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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 2024
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

Kīlauea Information Statement — upper East Rift Zone intrusion ongoing

Kīlauea Information Statement — upper East Rift Zone intrusion ongoing

Kīlauea Volcano Activity Notice — Kīlauea upper East Rift Zone unrest has decreased in intensity; status is being lowered to YELLOW/ADVISORY.

Kīlauea Volcano Activity Notice — Kīlauea upper East Rift Zone unrest has decreased in intensity; status is being lowered to YELLOW/ADVISORY.

Kīlauea Volcano Activity Notice — Status Upgrade to WATCH/ORANGE, elevated unrest in the upper East Rift Zone

Kīlauea Volcano Activity Notice — Status Upgrade to WATCH/ORANGE, elevated unrest in the upper East 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

June 2024 Kīlauea Southwest Rift Zone Eruption

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

June 2024 Kīlauea Southwest Rift Zone 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

Eruption

Kīlauea is not currently erupting.
link

Eruption

Kīlauea is not currently erupting.
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

Multimedia

Color map showing ground deformation of volcano
July 24, 2024—InSAR image of Kīlauea ground deformation
July 24, 2024—InSAR image of Kīlauea ground deformation
Color photograph of ground deformation at a volcano
July 8, 2024—InSAR image of Kīlauea ground deformation
July 8, 2024—InSAR image of Kīlauea ground deformation
Color map showing the location that people reported earthquakes and with color denoting the intensity of shaking
The CIIM for the magnitude-4.1 earthquake on July 6, 2024, on the Island of Hawaiʻi
The CIIM for the magnitude-4.1 earthquake on July 6, 2024, on the Island of Hawaiʻi
Color photograph of ground cracks and sulfur deposits
July 3, 2024 — Ground cracks and sulfur deposits on the Southwest Rift Zone of Kīlauea
July 3, 2024 — Ground cracks and sulfur deposits on the Southwest Rift Zone of Kīlauea
Color photograph of scientist installing webcam
July 3, 2024 — Shifting webcam locations on Kīlauea's Southwest Rift Zone
July 3, 2024 — Shifting webcam locations on Kīlauea's Southwest Rift Zone
Color photograph of ground cracks with yellow suflur
July 3, 2024 — Kīlauea ground cracks and sulfur deposits
July 3, 2024 — Kīlauea ground cracks and sulfur deposits
Photo of ground cracks
July 3, 2024 — Kīlauea Southwest Rift Zone ground cracks
July 3, 2024 — Kīlauea Southwest Rift Zone ground cracks
Color photograph of sulfur crystals in ground crack
July 3, 2024 — Sulfur crystals on Kīlauea
July 3, 2024 — Sulfur crystals on Kīlauea
Color photograph of thermal area on volcano
Puhimau thermal area
Puhimau thermal area