High lava lake level, continuing ocean entry
Update Sat 05 Nov 2016 19:01
Kilauea's summit lava lake seen yesterday; the black areas inside Halema'uma'u are the recent lava overflows in mid Oct (image: HVO)
Aerial view of Puu Oo with the small pit crater in the western part of the crater (image: HVO)
No significant changes have occurred over the past weeks. Currently, the summit lava lake inside Halema'uma'u crater stands relatively high at 12 m below the floor of the main crater and is clearly visible from the Jagger museum viewpoint.
Current lava flow field (image: HVO)
Magma continues to arrive into the eastern rift zone as well: at Pu'u 'O'o crater, it keeps the small lava pond in the western pit crater active and feeds the 61g lava flow. The latter is almost entirely inside lava tubes (i.e. underground) and reaches the ocean at the eastern Kamokuna sea entry. The lava delta continues to grow, but has developed significant cracks recently, suggesting parts of it might collapse soon. The western entry has in the meantime stopped.
Eruption continues with little changes, brief lava lake overflow
Update Tue 18 Oct 2016 08:43
No significant changes have occurred at the volcano recently. The level of the summit lava lake rises and falls more or less along with the inflation-deflation cycles. On Saturday (15 Oct), the lava lake overflowed twice onto the Halema'uma'u crater floor before dropping again.
Small overflow of Kilauea's summit lava lake on 15 Oct 2016 (image: HVO)
As of yesterday, its level was 17 m (56 ft) below the vent rim.
The 61g lava flow from Pu'u 'O'o continues to be active and feed the lava ocean entry at Kamokuna.
Eruption continues, ongoing deflataion, new photos
Update Thu 29 Sep 2016 14:58
The activity at the volcano continues with no significant changes. The recent trend of deflation is still ongoing and the lava lake in the summit crater has dropped significantly (yesterday: 24 m below the rim) and is no longer in direct view from the Jagger Museum lookout.
New image galleries from Kilauea volcano, Hawaii
Current deformation plot (blue line: summit inflation/ deflation) (HVO)
The 61G lava flow continues to reach the ocean at Kamokuna.
A set of galleries from our recent trip to the volcano showing the various aspects of the ongoing eruption is now available at this page.
Eruption continues, lava lake drops as strong deflation took place
Update Fri 23 Sep 2016 23:53
Lava flow entering the sea last week
Halema'uma'u's lava lake this evening (HVO)
The eruption continues with no significant changes. A sharp deflation since yesterday resulted in the Halema'uma'u lava lake drop by 14 meters in a single day. It is currently no longer visible from the Jagger museum overlook. Apart from that, lava flows continue to reach the ocean at two main entry points. A first selection of images taken last week on a morning boat tour on 11 Sep during the recent pilot Kilauea Volcano Special tour has been posted here.
Current deformation plot (blue line: summit inflation/ deflation) (HVO)
Summit lava lake back in view
Update Wed 21 Sep 2016 03:15
Kilauea's summit lava lake seen last evening (image: HVO)
Following the inflation cycle that began 2 days ago (and might be now turning into deflation), the lava lake in the Halema'uma'u summit crater has risen again into clear view from the HVO observatory. This morning, its surface was only 12 m (39 ft) below the rim.
Current deformation plot (blue line: summit inflation/ deflation) (HVO)
An explosion of the lava lake was observed yesterday around 21:15 local time - probably triggered by a larger rockfall from the unstable crater walls, a fountain of incandescent material rose from the NE end of the lake to about the outer rim near the old overlook area, generating a plume of steam and ash that rose several hundred meters and quickly dissipated SW.
The two sea entries at Kamokuna remain active and well alimented; additionally, active pahoehoe breakouts are present about 2 km (1.2 mi) inland from the coast and higher up on the pali.
Lava sea entry continues
Update Mon 12 Sep 2016 20:39
The eruption continues with no significant changes: lava continues to flow into the ocean at Kamokuna and several breakouts are active along the lava tube both on the pali and in the coastal flat, at about 2 km distance from the coast.
Kilauea's lava ocean entry yesterday evening (photo: Tom Pfeiffer / VolcanoDiscovery)
Lava streams into the sea (photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
At Kilauea's summit, the lava lake in Halema'uma'u crater remains active, but has dropped to 19 m (~62 ft) below the crater floor this morning, as the volcano has begun a deflation cycle.
Lava lake at highest level since May 2015, continuing ocean entry
Update Sat 10 Sep 2016 20:50
The lava lake in Kilauea's Halema'uma'u crater at the summit caldera has risen to its highest level since May 2015, as a current inflationary phase continues.
