

View of the northern portion of the lava lake within Halemaʻumaʻu crater at Kīlauea Volcano's summit. Smaller islands present in the northeastern portion of the lava lake are visible. USGS photo by M. Patrick on 12/31/2020. USGS photo by M. Patrick on 12/31/2020.