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Photo and Video Chronology – Kīlauea – January 20, 2021

January 20, 2021

The eruption in Halema‘uma‘u at Kīlauea's summit on the Island of Hawai‘i continues, with the west vent erupting lava into the lava lake. Gas emissions and seismic activity at the summit remain elevated. HVO field crews—equipped with specialized safety gear and PPE—monitor the current eruption from within the closed area&nbs

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 photograph of lava lake
This photo, taken at just after 6 p.m. HST on January 19, shows that the western fissure continues to send lava into Halemʻaumaʻu crater through an open channel into the lava lake. The western side of the lava lake has an incandescent surface, while the eastern portion is more crusted over. However, lava continues to flow beneath this eastern portion, supplying breakouts visible as incandescent regions on the northeastern and eastern margins of the lava lake. Photo taken from the south rim of Halemʻaumaʻu at Kīlauea's summit, and faces northwest.  USGS photo by. H. Dietterich.
Color photographs of volcanic vent
The western fissure at Kīlauea's summit continues to send lava into Halemʻaumaʻu crater through an open channel into the lava lake. Around sunset on the evening of January 19, field crews observed a minor collapse event of the spatter rampart on its northern rim and the channel margins at 5:46 p.m. HST. Times are indicated on each photo; the first image shows a "before" view and the second is from just after the collapse. The final two images show the slow destabilization and movement of a portion of the remaining cone flank that was surrounded by incandescence. Photo taken from the south rim of Halemʻaumaʻu and looks northwest. USGS photo by H. Dietterich.