Kīlauea

Recent Eruption

Kīlauea volcano began erupting on September 29, 2021, at approximately 3:21 p.m. HST in Halema‘uma‘u crater. Lava continues to erupt from a single vent in the western wall of Halemaʻumaʻu crater. All lava activity is confined within Halemaʻumaʻu crater in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Seismicity and volcanic gas emission rates remain elevated.

Current Kīlauea Updates

Current Kīlauea Updates

See the most recent volcano update for Kīlauea.

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Photo & Video Chronology

Photo & Video Chronology

A series of posts showing photos and videos from Kīlauea. 

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Webcams

Webcams

Webcams show current conditions on Kīlauea.

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Color photograph of volcanic vent and bird

A Koa‘e Kea (white-tailed tropicbird) flies above the erupting west vent within Halema‘uma‘u crater, at the summit of Kīlauea. Photo taken from the south rim of Halema‘uma‘u at 10:41 a.m. HST on Oct. 8, 2021. USGS photo by J.M. Chang. 

(Credit: Julie Chang. Public domain.)

This is an exciting time on Kīlauea Volcano because lava has returned to the summit following the 2018 summit collapse. After the December 2020-May 2021 Halemaʻumaʻu eruption ended, Kīlauea summit region continued to slowly inflate. In August 2021, increased earthquake activity and patterns of ground deformation indicated that an intrusion was occurring and magma was moving into an area south of Kīlauea caldera. However, no eruption occurred, and the shallow Halemaʻumaʻu magma reservoir continued to measure inflation. On September 29, 2021, earthquake activity increased abruptly beneath Halemaʻumaʻu around 2 p.m. HST, and at 3:21 p.m. a series of vents opened in the floor and walls of Halemaʻumaʻu crater, generating a lava lake. This activity is ongoing, and Kīlauea daily updates are posted here

Preliminary Eruption Chronology

  • September 29, 2021, 3:21 p.m. HST - eruption begins as a series of fissure vents to the east of the large island that formed in the December 2020-May 2021 lava lake.
  • September 29, 2021, 4:43 p.m. HST - another vent opens in the west wall of Halemaʻumaʻu crater
  • October 4, 2021 - activity becomes focused at two vents: one in the western wall of Halemaʻumaʻu and one in the south central portion of the lava lake
  • October 6, 2021 - eastern portion of lava lake begins to stagnate and form a crust
  • October 7, 2021 - activity becomes focused at single vent on the western wall of Halemaʻumaʻu
before
after
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The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory KWcam at Kīlauea's summit has captured changes within Halemaʻumaʻu crater, at Kīlauea's summit, due to the eruption that began on September 29, 2021. At approximately 3:21 pm, HST, new fissures opened at the base of Halemaʻumaʻu crater. These fissures opened east of the large island near the center of the lava lake that was active within Halemaʻumaʻu crater from December 2020 until May 2021. The first image was taken on September 29, 2021, just before the eruption began; the second image was taken the morning of October 4, 2021, just before 6 a.m. HST and shows the continuing eruption and growing lava lake. Near-real-time images captured by the KWcam are available here: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/kwcam-live-panorama-halema-uma-u-.... USGS webcam images. 

Monitoring Lava Lake Depth

A continuous laser rangefinder was installed on the western rim of Halemaʻumaʻu crater within a closed area of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, under a National Park Service permit, on January 8, 2021. This instrument autonomously measures lava lake elevation in real time, using the light-reflecting properties of the lava surface.   

Graph of Halema‘uma‘u lava lake depth, Kīlauea volcano 09/2021 - present

Graph showing the depth of lava (in meters) in Halema‘uma‘u crater at Kīlauea volcano's summit, from September 2021 and on. On January 8, 2021, a novel laser rangefinder was stationed at Kīlauea volcano's summit. The fixed instrument continuously measures the distance to a location on the western lava lake surface, and telemeters data to HVO in real time. The raw data has been edited for this graph, with a running mean average filter of 3600 seconds. Variations in plotted depth can occur due to laser rangefinder returns on gas rather than the lava surface.

For reference, the base of Halema‘uma‘u after the 2018 collapse event is “zero” on this plot (equal to an elevation of 518 meters/1699 ft above sea level). Post-eruption analyses indicate that the December 2020–May 2021 lava lake filled the base of Halema‘uma‘u to a depth of 223 meters/732 ft (equal to an elevation of approximately 741 meters/2431 ft above sea level). The ongoing eruption is adding to that lava depth. Lava will overflow Halema‘uma‘u, onto the lowest down-dropped block, at a depth of 267 meters/876 ft (equal to an elevation of 790 meters/2592 ft above sea level).

(Public domain.)

Monitoring Kīlauea Summit Gas Emissions

Sulfur dioxide emission rates - Kīlauea summit - past year

Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission rates measured using an upward-looking ultraviolet spectrometer. These data are collected by traversing the gas plume in a vehicle, downwind of Halema‘uma‘u, generally within and south of Kīlauea Caldera. Results from multiple traverses during a day are averaged to yield the emission rates shown here. Successful measurements depend on wind, weather, and staff availability. Values are preliminary and are subject to revision.

(Public domain.)

See additional Kīlauea monitoring data

 

Lastest eruption maps

See additional maps on the Kīlauea Maps Page

Color eruption contour map of Kilauea summit October 14, 2021

This reference map depicts the ongoing Kīlauea summit eruption on October 14, 2021. Only one eruptive vent is active at this time, along the western edge of the rising lava lake. Similar to the last eruption, the eastern end of the lava lake has stagnated and solidified, and sits several yards (meters) lower than the still-active western end. Note that this map depicts contour elevations in feet, with the surface of the active lava lake now at approximately 2,575 ft (785 m) above sea level. At this time, active lava is visible from two public visitor overlooks in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park: a site along the trail between Kīlauea Overlook and Uēkahuna can see the southeastern edge of the lava lake, and a section of the Keanakāko‘i Overlook can see fountains at the eruptive vent. Visit the park eruption page for more info: https://go.nps.gov/new-eruption.

(Public domain.)

series of thermal maps depicts the development of the Halema‘uma‘u lava lake since the recent Kīlauea summit eruption started

This series of thermal maps depicts the development of the Halema‘uma‘u lava lake since the most recent Kīlauea summit eruption started in the afternoon of September 29, 2021. Between September 30 and October 1, the only substantial change was the deactivation of the eruptive vents within the central and southern parts of the lava lake. Approaching October 8, however, large sections of the lava lake surface began to stagnate and solidify, especially in the northeastern part of the lake. The only remaining active eruptive vent at this time is the west vent. USGS maps by M. Patrick.

(Public domain.)

Color image of lava lake temperature

This thermal image was taken during the September 30, 2021, morning overflight and looks west across Halema‘uma‘u crater, at the summit of Kīlauea. Several fountains are emerging through the active lake surface, in addition to fountaining on the west margin of the lake. The island remains near the center of the lake, and a small portion of the western cone, active during the previous eruption earlier this year, is still exposed. USGS image by M. Patrick.

(Public domain.)

 

Additional resources related to the eruption:

 

 

 

 

This eruption is taking place within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Please visit the Park website to learn more about their operations.