Kīlauea eruption update: Multiple lava fountains at caldera continue to be active
The eruption of Kīlauea continues to be confined to Halemaʻumaʻu crater with multiple minor fountains active on the southwestern Halema‘uma‘u crater floor and the vent on the southwest wall of the caldera, which continues to feed lava onto the westernmost part of the crater floor.
Lava fountain heights have decreased since the eruption onset, but remain up to about 30 feet high. Active lava and vents cover much of the west half of Halemaʻumaʻu crater in a broad horseshoe around a central uplifted area. An active lava lake is centered within the uplifted area and is fed by a vent in its northeast corner.
This feature is the “western lava lake” from prior eruptions that has been reactivated along with a smaller circular pool just southeast of the lake. All previously active lava features in the eastern portion of Halemaʻumaʻu now appear to be stagnant. A live-stream video of the crater is available here.
According to Hawai‘i Volcano Observatory, no unusual activity has been noted along Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone or Southwest Rift Zone. However, steady rates of ground deformation and seismicity continue along both. Measurements from continuous gas monitoring stations in the middle East Rift Zone—the site of 1983–2018 eruptive activity—remain below detection limits for SO2.
Summit tilt has remained deflationary over the past 24 hours. Summit seismic activity is dominated by eruptive tremor (a signal associated with fluid movement). Volcanic gas emissions in the eruption area are elevated; a sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission rate of approximately 8,900 tonnes per day was measured Saturday.
The eruption at Kīlauea’s summit is occurring within a closed area of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. High levels of volcanic gas—primarily water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), and sulfur dioxide (SO2)—are the primary hazard of concern, as this hazard can have far-reaching effects down-wind. As SO2 is continuously released from the summit during the eruption, it will react in the atmosphere to create the visible haze known as vog (volcanic smog) downwind of Kīlauea. Vog information can be found at https://vog.ivhhn.org/.
Additional hazards include Pele’s hair and other lightweight volcanic glass fragments from the lava fountains that will fall downwind of the fissure vents and dust the ground within a few hundred meters (yards) of the vent (s). Strong winds may waft lighter particles to greater distances. Residents and visitors should minimize exposure to these volcanic particles, which can cause skin and eye irritation.
Other significant hazards also remain around Kīlauea caldera from Halemaʻumaʻu crater wall instability, ground cracking, and rockfalls that can be enhanced by earthquakes within the area closed to the public. This underscores the extremely hazardous nature of Kīlauea caldera rim surrounding Halemaʻumaʻu crater, an area that has been closed to the public since late 2007.
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory continues to closely monitor Kīlauea volcano. HVO will continue to issue daily Kīlauea volcano updates until further notice. Additional messages will be issued as needed.