Photo and Video Chronology – Kīlauea – March 5, 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 4, 2021 - Halema‘uma‘u lava lake
View of the lava lake from the west rim of Halema‘uma‘u, at the summit of Kīlauea, looking east. There is a small incandescent opening at the top of the west vent spatter cone (bottom-center). Volcanic gas emissions from the active west vent and are being transported to the southwest (bottom-right) by the wind. The western portion of the lava lake remains active, with small scale crustal foundering events. In this view, Pu‘u Pua‘i cinder cone is visible in the distance (top middle-left). USGS photo taken by N. Deligne on March 4, 2021.
The lava lake in Halema‘uma‘u crater remains active. This view looking to the northwest on Wednesday, March 4, 2021, focuses on the active portion of the lake; the eastern stagnant portion is out of view to the right. Lava enters the lake at the base of the western vent spatter cone (left). This photo was taken in an area of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park that remains closed to the public due to safety reasons. USGS photo by N. Deligne.
March 4, 2021 — Kīlauea summit overflight
HVO scientists conducted an overflight of Kīlauea's summit the morning of March 4 to document the ongoing eruption. No significant changes were observed—the vent in the northwest wall of Halema‘uma‘u continues to erupt and lava continues to slowly fill the crater. Laser rangefinder measurements from the morning of March 4 indicate that lava has filled about 220 meters (772 ft) of Halema‘uma‘u. Thermal and visual imagery collected during the overflight will be used to derive eruption rates and generate maps which will be posted to the HVO website Kīlauea map page (
https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/maps). USGS image by K. Mulliken on March 4, 2021.
In this view of Kīlauea Volcano's south caldera area, the margin of the 1982 lava flows are visible (right), as is a portion of Crater Rim Drive. During World War II, bulldozers were used to create mounds in an effort to prevent planes from landing in this area of Kīlauea. These mounds are visible in the lower-left side of this aerial photo, just beyond the 1982 lava flow edge. USGS image by K. Mulliken on March 4, 2021.
An aerial view of Pu‘u Pua‘i, Kīlauea Iki, and Kīlauea caldera. Though the eruption within Halema‘uma‘u isn't visible from this vantage point, the bluish-tinged plume of volcanic gasses is visible near the center of the photo. The most recent gas measurements, made on March 3, indicate that Kīlauea's summit is emitting approximately 1,000 tonnes per day of sulfur dioxide (SO2) as a result of the ongoing eruption. USGS image by K. Mulliken on March 4, 2021.
Another view of Kīlauea caldera, within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Ha‘akulamanu (Sulphur Banks) trail is visible in the foreground. The gas plume rising from Halema‘uma‘u in the background marks where the current eruption is taking place. Uēkahuna—the summit of Kīlauea—is visible in the upper right portion of the image. USGS image by K. Mulliken on March 4, 2021.
March 4, 2021 — Kīlauea middle East Rift Zone overflight
Subtle steaming was visible at Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō during HVO's overflight of Kīlauea on March 4, 2021. Steam is normally visible as the vent—which was active for more than 35 years—continues to cool, following the 2018 Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō collapse. The brown-colored tephra deposits (right) are from the high-fountaining phases early in the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō eruption, whereas the silver-grey lava overflows (left) later resurfaced the side of the vent. USGS image by K. Mulliken on March 4, 2021.
March 4, 2021 — Kīlauea lower East Rift Zone overflight
HVO's overflight today also included Kīlauea's lower East Rift Zone, where geologists continue to document and map the 2018 eruption deposits. Fissure 8, visible in the center of this photo, emits steam as this geologically-young feature continues to cool. Fissure 8 was recently officially named Ahu‘ailā‘au by the Hawaii Board on Geographic Names (
http://dbedt.hawaii.gov/blog/21-11/). According to the Hawaii Board on Geographic Names, the name was selected from dozens of community-submitted proposals and refers to the altar of the volcano deity ‘Ailā‘au. USGS image by K. Mulliken on March 4, 2021.
The fissure 8 lava flows of Kīlauea's 2018 lower East Rift Zone eruption meet the ocean at Pohoiki Bay, in the lower left corner of this image. Wave erosion of the 2018 lava flows along the coast contributes to sand accumulation that forms a beach at Pohoiki Bay. USGS image by K. Mulliken on March 4, 2021.
During the overflight of Kīlauea's lower East Rift Zone on March 4, HVO scientists documented different lava textures in the fissure 8 flow field that formed during the 2018 lower East Rift Zone eruption. This photo shows an area of fissure 8 flows near the ocean. Both rubbly ‘a‘ā (brownish black) and smooth pāhoehoe (grey) are visible. USGS image by K. Mulliken on March 4, 2021.
Steam was also visible in other portions of the 2018 eruption flow field, close to Kīlauea's East Rift Zone (bottom portion of image). As lava was flowing south towards the ocean in 2018, lava channels formed; these channels are visible as dark grey meandering lines in the image. Like water, lava flows along the path of least resistance downslope. USGS image by K. Mulliken on March 4, 2021.