The lava lake in Halema'uma'u crater on 7 Sep (HVO)
Satellite image map of the current lava flows of Kilauea (HVO)
The surface of the lava lake was at 13 m (43 ft) below the floor of Halema'uma'u late yesterday afternoon and rose further to only 5–6 m (16–20 ft) this morning. It is now easily seen from Jaggar Museum. If the level continues to rise, it might soon overflow onto the crater floor.
HVO warns that "the high lava level increases the possibility of rock-fall-triggered explosions capable of showering the Halemaʻumaʻu rim above the lake with molten lava."
Continuing lava ocean entry:
Over the past weeks, lava continued to enter the Pacific at changing locations over the widening Kamokuna ocean entry, which is now about 1 km wide and continues to construct a new (potentially unstable) delta of new land.
Several lava streams were seen pouring into the water along the front of the eastern ocean entry delta when last visited by HVO scientists a few days ago.
Second ocean entry active, dangerous explosion at Halema'uma'u
Update Wed 10 Aug 2016 15:10
Lava sea entry at Hawaii (image: Lava Ocean Tours)
A light-colored "scar" about 20 m (66 ft) across from this rockfall is visible to the right of the spattering area on the lake surface. Rocks in the vent wall can become unstable when the level of the lava lake drops, as has been going on for the last several days. (image: HVO)
A second lobe of the 61G lava flow in the coastal flat has crossed the Emergency Access road at a location about 500 m (1,640 ft) west of the main flow and entered the ocean during the night 8-9 Aug.
Remains of a power supply unit for one of HVO's gravity instruments located about 24 m (80 ft) from the crater rim, destroyed during Saturday's explosion of the lava lake (HVO)
Thus, there are now two ocean entries at Kamokuna; the first one which had been active since 26 July and gradually widened to now almost 300 m (820 ft) and the new one west of it, making the total area of the ocean entry close to half a mile long, with gaps in between.
Summit lava lake explosion:
At the summit caldera, the lava lake in Halema'uma'u crater remains active and was 40 m (131 ft) below the crater rim as of yesterday. To illustrate that it is an extremely hazardous (and forbidden) location to go to, a larger rockfall from its inner walls occurred late Saturday night and triggered an explosion that sent a shower of molten lava and rock debris of various sizes onto a broad area, 80 m (260 ft) long and 50 m (165 ft) wide, around the former Halema'uma'u overlook. Some instruments of HVO's monitoring equipment installed there were destroyed in the explosion when hit by glowing lava bombs.
Ocean entry continues weakly
Update Fri 05 Aug 2016 09:00
The new lava flow that reaches the ocean at Kilauea volcano seen on 2 Aug 2016 (image: HVO)
No significant changes have occurred over the past week. As of yesterday, lava from the 61G flow was still flowing into the sea at the Kamokuna ocean entry, but the rate of lava reaching it has been relatively low recently. A small delta of new coastal land (extremely dangerous to approach as it is prone to sudden collapse) has by now formed there. The lava lake at Halemaʻumaʻu Crater remains active, but has dropped recently and was 41 m (135 ft) below the Overlook crater rim as of yesterday. HVO reports background levels of seismicity and deformation.
Map of Kilauea's new (HVO)
Lava sea entry at least 20 m wide
Update Fri 29 Jul 2016 07:53
As of yesterday evening (morning in Hawai'i), the new sea entry of the "61G" lava flow near the Kamokuna area continued to be active with and was at least 20 meters wide, spilling over the older sea cliff.
Map of Kilauea's new lava flow that reached the sea on 26 July 2016
The vent where the lava comes from: Pu'u 'O'o crater on the east rift zone 6 miles away (28 July 2016, photo Mick Kalber, Tropical Visions Video, Inc. with Paradise Helicopters)
It can be expected that the sea entry will widen over time. Another lobe of the main flow has been advancing along the west margin and might hit the ocean soon as well.
At the summit and Pu'u 'O'o crater on the eastern rift zone, no significant changes have occurred. Halema'uma'u lava lake has risen a bit again to approx. 23 m below the crater floor rim and the lava pond inside Pu'u 'O'o is active as well.
Lava flow reaches ocean
Update Wed 27 Jul 2016 07:55
The so-called 61G lava flow continued its rapid advance and reached the ocean early yesterday morning at 01:12 local time.
The new lava flow sea entry shortly after its formation (image: tapandgrind / instagram)
The 61G lava flow entering the ocean on Hawaii (image: HVO)
It crossed the emergency coastal road and created a new narrow ocean entry where new land is now being formed to again enlarge the surface of Big Island.
