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Kīlauea volcano eruption update

Kilauea volcano
Shield volcano 1277 m (4,190 ft)
Hawai'i, 19.43°N / -155.29°W
Current status: erupting (4 out of 5)
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Kilauea volcano eruptions:
Near-continuous eruptions. Since 1960: 1961 (4x), 1962, 1963 (2x), 1965 (2x), 1967-68, 1968 (2x), 1969, 1969-74, 1971 (2x), 1973 (2x), 1974 (3x), 1975, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1982 (2x), 1983-2018 (ongoing, incl. 1986, 1992, 1997, 2007, 2011 (3x)), 2018 (lower east rift zone in Leilani subdivision)
Typical eruption style:
Dominantly effusive since 1790, but ~60% explosive over past ~2500 years.
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New fissures, large lava flows from western and central part of fissure system

Update Mon 28 May 2018 16:29
Large lava flows from fissure #7 in the western-central part of the Leilani fissure system moving NE. View is towards SE onto the eastern and southern part of Leilani Subdivision (image: Bruce Omori / facebook)
Large lava flows from fissure #7 in the western-central part of the Leilani fissure system moving NE. View is towards SE onto the eastern and southern part of Leilani Subdivision (image: Bruce Omori / facebook)
Most recent map of lava flows from HVO / USGS
Most recent map of lava flows from HVO / USGS
Cracks on Hwy 130 yesterday (image: Ikaika Marzo / facebook)
Cracks on Hwy 130 yesterday (image: Ikaika Marzo / facebook)
Enlarging crater in Halema'uma'u based on radar measurements (image: HVO / USGS)
Enlarging crater in Halema'uma'u based on radar measurements (image: HVO / USGS)
The eruption continues at similar levels as during the past days, with conditions changing faster than it is possible to accurately update.
Multiple lava flows fed from multiple fissure vents continue to feed several lava flows. The main advance has been from the central-western part of the system towards the north-east, invading additional inhabited and forested areas. The number of destroyed houses has unfortunately been increasing with the hour almost. A tendency of activity moving uprift (NE) is visible overall.
The ocean entry (created by two flows) showed little to no activity yesterday morning, but probably is still active. HVO / USGS reported late last evening (Hawaiian time) that "Fissures 7 and 8 remain the most active eruptive centers of the system", while "Fissure 22 has waned, and Fissure 13 is the dominant source of lava entering the ocean, which is occurring at three minor entry points. Fountaining is occurring at Fissure 8. Fissure 7 activity increased overnight, with lava fountains reaching 150-200 feet high and producing a large spatter rampart over 100 feet tall."

At 19:00 Sunday evening (local time), the large perched lava pond created by lava from fissure #7 apparently breached, creating a fast moving lava flow that ran down Leilani Avenue and Luana Street in Leilani Estates, then continued to move NE, crossing Pohoiki road and invading the western part of the Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV), where at least one of the drill wells (previously sealed) was covered.

At least two new fissures (#24 and #25) have formed in the area of southern Nohea St in the western-central fissure system, feeding new lava flows that advance mostly to the N and NE, destroying additional portions of the central part of Leilani Estates:
Videos from erupting fissure(s) #24/25 near Kupono St. yesterday and last night:



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What is next in Lower Puna?
According to the observations of local people, a slow decrease in lava effusion seems to be occurring, but it is too early to speculate about an ending of the eruption. A tendency that lava emission points are migrating uprift (towards the SW) is well visible over the past days. This could indicate that lava supply further downright is blocked east of the fissure system and currently backing up underground in the uprift direction.
If the discharge from the existing fissures is not enough to balance the influx of lava, new fissures opening in the western and potentially further uprift areas are a likely scenario.
In addition, geochemical observations of the emitted volcanic SO2/CO2 gas ratios indicate that so far, only lava which had previously been stored under Pu'u 'O'o has come to the surface, while the lava from the drained summit reservoir at Halema'uma'u is still underground and perhaps on its way to the surface in a near to medium future. Whether and when it arrives and causes a 3rd, potentially vigorous pulse in the eruption is speculation.
Worryingly, ground cracks above highway 130 have increased during the last day as well, and Ikaika Marzo reported that the "are getting bigger and we starting to see steam rise from these cracks."
For excellent - easy-to-understand- and not-too-technical summaries of the current state of eruption, we recommend our Hawaii team member Philip Ong's daily posts:


