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January 4, 2022

A new 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 lava pond surrounded by hardened lava rock
During recent multi-day pauses in the ongoing Kīlauea summit eruption, a small portion of the Halemaʻumaʻu lava lake has consistently remained active: a small, ovular lava pond just north of the briefly dormant western fissure. This photo of the lava pond was captured on Thursday, December 30, through the lens of a laser rangefinder device, and the western fissure is just out of frame to the left. Measurements indicated that the lava pond measured approximately 30 meters (98 feet) from end to end at that time. On previous occasions when more vigorous eruptive activity resumed, new breakouts of lava from the fissure and upwelling lava from the pond have reactivated the nearby crusted-over lava lake (lower right). A vertical levee, standing approximately 4 meters (13 feet) tall, bounds the lake and far edge of the pond; distinctive layering in the levee wall marks earlier lava levels when the lake was more full. USGS photo by M. Zoeller.
Eruptive activity resumed today in Halema‘uma‘u crater, at the summit of Kīlauea volcano, after a brief pause of several days. This video shows spattering and lava effusion from the west vent, which has built a steep spatter cone.