Lava falls down the cliff at Hawaii (image David Ford / CNN)
Image sources: tapandgrind / instagram and images by David Ford on CNN
Lava less than 400 m from ocean
Update Tue 26 Jul 2016 07:27Over the weekend, the lava flow in the coastal flat had advanced significantly, bringing the closest lava flow front to only 370 m distance from the coast as of Monday morning (Hawaiian time). Chances to see lava entering the sea in the coming days or weeks are increasing with each day.
At the summit caldera, the level of Halema'uma'u's active lava lake has again dropped to 26 meters below the crater floor, hiding it from direct view from the volcano observatory.
Lava flow advances to approx. 700 m from coast
Update Mon 25 Jul 2016 05:16
The 61G lava flow southeast of Pu'u 'Ō'ō remains active in the coastal plain and its most advanced front was 730 m (0.45 miles) from the ocean yesterday morning (local time on Hawaii).
Pahoehoe lava flow from Kilauea's 61G lava flow in the coastal flat on Friday (image: HVO/USGS)
At the summit, the level of the Halema'uma'u lava lake has risen a bit and was 21.5 m (70 ft) below the crater rim. Parts of it have again come sometimes into view from the volcano observatory's public viewing terrace.
Lava flows still 850 m from coast
Update Thu 21 Jul 2016 07:39
No significant changes have occurred over the past days. The lava flow in the coastal flat remains active, but has not advanced in the past days. The flow front remains stalled at 850 m (0.5 miles) from the coast.
Lava flow map as of 19 July 2016 (HVO)
The active lava lake in Halema'uma'u crater is currently 25 m (82 ft) below the crater rim. Seismic activity and degassing are at normal levels.
Lava flow front remains stalled at approx. 800 m from coast
Update Tue 19 Jul 2016 20:21
The so-called "61G lava flow" southeast from Pu'u 'O'o extending into the coastal flat remains active, but most activity in the past days continued to enlarge and inflate the existing lava flow field.
The lava lake in Halema'uma'u crater this evening (morning in Hawaii)
The most advanced flow front, located 820 m from the coast, was stalled when observed this morning, but there were active breakouts a few hundred meters further inland. A new surge of advance can occur any time.
Activity at Halema'uma'u and Pu'u 'O'o has not changed significantly. On Monday morning, the active lava lake at Halemaumau was 25.5 meters (84 feet) below the crater floor.
Lava flows about 900 m from coast
Update Sat 16 Jul 2016 12:41
The latest mapping of the active lava flow in the coastal plain shows that the leading tip was about 870 m from the coast yesterday. Most of the activity in recent days has been the overriding and widening of the lava flow field, with only little net advance of the farthest lava front towards ocean.
Map of the lava flows at Kilauea as of 15 July 2016 (HVO/USGS)
However, if the feeding of fresh lava through the main tube into the lava field in the coastal plain continues, and eventually establishes itself over increasing distance, it is more and more likely that the lava eventually reaches the sea. This is likely to occur in the near or medium-term future (days to weeks).
Lava flow advance towards coast slows down
Update Tue 12 Jul 08:46
The active lava flows in the coastal plain are now only about 1 km from the coast. Their advance has slowed down significantly as the lava is now in almost flat terrain and the arriving new lava is mostly "used" to inflate the fresh field and expand its sides, until a main lava tube is established in the coastal flat as well.
Lava flow field map as on 8 July 2016 (HVO)
It is impossible to predict when lava will be hitting the ocean- this could be within few days or even less or still take weeks (if at all, but it is now extremely likely).
The volcano's summit is currently undergoing a period of deflation and the lava lake in Halema'uma'u has dropped a bit; yesterday morning, it was 35 meters (115 feet) below the floor of Halema`uma`u crater.
Several vents remain active inside the Pu'u 'O'o crater on the east rift zone.
Lava flow makes rapid advance through coastal plain
Update Thu 07 Jul 16:29
The new lava flow southeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō continued to be active and made some rapid advance through the coastal plain: when HVO last mapped it Tuesday afternoon, the nearest lava front was only about 1.7 km (1.1 miles) away from the coast, after having advanced nearly 1 km alone since the morning of Monday (i.e. little more than 24 hours).
Map of Kilauea's new lava flow headed towards the ocean (map: HVO)
If the current rapid advance continues, lava might begin to flow into the ocean - and construct new land on Hawai'i - very soon (few days?).