Summit observations
During the past day, activity has decreased with less frequent and less vigorous explosions. Radar data show that the pit crater once containing the lava lake continues to expand as the unsupported conduit walls collapse. "As of the afternoon of May 25, the vent expansion included not only continued westward growth of the vent rim, but also a subsidiary pit on the north part of the floor of Halema‘uma‘u crater.
The vent area is now approximately 90 acres, and we anticipate further enlargements over the coming days to weeks as subsidence of Kīlauea caldera, rockfalls, and small explosions continue." (HVO / USGS)
"Ash continued to erupt intermittently from the vent within Halemaʻumaʻu crater, at Kīlauea's summit, but no significant ash columns have been produced since noon on Sunday. Observations from the ground, by UAV, and by satellite during the past week have documented retreat of the summit vent walls due to collapse of the steep conduit and rim. Trade winds are causing ash fall to the southwest, but are diminishing in intensity as wind patterns shift late Sunday and early Monday. This may bring ashfall to communities around the summit area.
Earthquakes in the summit region continue as the summit area subsides and adjusts to the withdrawal of magma.
Additional explosive events that could produce minor amounts of ashfall downwind are possible at any time. Volcanic gas emissions at the summit remain high. (HVO / USGS)
Kilauea volcano update: 25 May thermal image and 26 May lava flow map
Update Sun 27 May 2018 08:08
Thermal map of the fissure system and lava flows at the Leilani eruption site as of 12:15 pm on Friday, May 25. The two channelized lava flows are still reaching the ocean. In addition, a lava flow is active near Fissure 7 and slowly moving towards the northeast.  The black and white area is the extent of the thermal map. Temperature in the thermal image is displayed as gray-scale values, with the brightest pixels indicating the hottest areas. (HVO/USGS)
Thermal map of the fissure system and lava flows at the Leilani eruption site as of 12:15 pm on Friday, May 25. The two channelized lava flows are still reaching the ocean. In addition, a lava flow is active near Fissure 7 and slowly moving towards the northeast. The black and white area is the extent of the thermal map. Temperature in the thermal image is displayed as gray-scale values, with the brightest pixels indicating the hottest areas. (HVO/USGS)
Vigorous eruption of lava continues from the lower East Rift Zone fissure system in the area of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens, with almost 2400 acres having been covered by new lava. Fissures 22, 6, and 13 are feeding lava flows moving southeast to the coast southwest of Pohoiki where they sustain two acitve lava ocean entries. Fissures 7 and 21 are feeding an 'a'ā flow that has advanced to the northeast and this afternoon crossed Pahoa Pohoiki Road onto PGV property. (HVO/USGS)
Lava flow and fissures map of the Leilani eruption site as of 3:00 p.m. HST, May 26. Shaded purple areas indicate lava flows erupted in 1840, 1955, 1960, and 2014-2015. (HVO/USGS)
Lava flow and fissures map of the Leilani eruption site as of 3:00 p.m. HST, May 26. Shaded purple areas indicate lava flows erupted in 1840, 1955, 1960, and 2014-2015. (HVO/USGS)

East Rift Zone eruption update: fissure eruption sustains lava flows and ocean entries
Update Sat 26 May 2018 20:46
Overflight image on Friday 25 May, 2018, showing fissures 6 (left) and 13 (right) and their lava flows which merge into one channel that flows into the ocean (note the plume in the distance at the ocean entries - top left). (HVO/USGS)
Overflight image on Friday 25 May, 2018, showing fissures 6 (left) and 13 (right) and their lava flows which merge into one channel that flows into the ocean (note the plume in the distance at the ocean entries - top left). (HVO/USGS)
Eruption of lava continues in the area of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens, at the lower part of Kilauea’s East Rift Zone. On Saturday morning 26 May (local time) HVO/USGS report that fissure 22 continues to erupt lava that is flowing southeast to the coast and which feeds the first lava ocean entry. Fountains at fissures 6 and 13 also continue to feed lava into a channel that reaches the coast which formed a second ocean entry a few days ago.
Aerial view of the two active lava ocean entries at Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone captured during an HVO overflight on the morning of Friday 25 May, 2018. (HVO/USGS)
Aerial view of the two active lava ocean entries at Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone captured during an HVO overflight on the morning of Friday 25 May, 2018. (HVO/USGS)


