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Color photo of lava lake
December 23, 2020

Kīlauea summit eruption - December 23, 2020

Scientists continue to monitor the ongoing eruption in Kīlauea Volcano's summit caldera, Island of Hawai‘i. This photo, from the south rim of Halema‘uma‘u crater and looking north, shows the volcanic gas plume heading west. USGS photo by M. Patrick. 

Color photograph of scientists monitoring lava lake
December 23, 2020

Monitoring Kīlauea's new summit lava lake

A helicopter overflight yesterday (Dec. 22, 2020) at approximately ~11:30 AM HST allowed for aerial visual and thermal imagery to be collected, which was used to map the area of Kīlauea's growing summit lava lake in Halema‘uma‘u crater. As of yesterday afternoon, the lake is over 690 m (yd) E-W axis and 410 m (yd) in N-S axis. The lake area is more than 22 

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Color graphic of lava lake rise
December 23, 2020

Tracking the lava lake in Halema‘uma‘u

Plot showing rise of Kīlauea's summit lava lake since the eruption in Halema‘uma‘u began on December 20 at 9:30 p.m. Since then, laser rangefinder measurements of lava lake surface are made 2–3 times per day. Photos compare the lava lake on the morning of Dec. 21, when it was about 289 ft (87 m) deep, to the evening of Dec. 23 when it was about 511 ft (155 m) deep. For

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Graph showing depth of Halemaumau lava lake, Kilauea volcano
December 23, 2020

Graph showing depth of Halema‘uma‘u lava lake, Kīlauea volcano

Graph showing the depth of the Halema‘uma‘u crater lava lake at Kīlauea Volcano's summit. HVO scientists measure the Kīlauea summit lava level using a small laser rangefinder mounted on a tripod. Measurements began one day after the start of the eruption on December 20, 2020 and are updated by geologists making observations from the field. HVO field crews use a laser range

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Color thermal map of lava lake
December 23, 2020

December 23, 2020—Kīlauea summit eruption thermal map constructed from

A helicopter overflight yesterday (Dec. 23, 2020) at approximately ~10:30 AM HST allowed for aerial visual and thermal imagery to be collected of the new eruption within Halema'uma'u crater at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano. This preliminary thermal map shows that the new lava lake is 715 m (780 yd) E-W axis and 460 m (500 yd) in N-S axis. The most recent estimate of lake

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December 23, 2020

Halema'uma'u Lava Lake Fills from Two Spatter and Fountain Sources

23 December 2020 - Kīlauea Volcano US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Clip 1: A mid-day helicopter overflight provided aerial views of the eruption in Halema'uma'u crater. This video shows two active fissures erupting lava into a growing lava lake. Visual and thermal images collected during the overflight are used to map the ongoing activity. Clip 2: Three

Color thermal map of lava lake
December 22, 2020

December 22, 2020—Kīlauea summit eruption thermal map

A helicopter overflight today (Dec. 22, 2020) at approximately ~11:30 AM HST allowed for aerial visual and thermal imagery to be collected of the new eruption within Halema'uma'u crater at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano. This preliminary thermal map shows that the new lava lake is 690 m (yd) E-W axis and 410 m (yd) in N-S axis. The lake area is about 22 hectares (54 acres

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December 22, 2020

Fissure Activity Within Halema‘uma‘u Crater, Kīlauea Volcano

 Telephoto videos capture fissure activity within Halema‘uma‘u crater on December 22, 2020, at approximately 3:35 PM HST. (1) The first video shows the main northern fissure. The lava fountains have built up a horseshoe-shaped spatter cone (dark in color) around the perimeter of the vent. (2) 2) The second video shows the smaller western fissure. This fissure feeds a small

December 22, 2020

Overnight Fissure Activity Halema‘uma‘u Crater, Kīlauea

Two fissure vents feed a growing lava lake at the bottom of Halema‘uma‘u crater. A preliminary calculation of volume suggests that since the start of the eruption on December 20, 2020, approximately 8-10 million cubic meters of lava have been erupted. This is equivalent to over 2 billion gallons, the volume of 3,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

December 22, 2020

Fissures, Lava Lake, Wind Vortex at Halema‘uma‘u, Kīlauea

Fissures Feed a Lava Lake at Halema'uma'u, at Kīlauea Volcano's Summit. Since fissures opened on December 20, 2020 in Halema'uma'u crater, USGS–Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists have maintained a 24-hour watch from the rim, taking measurements and making visual observations. This video captures fountaining activity at the two active vents during the early morning

Color photograph of eruption plume
December 22, 2020

Kīlauea summit Volcano's eruption within Halema‘uma‘u crater

Aerial imagery collected during a USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory overflight at approximately 11:35 a.m. HST. The plume from the ongoing eruption rises above the Kīlauea Volcano's summit, within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Ha‘akulamanu (Sulphur Banks) is visible in the foreground. USGS photo. 

Color photograph of fissure
December 22, 2020

Halema‘uma‘u crater fissure

Aerial imagery collected during a USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory overflight at approximately 11:35 a.m. HST. This photo shows the western, weaker of the two active fissures in Kīlauea Volcano's ongoing summit eruption in Halema‘uma‘u crater. USGS photo.