Lava flow advances in coastal plain
Update Mon 04 Jul 12:05
After having descended the steep slope of the pali, the new lava flow now advanced in the flatter coastal plain towards the ocean. As of yesterday, the flow front was about 400 m from the break in slope and still 2.9 km (1.8 mi) away from the sea.
Pahoehoe lava flow in the coastal plain of Kilauea volcano (Hawai'i) on 2 July 2016 (image: USGS)
Guessing game - when will the lava reach the sea?
If the recent average speed of advance of approx 140 m per day continues, lava could reach the Pacific in approx. 3 weeks, although it is likely that the advance of the front slows down with distance on flatter ground and it might then take a little longer (although the opposite can become true as well...).
Lava flows continue to descend into coastal plain
Update Sat 02 Jul 12:11
The newest lava flows on Kilauea continue to descend the Pulama pali and reach the coastal plain, where the blocky a'a transforms into the smoother pahoehoe lava.
Lava flow on Kilauea yesterday (image: Michael Dalton)
Our friend Canadian filmmaker Michael Dalton took a series of new images.
Images of the new lava flow
Update Thu 30 Jun 23:13
Our friend and filmmaker Michael Dalton is currently on Hawai'i and sent us some images of the new lava flow descending the pali and reaching the coastal plain.
Lava flow continues to advance, reaching Royal Gardens
Update Thu 30 Jun 18:04
The new active lava flow headed to the southeast from Puʻu ʻŌʻō continues to advance and spread laterally. On 28 July it had reached a length of 6.9 km (4.3 mi) from the vent and reached the Pulama pali in the western area of the abandoned Royal Gardens subdivision.
Map of Kilauea's new lava flow headed SE (map: HVO)
Most likely, it will reach the coastal plain today or in the next days, but then slow down and widen, reducing its advance towards the ocean.
At the summit caldera, a phase of deflation is in progress. The level of the Halema'uma'u lava lake dropped by about 10 m (33 ft) during 27-28 June.
Lava flow continues to advance rapidly, headed towards the ocean
Update Sat 18 Jun 10:33
HVO reports no significant changes in the eruption.
Map of Kilauea's new lava flow headed SE (map: HVO)
This view is of the front of the active lava flow, looking upslope. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is partly obscured in the clouds at upper left. Most surface activity on the advancing flow is actually where the flow widens, upslope of the flow front. (HVO)
The new lava flow headed to the SE from Pu'u O'o continues to advance fast. During the past week, it made progress of 1200 meters, i.e. on average almost 200 m per day.
Its front is currently approx. 6 km from the coast and it is headed currently towards the Royal Gardens area, where it will meet steeper ground on the Pulama pali which likely will speed up its advance before slowing down again once in the vast coastal plain. If the current advance continues, it will take about 10 days to reach the top of pali, HVO wrote. Whether and when new lava will eventually reach the ocean is impossible to predict: the road to there is still long. However, chances of this happening within the next few months are quite high and increasing.
At the summit, the lava lake inside Halemaʻumaʻu's inner pit crater continues to circulate and spatter, and its surface is currently approx. 30 m below the crater floor. Seismic activity across the volcano has been low recently. The long-term deformation trend shows continued inflation beneath the summit and uppermost Southwest Rift Zone.
Sulfur dioxide emissions from the summit vent ranged between 3,500 to 5,400 metric tons/day during the past week.
At Pu'u O'o, the small lava pond in the West Pit crater continues to be active.
June 27th lava field dies out, new lava flow headed towards the ocean
Update Tue 14 Jun 15:12
Lava flow field of Kilauea as of 10 June 2016 (map: HVO)
The so-called "June 27th" lava flow field ceased to be active and the new flow field is now headed towards the ocean. Now, all lava is now flowing into the new lava tube(s) feeding the new lava flow field that has been forming from the breakout points east of Pu'u 'O'o since 24 May. During the past days, it continued to spread and advanced southeast - towards the slope of the pali, i.e. in direction to the ocean. On 10 June, the lava flow was 3.3 km (2.1 mi) long and advancing at an average rate of about 250 m/day (~275 yd/day). If the new lava field remains active long enough, it might well reach the ocean within the coming months. As to the now dead June 27th flow field: it had been active a bit more than 2 years and produced an impressively long-loved and stable lava field spreading to the NE. It made headlines when it touched the outskirts of Pahoa village in late 2014 / early 2015, but the town and highway 106 were spared. When the new breakouts formed high up on the tube (near the vent) on 24 May, the supply of magma into this long-lived system was effectively cut. The remaining activity of the June 27th field seen in the past two weeks, consisting of small, scattered movements on the margins were simply the last magma still in the tube downstream draining away.