: Activity at fissure 6 on the morning  of 25 May, 2018. Lava fountains have built a small spatter cone (black mound) from which lava was spilling out onto the surface and flowing into a small pond (left of the cone). (HVO/USGS)
: Activity at fissure 6 on the morning of 25 May, 2018. Lava fountains have built a small spatter cone (black mound) from which lava was spilling out onto the surface and flowing into a small pond (left of the cone). (HVO/USGS)

Meanwhile fissures 7 and 21 are feeding a perched lava pond and pāhoehoe flow that has advanced north-eastward covering most of the area between Kaupili and Mohala Streets. The flow front has become an 'A'ā flow and is advancing slowly toward Pahoa Pohoiki Road. Over the past 1,5 days, activity at fissure 17 changed from being barely active to increased but weak spattering and producing multiple booming gas emissions. In the night from Friday 25 to Saturday 26 May flaming and vigorous spatter was observed from a cone on Fissure 8. For the moment, fissures 19 and 23 seem to be no longer active.
View of a rising ash plume from Halema‘uma‘u, a crater at the summit of Kīlauea, late Thursday 24 May, 2018, as seen from the caldera rim near Volcano House. After having to abandon the volcano observatory closer to Halema’uma’u crater due to earthquake damage and risk of explosions, USGS scientists are stationed at this vantage point to track the ongoing summit activity. (HVO/USGS).
View of a rising ash plume from Halema‘uma‘u, a crater at the summit of Kīlauea, late Thursday 24 May, 2018, as seen from the caldera rim near Volcano House. After having to abandon the volcano observatory closer to Halema’uma’u crater due to earthquake damage and risk of explosions, USGS scientists are stationed at this vantage point to track the ongoing summit activity. (HVO/USGS).


Volcanic gas emissions remain very high from the fissure eruptions as magma continues to be supplied to the lower East Rift Zone. Earthquake activity continues, but earthquake locations have not moved farther down rift in the past few days and the number of located earthquakes remains low. (HVO/USGS)

Kilauea’s summit caldera area was the scene of larger ash explosions and increased seismic activity. Multiple small explosions occurred throughout Friday 25 May which ejected ash plumes to under 3050 m (10,000 ft) above sea level. A larger explosion occurred at 4h17 pm local time which produced and ash plume as high as 3660 m (12,000 ft) above sea level. There were many earthquakes in the summit area during Friday 25 May, with 8 earthquakes greater than M3. The largest of which was M3.99 and located just north of Halema`uma`u crater. Many more small quakes occurred between the larger events. Both earthquakes and ash explosions are occurring as the summit area subsides and adjusts to the withdrawal of magma. (HVO/USGS)
Kilauea volcano update: 24 May lava flows map and thermal image
Update Fri 25 May 2018 11:45
Kīlauea Lower East Rift Zone Fissures and Flows Map as of 23 May 2018, 2:20 p.m. Shaded purple areas indicate lava flows erupted in 1840, 1955, 1960, and 2014-2015. (HVO/USGS)
Kīlauea Lower East Rift Zone Fissures and Flows Map as of 23 May 2018, 2:20 p.m. Shaded purple areas indicate lava flows erupted in 1840, 1955, 1960, and 2014-2015. (HVO/USGS)
This thermal map shows the fissure system and lava flows as of 12:15 pm on Thursday, May 24. Two channelized lava flows are reaching the ocean. In addition, a new lava flow is active in Leilani Estates subdivision, near Fissure 7. The black and white area is the extent of the thermal map. Temperature in the thermal image is displayed as gray-scale values, with the brightest pixels indicating the hottest areas. (HVO/USGS)
This thermal map shows the fissure system and lava flows as of 12:15 pm on Thursday, May 24. Two channelized lava flows are reaching the ocean. In addition, a new lava flow is active in Leilani Estates subdivision, near Fissure 7. The black and white area is the extent of the thermal map. Temperature in the thermal image is displayed as gray-scale values, with the brightest pixels indicating the hottest areas. (HVO/USGS)
24 May 2018 updated fissures and lava flow map and thermal image of the ongoing eruption of Kilauea in the East Rift Zone (HVO/USGS)
East Rift Zone fissure eruption continues: blue flames and multiple lava ocean entries
Update Fri 25 May 2018 11:39
Blue burning flames of methane gas was observed in the cracks on Kahukai Street close to the active fissure,  during the night from 22 to 23 May 2018. When lava buries plants and shrubs, methane gas is produced as a byproduct of burning vegetation. (HVO/USGS)
Blue burning flames of methane gas was observed in the cracks on Kahukai Street close to the active fissure, during the night from 22 to 23 May 2018. When lava buries plants and shrubs, methane gas is produced as a byproduct of burning vegetation. (HVO/USGS)
The impressive eruption that started at Kilauea volcano, Hawaii, since early May is still going on! During the night from 22 to 23 May, the lower East Rift Zone eruption site produced most robust volcanic activity from the middle portion of the fissure system, with the most active fissures have been 22,19, 6, 5, and 23. The ocean entry remained very active and sometimes created small explosions. A very interesting observation was that of methane gas burning in blue flames in the cracks of Kahukai Street, on May 22, around 11:30 PM. When hot lava buries plants and shrubs, methane gas is produced as a byproduct of burning vegetation. This methane gas can seep into subsurface voids and explode when heated or emerge from cracks in the ground several feet away. When ignited, the methane produces a blue flame.
This image was taken on Wednesday May 23 and shows the scale of the lava channels that feed the ocean entries. Note that lava is overflowing the channels and is on top of slightly older, black lava flows. The visible haze is sulfur dioxide gas that's being emitted from the fissures. Photo courtesy of J. Ozbolt, Hilo Civil Air Patrol.
This image was taken on Wednesday May 23 and shows the scale of the lava channels that feed the ocean entries. Note that lava is overflowing the channels and is on top of slightly older, black lava flows. The visible haze is sulfur dioxide gas that's being emitted from the fissures. Photo courtesy of J. Ozbolt, Hilo Civil Air Patrol.


