Kilauea is the youngest and most active Hawaiian shield volcano, located on the southern part of the Island of Hawai'i, known as Big Island. Hawai'i is the southernmost and largest of the island chain, which owes its existence to the very active Hawaiian hot spot.
Kilauea volcano is near-constantly erupting from vents either on its summit (caldera) or on the rift zones. At present, Kilauea volcano is still having one of the most long-lived eruptions known on earth, which started in 1983 on the eastern rift zone and has mainly been concentrated at the Pu'u 'O'o vent.
Shield volcano 1277 m (4,190 ft)
Hawai'i, 19.43°N / -155.29°W
Latest USGS-HVO image of advancing front below Kaohe Homesteads on September 17, 2014.
Official releases from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory over the past 48 hours indicate the lava flow is now advancing at a rate of 290m (960 ft) per day and has narrowed once again, after spreading out and slowing down for several days. ...more
Accordingly, estimates of first impact have been revised, for Apa`a Rd around September 26 and for Pāhoa Village Road around September 30, but these are educated guesses and likely subject to further revisions. The main highway will likely be affected with one day of the main village road. [less]
Latest HVO image of advancing front near Kaohe Homesteads, September 15, 2014.
Latest lava flow map.
Pu'u 'O'o's "June 27th flow" continues to advance at a rate around 215m (705ft) per day through vacant forest, but has crossed the Forest Reserve boundary as it continues to skirt downhill of the nearest homes. ...more
Yesterday the flow front was 3.3 km (2.1 miles) upslope from Apa`a Road, which hosts the densest cluster of homes in the flow's likely path. HVO's latest estimate projects "that lava could flow from its current location to Apa`a Rd in 15 days and to the Pāhoa Village Road (government road) in Pāhoa within 20 days" based on current advancement rate. [less]
Aerial photo by HVO of lava flow within 170m of Kaohe Homesteads.
Latest flow map and projection on September 12, 2014
HVO issued the 4th warning status update tonight: ...more
"Between September 10 and 12, the June 27th flow advanced north-northeastward at an average rate of 250 m/day (820 ft/day). By the afternoon of September 12, the flow had advanced approximately 14.9 km (9.3 miles) straight-line distance from the vent, or to within 170 m (560 ft) of the boundary between the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve and the northwest corner of Kaohe Homesteads. At the average rate of advancement of 250 m/day (820 ft/day) since September 10, we project that lava could flow from its current location into the northwest part of Kaohe Homesteads within a day, and to the Pāhoa Village Road (government road) in Pāhoa within 20 days" if there are no major changes. [less]
"The flow front [yesterday at 12:30pm] was 14.8 km (9.2 miles) from the vent, measured in a straight line, and 0.3 km (0.2 miles) from the Forest Reserve/Kaohe Homesteads boundary. The actual length of the flow, measured along the lava tube axis (so that bends in the flow are considered) is 16.9 km (10.5 miles). Between September 6 and 10, the flow front advanced at approximately 400 meters (460 yards) per day. Between September 10 and 11 the advance rate dropped slightly to approximately 300 meters (330 yards) per day. The flow front is still in thick forest, creating smoke plumes as it engulfs trees and other vegetation, but fires are not spreading away from the flow." [less]
Residents at the public lava flow meeting in Pahoa on September 11, 2014.
At the public meeting held at Pahoa High & Intermediate School last night, officials presented the latest lava flow maps and projections following the flow's unexpected turn towards Pahoa town two days ago. HVO scientists reported that the steep slope has allowed to flow to continue moving quickly and that the new path puts it directly through the town of Pahoa in the range of 13-15 days. ...more
Residents were offered the latest science, logistics concerning evacuation and possible disruption of services, and a prayer reminding that people's greatest resource is each other. Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi drew the loudest applause when announcing that construction has already started on two alternate access roads into the area, but the mayor reminded residents that once the flow crosses the first highway it will continue downhill and eventually cut off these other, under construction routes as well. The mayor then announced plans to repave the Chain of Craters Road from within the National Park to Kalapana despite the great expense and lack of county funds, with the hope that assistance will come from the state or federal level. The county is going as far as scrapping construction on a children's playground in Pahoa in order to relocate those contracted workers to road construction. [less]
HVO's latest warning status update issued yesterday: ...more
"Between September 6 and 10, the June 27th flow advanced north then northeastward at an average rate of 400 m/d (0.25 mi/d). In this way, the flow had advanced approximately 14.5 km (9.0 miles straight-line distance) from the vent, or to within 0.6 km (0.4 miles) of the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve, by the afternoon of September 10. At the average rate of advancement of 400 m/day (0.25 mi/day) since September 6, we project that lava could flow from its current location to the northwest edge of Kaohe Homesteads in 1.5 days and to the Pāhoa Village road (government road) in Pāhoa within 14-16 days if lava is not further confined within the cracks and down-dropped blocks within the East Rift Zone of Kīlauea volcano. These estimates will be continually refined as we track this lava flow." [less]
The latest updates from authorities show no significant change in the path of the lava flow, only advancement through the jungle away from houses, for now. ...more
The flow has advanced relatively quickly covering roughly 1/2 mile (3/4 km) in the past 2 days, but typically that rate is hard to sustain for long. Between the six days of Aug 6-12, the map shows the flow made about 1 mi forward progress, but during the next six days the flow advanced only half that distance, totaling 1.5 mi (2 km) in 12 days. [less]
Most recent flow map; blue lines are predicted flow directions from topography.
