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Kīlauea

Find U.S. Volcano

The eruption that began on Monday, June 3, southwest of Kaluapele (Kīlauea caldera) within Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park has ended.

Quick Facts

Location: Island of Hawai‘i
Latitude: 19.421° N
Longitude: 155.287° W
Elevation: 1,222 (m) 4,009 (f)
Volcano type: Shield
Composition: Basalt
Most recent eruption: June 2023
Nearby towns: Volcano, Pāhoa, Kalapana, Mountain View
Threat Potential: Very High*

*based on the National Volcano Early Warning System

Summary

Topographically Kīlauea appears as only a bulge on the southeastern flank of Mauna Loa, and so for many years Kīlauea was thought to be a mere satellite of its giant neighbor, not a separate volcano. However, research over the past few decades shows clearly that Kīlauea has its own magma-plumbing system, extending to the surface from more than 60 km deep in the earth.

In fact, the summit of Kīlauea lies on a curving line of volcanoes that includes Mauna Kea and Kohala and excludes Mauna Loa. In other words, Kīlauea is to Mauna Kea as Kama‘ehuakanaloa (formerly Lō‘ihi) is to Mauna Loa. Hawaiians used the word Kīlauea only for the summit caldera, but earth scientists and, over time, popular usage have extended the name to include the entire volcano.

Kīlauea is the home of Pele, the Hawaiian volcano goddess. Hawaiian chants and oral traditions tell in veiled form of many eruptions fomented by an angry Pele before the first European, the missionary Rev. William Ellis, saw the summit in 1823. The caldera was the site of nearly continuous activity during the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century. Kīlauea ranks among the world's most active volcanoes and may even top the list.

Since 1952, Kīlauea has erupted dozens of times. From 1983 to 2018 eruptive activity was nearly continuous along the volcano's East Rift Zone. At the summit, a vent within Halema‘uma‘u hosted an active lava pond and vigorous gas plume from 2008 to 2018. In 2018, the decades-long continuous activity on the East Rift Zone ended, and the summit lava lake drained following an intrusion into, and eruption from, Kīlauea's lower East Rift Zone. Several summit eruptions since December 2020 created lava lakes within Halema‘uma‘u crater, which have been slowly filling the collapsed area that formed in 2018.

News

Volcano Watch — Petrologists gather to discuss challenges and goals in understanding Kīlauea chemistry

Volcano Watch — Petrologists gather to discuss challenges and goals in understanding Kīlauea chemistry

Volcano Watch — A decade later, remembering the Pāhoa lava flow crisis

Volcano Watch — A decade later, remembering the Pāhoa lava flow crisis

Photo and Video Chronology - Images of the June 3 fissure eruption from Kīlauea's Southwest Rift Zone

Photo and Video Chronology - Images of the June 3 fissure eruption from Kīlauea's Southwest Rift Zone

Publications

The 2018 eruption of Kīlauea: Insights, puzzles, and opportunities for volcano science

The science of volcanology advances disproportionately during exceptionally large or well-observed eruptions. The 2018 eruption of Kīlauea Volcano (Hawai‘i) was its most impactful in centuries, involving an outpouring of more than one cubic kilometer of basalt, a magnitude 7 flank earthquake, and the volcano’s largest summit collapse since at least the nineteenth century. Eruptive activity was doc
Authors
Kyle R. Anderson, Tom Shea, Kendra J. Lynn, Emily Montgomery-Brown, Donald A. Swanson, Matthew R. Patrick, Brian Shiro, Christina A. Neal

Modeling the occurrence of M ∼ 5 caldera collapse-related earthquakes in Kīlauea volcano, Hawai'i

During the 2018 Kīlauea eruption and caldera collapse, M ∼ 5 caldera collapse earthquakes occurred almost daily from mid-May until the beginning of August. While caldera collapses happen infrequently, the collapse-related seismicity damaged nearby structures, and so these events should be included in a complete seismic hazard assessment. Here, we present an approach to forecast the seismic hazard
Authors
Andrea L. Llenos, Andrew J. Michael

2018 update to the U.S. Geological Survey national volcanic threat assessment

When erupting, all volcanoes pose a degree of risk to people and infrastructure, however, the risks are not equivalent from one volcano to another because of differences in eruptive style and geographic location. Assessing the relative threats posed by U.S. volcanoes identifies which volcanoes warrant the greatest risk-mitigation efforts by the U.S. Geological Survey and its partners. This update

Authors
John W. Ewert, Angela K. Diefenbach, David W. Ramsey

Science

Recent Eruption

Kīlauea erupted briefly on Monday, June 3, southwest of Kaluapele (Kīlauea caldera) within the closed area of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park.
link

Recent Eruption

Kīlauea erupted briefly on Monday, June 3, southwest of Kaluapele (Kīlauea caldera) within the closed area of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park.
Learn More

Monitoring Data for Kīlauea

For more information on how electronic tiltmeters and GPS receivers help monitor the deformation of Kīlauea Volcano, see the HVO Deformation page.
link

Monitoring Data for Kīlauea

For more information on how electronic tiltmeters and GPS receivers help monitor the deformation of Kīlauea Volcano, see the HVO Deformation page.
Learn More

Past Week Monitoring Data for Kīlauea

This page presents Kīlauea monitoring data collected over the past week, including summit lava lake level, earthquake rates, locations, and depths, and ground deformation data.
link

Past Week Monitoring Data for Kīlauea

This page presents Kīlauea monitoring data collected over the past week, including summit lava lake level, earthquake rates, locations, and depths, and ground deformation data.
Learn More

Multimedia

Color image showing deformation at summit of volcano
June 13, 2024—InSAR image of deformation following Kīlauea Southwest Rift Zone eruption
June 13, 2024—InSAR image of deformation following Kīlauea Southwest Rift Zone eruption
Color map showing ground deformation on volcano
June 6, 2024—InSAR image of deformation during Kīlauea Southwest Rift Zone eruption
June 6, 2024—InSAR image of deformation during Kīlauea Southwest Rift Zone eruption
Color map of recent lava flows
June 6, 2024 — Kīlauea Southwest Rift Zone eruption
June 6, 2024 — Kīlauea Southwest Rift Zone eruption
Color photograph of gound cracks on ash covered surface
June 6, 2024 — Cracks formed around recent Kīlauea Southwest Rift Zone eruption fissures
June 6, 2024 — Cracks formed around recent Kīlauea Southwest Rift Zone eruption fissures
Color photograph of ground cracks
June 6, 2024 — Cracks formed around recent Kīlauea eruption site
June 6, 2024 — Cracks formed around recent Kīlauea eruption site
Color photograph of lava flow and volcanic gas
June 6, 2024 — Aerial overview of inactive Fissures 3 and 4 on the Southwest Rift Zone of Kīlauea
June 6, 2024 — Aerial overview of inactive Fissures 3 and 4 on the Southwest Rift Zone of Kīlauea
Color photograph of seismometer buried in the ground
June 6, 2024 — New seismometer at station KOSM on the Southwest Rift Zone of Kīlauea
June 6, 2024 — New seismometer at station KOSM on the Southwest Rift Zone of Kīlauea
Color photograph of seismometer buried in the ground
June 6, 2024 — New seismometer at station KOSM on the Southwest Rift Zone of Kīlauea
June 6, 2024 — New seismometer at station KOSM on the Southwest Rift Zone of Kīlauea
Color photograph of field engineers installing new instrumentation
June 6, 2024 — Installing a new seismometer on Kīlauea Southwest Rift Zone
June 6, 2024 — Installing a new seismometer on Kīlauea Southwest Rift Zone