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December 22, 2021

An eruption at Kīlauea's summit began at approximately 3:20 p.m. HST on September 29, 2021. Lava activity is currently confined within Halema‘uma‘u crater, in the closed area of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

HVO scientists collect detailed data to assess hazards and understand how the eruption is evolving at Kīlauea's summit, all of which are shared with the National Park Service and emergency managers. Access to this hazardous area is by permission from, and in coordination with, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

Color photo of a dark, cooled lava lake surface with light gas plumes
Activity was very low during the helicopter overflight of Halema‘uma‘u, at Kīlauea summit, on the morning of December 21. This view shows the west vent (near center) and the western part of the lava lake, where only a tiny portion of the surface was weakly active. The lava lake, which is in a state of pause, now has exposed walls due to a drop in the surface. USGS photo taken by D. Downs, looking west.
Color photo of dark, inactive lava lake with a light gas plume emitting from a volcanic vent
An aerial view of the western portion of Halema‘uma‘u, at Kīlauea summit, during the December 21 helicopter overflight. Eruptive activity is paused, and only a weak gas plume was being emitted from the west vent (center right). Just north of (below) the west vent, a tiny pad of lava remained weakly active within the lake. USGS photo taken by D. Downs.
Color photograph of a dark lava lake overflow onto a block of older brown lava
The lava lake within Halema‘uma‘u, at Kīlauea summit, has slowly continued to rise over the past month. As the lake level rises, lava has flowed onto the lowest part of the lowest down-dropped block (right) from the 2018 Kīlauea summit collapse. This photo is looking to the west with the lava flow continuing to make its way higher up the down-dropped block (bottom center) at the eastern end of the lava lake. USGS photo by D. Downs.