Photo and Video Chronology – Kīlauea – March 26, 2021
Kīlauea's summit eruption continues on the Island of Hawai‘i; the west vent in Halema‘uma‘u erupts 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 of Hawai&lsq
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.
March 26, 2021 - Halema‘uma‘u overflight and field observations
During today’s HVO helicopter overflight of the Kīlauea summit eruption, no major changes were observed. As the west vent continues to erupt lava into the active lava lake, volcanic gas emissions remain elevated, with a visible plume rising from the western vent (upper-right). The most recent SO2 emission rates were recorded on March 22 at about 950 t/d. USGS photo taken by L. DeSmither on March 26, 2021.
An aerial view of the western portion of the lava lake within Halema‘uma‘u crater at the summit of Kīlauea. The west vent (upper-right) continues to erupt lava into the perched active portion of the lava lake. The main island, which remains trapped in place by the solidified lava crust surrounding it, is visible at the bottom of the photo. USGS photo taken by L. DeSmither on March 26, 2021.
A telephoto view of the west vent within Halema‘uma‘u crater taken during a Hawaiian Volcano Observatory helicopter overflight of Kīlauea summit. The west vent continues to supply lava into the active western portion of the lava lake from two adjacent inlets at its base (center-left). A pile of rubble, from a partial collapse of the cone several weeks ago, remains on the solidified crust at the base of the cone (left). USGS photo taken by L. DeSmither on March 26, 2021.
A close-up aerial view of the southern active lava lake margin within Halema‘uma‘u crater, at Kīlauea summit. The formation of the levee containing the “perched” active lava lake (center to upper-right) is partially due to crustal plates from the active lake surface being pushed onto the rim of the lava lake. See the magnified image of the levee (lower-left) for a more detail view. Today, March 26, 2021, HVO geologists using a laser rangefinder, measured this section of the levee to be approximately 3 m (10 ft) high. USGS photo taken by L. DeSmither.
This figure shows a comparison of ongoing activity in Halema‘uma‘u, at the summit of Kīlauea, with a 2007 lava channel on Kīlauea's East Rift Zone. On the left, a photo shows the levee that is containing the active perched lava lake in Halema‘uma‘u. The levee is formed in part from rafted pieces of surface crust that are pushed onto the levee by the lake circulation, with the slabs of crust piling atop one another in a chaotic manner. On the right is a close-up of a portion of a levee from a large perched lava channel that formed northeast of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō, on Kīlauea's East Rift Zone, in late 2007. The levee here formed in a similar manner, and was composed, in part, from pieces of rafted surface crust. Glove for scale. USGS photos by L. Desmither and M. Patrick taken on March 26, 2021.
The eruption continues in Halema‘uma‘u crater at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano, with active surface lava confined to the western side of the crater. In this view, looking to the northwest, lake surface crust is foundering and a glimpse of incandescence is visible at the top of the cone near the crater wall (left side of the photo). USGS Photo by K. Lynn taken on the morning of March 26, 2021.
Morning light illuminates the active west vent spatter cones from the ongoing Halema‘uma‘u eruption at Kīlauea Volcano's summit on Friday, March 26, 2021. Several of the cones were actively degassing but no spatter or lava flows were observed. USGS Photo by K. Lynn.
March 25, 2021 - Halema‘uma‘u
This close-up view of the active western fissure in Halema‘uma‘u was captured on Thursday, March 25 through the lens of a laser rangefinder used by HVO scientists to measure distances to features within the crater. The long-dominant channel from the tallest part of the spatter cone down to the lava lake appeared to be inactive on Thursday, with all lava input to the lake originating from the crusted-over northeastern channel. This is evident by incandescence at the lake margin to the right. For scale, the tallest part of the spatter cone was measured to be standing approximately 22 m (72 ft) above the lava lake surface. USGS photo by M. Zoeller.