Hawai'i Volcano Blog

Kīlauea daily update: Lava fountains at heights of 32 feet

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U.S. Geological Survey live-cam of Kīlauea on Sept. 13, 2023.

The roughly east-west trending erupting vents within the Kīlauea caldera now span approximately a half mile — down from about 1 mile — as of this morning and have lava fountain heights of up to about 32 feet.

The eruption, which is confined to the summit within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, began Sunday afternoon. As of this morning, active lava appears to be flowing only on the north and east parts of Halema‘uma‘u, the eastern boundary of which has been mostly covered by lava flows, according to Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Several vents are erupting on the western side of the downdropped block within the summit caldera and are generating lava flows onto Halema‘uma‘u crater floor. A live-stream video of the eruption is available at https://www.youtube.com/usgs/live.


The area north of the eruptive vents has become perched and is about 15 feet higher than the surrounding ground surface.

No unusual activity has been noted along Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone or Southwest Rift Zone.

Effusion rates appear down from initial eruptive rates but remain high. The laser rangefinder is aimed at a western portion of Halema‘uma‘u, not near the new eruptive activity, and recorded nearly 20 feet of uplift to this locality since the eruption started, indicating a significant amount of lava has intruded beneath the pre-existing crust within Halema‘uma‘u.


Summit tilt has remained deflationary over the past 24 hours. Summit seismic activity is dominated by eruptive tremor — a signal associated with fluid movement — with few volcano-tectonic earthquakes. Volcanic gas emissions in the eruption area are elevated; a sulfur dioxide emission rate of 30,000 tonnes per day was measured Tuesday morning.

As SO2 is released from the summit, it reacts in the atmosphere to create the visible haze known as vog that has been observed downwind of Kīlauea. Vog creates the potential for airborne health hazards to residents and visitors, damages agricultural crops and other plants, and affects livestock.

Keanakāko‘i Overlook, which is approximately half a mile from the eruption site, remains closed as field crews have found fine particles of Pele’s Hair and other tephra in the area.


More eruption information is available at: https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/recent-eruption.

For more information on gas hazards at the summit of Kīlauea, see: https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/fs20173017. Vog information can be found at https://vog.ivhhn.org.

For discussion of Kīlauea hazards, see https://www.usgs.gov/observatories/hawaiian-volcano-observatory/hazards.
See the Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park website for visitor information: https://www.nps.gov/havo/index.htm.

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