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Photo and Video Chronology – Kīlauea – October 15, 2021

October 15, 2021

The ongoing eruption at Kīlauea's summit began at 3:21 p.m. HST on September 29, 2021. Lava activity is currently confined within Halema'uma'u crater. Gas emissions and seismic activity at the summit remain elevated. HVO field crews—equipped with specialized safety gear—monitor the eruption from within the closed area of Hawai‘i Volc

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.


Eruption in Halema'uma'u — October 15, 2021

A wide view of a lava lake within Halemaumau crater
This overview photo of the Halema‘uma‘u lava lake was captured around noon on Friday, October 15, 2021, from the northwest rim of the crater. The western fissure (lower right) continues to erupt lava into the west side of the lava lake (right). The east side of the lake (left) is mostly stagnated and solidified on the surface. The lava lake measures approximately 1,035 m (3,396 ft) long in the east–west direction and 745 m (2,444 ft) wide in the north–south direction. USGS photo taken by M. Zoeller.
Color photo of a lava lake in halema'uma'u crater with a gas plume emitted from a fissure vent
The Kīlauea summit eruption continues within Halema‘uma‘u, in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. This photo of the lava lake was taken this morning, October 15, 2021, during a Hawaiian Volcano Observatory eruption overflight. The vent in the western crater wall (center) continues to supply lava into the lava lake. SO2 gas emission rates remain elevated and were measured at approximately 5,400 tonnes per day on October 14. Mauna Loa is in the background. USGS photo by N. Deligne.
Color photograph of the lava lake in Halema'uma'u
The eruption within Halema‘uma‘u continues. Lava fountaining from the western vent (center) feeds a rising lava lake. Activity has decreased over the past week and much of the eastern half of the lake surface (seen here in the foreground) has cooled and formed a solid crust. Lava from the active western lake surface occasionally flows over this crust on the north and south sides of the lake. USGS photo taken on October 15 by B. Carr.
Telephoto color image of a lava fountain within a black spatter cone
A close-up view of the west vent on the western crater wall of Halema‘uma‘u, at Kīlauea summit. Fountaining and lava spatter has built a cone around the vent. Lava pools in the cone and then pours into the lava lake through a small spillway. This photo was taken during a monitoring helicopter overflight on October 15, 2021. USGS photo by N. Deligne.
Color photo of the Halema'uma'u lava lake and west vent fissure with a small lava fountain inside the cone
In this photo taken during a helicopter overflight of Halema‘uma‘u crater on October 15, lava can be seen fountaining within the western vent cone and flowing down a short spillway into the lava lake. The main island created in the initial stages of the Dec. 2020–May 2021 eruption is in the foreground and continues to rise with the lake surface. The remains of the west vent from the previous eruption can also be seen on the right side of the image. USGS photo by B. Carr.
Color photo of a lava fountain within a black spatter cone at the edge of a lava lake
A telephoto view of the west vent supplying lava to the lava lake in Halema‘uma‘u, at Kīlauea summit. In the bottom right, the western fissure complex from the Dec. 2020–May 2021 eruption is visible as a spiny dull dark brown and red feature. The old fissure has been lifted up by the current lava lake, and appears to be floating on the surface (similar to how an iceberg floats in the ocean). This photo was taken during a Hawaiian Volcano Observatory helicopter overflight on October 15 2021. USGS photo by N. Deligne.
Color photograph looking into the west vent spatter cone with a small lava fountain in the center
A telephoto image of the the west vent taken on the morning of October 15, during an HVO helicopter overflight of Kīlauea summit. Low lava fountaining activity continues from the vent in the western wall of Halema‘uma‘u. The lava within the surrounding spatter cone is ponded at a higher elevation than the lava lake surface (shiny silver texture in foreground).The lava flows down a short spillway through a gap in the cone, and into the lake. For scale, the maximum height of the cone above the lake surface is 25–30 meters (about 80–100 ft). USGS photo taken by B. Carr.
Color photo of a scientist taking photos from a helicopter
Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists make observations and collect data during Kīlauea eruption overflights. The data collected is used to construct updated topographic and thermal maps of the lava lake surface and surrounding area. By comparing the updated maps to previous maps, scientists will be able to track changes in the volume, surface elevation, eruption features, and thermal changes. USGS photo taken during the October 15 overflight by N. Deligne.

 Eruption in Halema'uma'u — October 14, 2021

A color photo looking down at a small lava fountain surrounded by a spatter cone
A close-up photo of the vent in the western wall of Halema‘uma‘u, taken during the ongoing eruption at Kīlauea summit. The top of the 5–6 m (16–20 ft) tall lava fountain could be seen from the west crater rim on October 14, at 2:05 p.m. The lava fountains continue to build up a spatter cone around the vent. Ponded lava within the cone—which is about 1 m (3 ft) higher than the level of the lava lake—flows through a narrow spillway into the lake. USGS photo taken by C. Parcheta.


Eruption in Halema'uma'u — October 12, 2021

The eruption continues within Halema‘uma‘u crater, at the summit of Kīlauea. The western vent supplies lava into the lava lake through a short spillway. Consistent fountain heights of 10–15 meters (30–50 ft) were interrupted by frequent larger busts of spatter exceeding the height of the cone (30 m or 100 ft). 
Lava continues to erupt from the western vent in Halema‘uma‘u. On October 12, a short-lived vent (erupting for approximately 10 hours) was present to the north of the main vent (right). Lava fountaining from the main vent was 10–15 meters (30–50 ft) above the lake surface, with larger bursts exceeding the height of the cone (30 meters or 100 ft). Fountaining at the smaller vent to the north was about 3 meters (10 ft), with spatter reaching 10–15 meters. 

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