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In 2018, a large eruption from the lower East Rift Zone of Kīlauea partially drained the summit magma reservoir, which caused portions of the unsupported summit caldera floor to collapse. In the six years since then, Kaluapele has been host to an unprecedented water lake and several eruptions. 

The lower East Rift Zone eruption of Kīlauea began on May 3, 2018. Today marks the six-year anniversary since the start of that historic and devastating event. As 35.5 square kilometers (over 8,700 acres) in lower Puna was covered with lava (including 875 acres of new land created), the lava lake at the summit of Kīlauea drained and the summit collapsed incrementally. More than 60,000 earthquakes accompanied the summit collapse events, during which the caldera deepened by more than 500 meters (1600 feet). The volume of summit collapse was approximately half the volume of lava erupted in the lower East Rift Zone—approximately 0.8 cubic kilometers (0.2 cubic miles) of summit collapse compared to 1.5 cubic kilometer (0.4 cubic miles) of lava erupted.

This video summarizes changes to the summit of Kīlauea since the 2018 caldera collapse. In the year after the 2018 collapse, a water lake began to rise from the bottom. It evaporated during about 90 minutes when an eruption started in Halemaʻumaʻu crater on the night of December 20, 2020. This eruption was the first of several that have slowly refilled the caldera following its collapse in 2018.

Currently, the summit region of Kīlauea is showing signs of heightened unrest. Increased earthquake activity and ground deformation over the past week are reflective of increasing pressurization in the magmatic system underlying the Kīlauea summit region. No eruptive activity is occurring and current conditions are not indicative of an imminent eruption, but conditions could change rapidly. More information is available in the Information Statement published on May 2, 2024: 

Video Transcript

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