Lava flows continue to advance downhill through the jungle on a path that will miss Kaohe Homesteads, having first entered and overtopped several large ground cracks on Kilauea volcano's east rift zone. The farthest lava front is now 13.3 km (8.3 miles) from the vent and 1.2 km (0.7 miles) from the east boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve, and moving northeast parallel to the boundary. ...more
The latest map issued shows 3 large flows moving away from the cracks, whose path will take them downhill parallel to the Forest Reserve boundary and the threatened community of Kaohe Homesteads. Issued maps for the first time have blue lines indicating probably flow direction based on topography, showing that without any major changes the current flow will advance around Kaohe and if it continues long enough, cross the highway just north of Pahoa. [less]
USGS-HVO photo of lava flowing back into a large crack near Kaohe Homesteads on September 1, 2014.
According to officials, the June 27th lava flow has reemerged for the second time from a huge ground crack along Kilauea's east rift zone, this time approximately 13.2 km (8.2 miles) from the vent and 1.3 km (0.8 miles) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve, but still continues moving through the ground crack to within 1.1 km (0.7 miles) from the boundary. ...more
The inhabited area under immediate threat, Kaohe Homesteads, consists mainly of farms who are already relocating cows, horses, goats & sheep due to increased emissions and smoke from burning forest. The Civil Defense plans to issue an evacuation notice 5 days before lava is expected to hit the community, but with natural variability there will be some guesswork involved. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory plans to increase the alert level from a "watch" to "warning" status within the next day or so, which will trigger Civil Defense to close the area to all non-residents. Looking ahead, the town of Pahoa and the main highway into the lower Puna district could be under threat next, and authorities are already considering construction on alternate routes should this look likely to happen. [less]
The June 27 lava flow seen from the east from helicopter (HVO)
The June 27 lava flow remains active and is now only approx. 2 km from the nearest inhabited area. Its farthest front had been spreading in the forest over the past few days and was seen to be spilling into yet another ground crack about 12.6 km (~7.8 miles) from the vent and about 1.9 km (~1.2 miles) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna Forest Reserve.
View of the pad of lava with the equivalent view from a thermal camera. (HVO
The lava flow branch that entered and followed a deep ground crack on Kīlauea's East Rift Zone last week has resurfaced and is now forming a small lava island inside the forest. Its farthest point is 11.4 km (7.1 miles) from the the vent on Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and 3.1 km (1.9 miles) from the eastern boundary of the Wao Kele o Puna forest reserve.
Explosive eruption at Halema'uma'u lava lake on 23 July
Strong bubbling in the lava lake following the explosion
A piece of the crater walls of the Halema'uma'u lava lake collapsed on 23 July and triggered a small explosive eruption. Liquid spatter was ejected to the outer perimeter of the pit crater (including webcam position and the closed observation area) and an ash plume was generated. ...more
The reason for the event was a sudden disturbance of the gas influx and release equilibrium of the lava lake induced by the rockfall, triggering a spontaneous and very strong degassing phase. [less]
The new lava flow NE of Pu'u 'O'o seen from the North Rim webcam (HVO) today
The new June 27 lava flows continue to be very active, at expense of the previously active Kahaualeʻa 2 flow which seems to have stopped being active. ...more
The lava flows expanded in area and extended approx.1.6 km (1 mi) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone yesterday, HVO reports. It is believed that only the lowest-elevation fissure on the NE flank continued to erupt lava on Saturday. [less]
A new lava breakout occurred Friday early morning (local time) from a new vent on the outer northern flank of Pu'u 'O'o crater. It feeds a new lava flow with several branches headed to the north and northeast. The most advanced of the them traveled to the NW and had quickly reached a length of approx 1 km yesterday, but has not advanced much since. ...more
The event was marked by a sudden deflation of the cone, indicating that magma drained from underneath the Pu'u 'O'o crater terrace and moved to the new vent. This rapid drop in magma level under the crater terrace resulted in the collapse of several of the spatter cones. Until yesterday, these had been the site of frequent overflows and were feeding the Kahaual'a2 flow field. Overall, activity at the volcano has been relatively stable over the past months, with good magma supply to both the summit lava lake in Halema'uma'u and the Pu'u 'O'o vents on the eastern rift zone in 10 km distance. The new vent at Pu'u 'O'o is simply a change in the surface configuration of vents for Kilauea's continued magma supply. [less]
Blue flames of burning sulfur: Ijen volcano in East Java has one of the most impressive sulfur deposits on earth. They are so hot that the sulfur often ignites - a mysterious display at night caught on camera.
Latest VAAC alerts: The Volcanic Ash Advisory Centers provide near-real time global monitoring of volcanic ash plumes for aviation. Read the latest (or browse past) advisories.
Copyrights:VolcanoDiscovery. Use of material: Text and images on this webpage are copyrighted. Further reproduction and use without authorization is not consented. If you need licensing rights for photographs, for example for publications and commercial use, please contact us.