The new lava field advancing to the SE (HVO)
Activity remains stable, no significant changes
Update Mon 06 Jun 13:49
Skylight (view onto the flowing lava inside a lava tube) on the east breakout on Kilauea volcano. It's about 6 m (20 ft) wide. (image: HVO)
Current map of the lava flow field (USGS)
View towards Puu Oo from southwest; the northern breakout from May 24 extending to the right, with fume coming from a newly forming tube. The feature in the center foreground is a perched lava pond that formed in July 2014, but was refilled by new lava from the northern breakout in recent days. (image: HVO)
The two new lava flows from Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater which emerged as surface breakouts from the partially blocked old lava tube on 24 May continue to be active, but have only advanced a bit during the past days.
View of the crater of Puu Oo from NW; the crater subsided by about 10 m (33 ft) in the days following the May 24 breakouts (image: HVO)
The old lava tube is still "working" as well (however, at presumably much reduced rate of lava throughput) and has been feeding scattered breakouts on the older June 27th lava flow field further to the northeast. At the moment, all active lava is within 5.4 km from the vent, far from inhabited areas to which it poses no threat.
The summit lava lake remains active in Halema'uma'u crater. Its level varied slightly and is currently 31 m (102 ft) below the Overlook crater rim.
According to HVO, "rates of seismicity are at background levels, with episodes of tremor associated with changes in the vigor of spattering within the Overlook vent. Sulfur dioxide emissions from the summit vent ranged from 4,100 to 8,000 metric tons/day over the past two weeks when measurements were possible during good trade wind conditions.
Data from GPS networks and InSAR (satellite radar) show continued long-term inflation of the summit and upper Southwest Rift Zone magma reservoirs."
Spectacular video of new lava flows
Update Tue 31 May 16:47
The new surface lava flows from the two breakouts north and northeast of Pu'u 'O'o vent on the eastern rift zone remain active. They form broad, branching channels that have been gradually enlarging the two new pahoehoe lava flow fields NW/W and SE of the cone.
The new lava flows from Kilauea on 29 May (bigislandvideonews.com)
A nice aerial video of the eruption, taken on 29 May, is available from www.bigislandvideonews.com:
New lava flows continue
As of 27 May, the flows were spreading laterally near the vent, but making little forward progress; as a result, they were not posing a threat to any community. The silvery sheen of new lava erupting from the northern breakout (center) and eastern breakout (far left) stands out in contrast to the older flows on and around Puʻu ʻŌʻō. (image taken on 27 May / USGS)
The two new flows that broke out on the flanks of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone on Kīlauea Volcano's East Rift Zone on May 24 remain active, while the summit lava lake has dropped slightly
The summit lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater was at a high level earlier in the week, and partly visible from the Jaggar Museum Overlook at times. But over the past few days, the lake level has dropped slightly. Nevertheless, the activity on the surface of the lava lake has been typical of normal activity, with frequent spattering on the lake margins, as shown here. This view looks north from the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, which is closed to the public due to ongoing volcanic hazards. (USGS)
2 large lava breakouts on 24 May
Early in the morning of 24 May (at 06:50 local time), a sudden surge in lava supply caused the main lava tube carrying the lava underground away from Pu'u 'O'o to rupture. This resulted in two so-called surface lava breakouts located about 500 m N and NE from the cone, feeding two new large surface lava flows.
Map of the new lava flows from the 24 May breakouts
Location of the breakoutpoints near Puu Oo
The lava flows formed broad channels with fast-flowing lava that traveled quickly in opposite directions: towards the northwest and west, and to southeast from their breakout points, respectively. After only a few hours, they both had reached more than 1 km length.
Deformation plot showing the rapid deflation of Puu Oo (green line)
Both lava flows currently pose no immediate threat to inhabited areas.
In response to the sudden drain of this large lava volume, the Pu'u 'O'o cone experienced a massive, rapid deflation. Even the summit lava lake in Halema'uma'u started to drop as results.
Little changes overall
Update Wed 09 Mar 12:58
No significant changes in the ongoing eruption of Kilauea have occurred since the last update.
View of Puu Oo on 4 March (HVO)
The lava lake at the summit caldera has dropped again and was about 33 m (108 ft) below the rim of the Overlook crater yesterday.
On the eastern rift zone, the recently active lava flows inside Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater were now inactive. Lava originating from the vent continues to flow into tubes, feeding scattered surface lava flows on the slowly growing "June 27th" lava field. All active breakouts remain within 6-7 km distance and far from any nearby communities.