Evening photograph of the coastline, taken on May 23, 2018, showing where lava flows were entering the sea. Later on the easter branch split just before reaching the ocean, making it three primary ocean entry points. Photo courtesy of J. Ozbolt, Hilo Civil Air Patrol.
Evening photograph of the coastline, taken on May 23, 2018, showing where lava flows were entering the sea. Later on the easter branch split just before reaching the ocean, making it three primary ocean entry points. Photo courtesy of J. Ozbolt, Hilo Civil Air Patrol.

On Wednesday 23 May lava fountains continued to be erupted from fissure 6 through to fissure 22. The latter fissure thereby continued to feed the single lava channel that reaches the coast just north of MacKenzie State Park but which actual point of lava ocean entry kept shifting to the west. Meanwhile fountains from Fissures 5, 6, 13, and 19 were feeding a lava flow that quickly advanced g to the south along the west side of the Fissure 22 flows. Late in the afternoon of 23 May this second lava flow also reached the ocean so that there are again two ocean entry points, each producing occasional small explosions.
A pulse of ash rises from Halema‘uma‘u as part of semi-continuous emissions at Kīlauea's summit during Wednesday 23 May. Ash can be seen falling from the plume as it is blown downwind in this image, taken around 3:28 p.m. HST. USGS photo by I. Johanson.
A pulse of ash rises from Halema‘uma‘u as part of semi-continuous emissions at Kīlauea's summit during Wednesday 23 May. Ash can be seen falling from the plume as it is blown downwind in this image, taken around 3:28 p.m. HST. USGS photo by I. Johanson.


Eruption of lava continued in the area of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens subdivision during the night from Wednesday 23 to Thursday 24 May, with mainly the middle part of the fissure system showing the most activity, reactivating some of the older fissures that started lava spattering again. This activity also continued throughout Thursday 24 May, with fissure 22 feeding lava into the channel that created the first ocean entry and continuous lava fountaining from fissures 6 and 13 sustaining a parallel lava channel that forms the second ocean entry. An overflight showed that the eastern lava flow from fissure 22 changed its course and now splits up just before reaching the ocean, effectively creating a third lava ocean entry. (HVO/USGS)

At Kilauea volcano’s summit, small ash emissions from the Overlook crater occurred frequently throughout the night from 22 to 23 May, and both earthquakes and deflation of the summit region continued at a moderate rate. During Wednesday 23 May multiple small explosions occurred, the largest one around 10h30 local time, all of which created ash plumes to under 3050 m (10,000 ft) above sea level. HVO web cameras often show a robust plume of gas and steam billowing out of the Overlook vent and drifting generally southwest.

Seismic activity continued at a moderate rate throughout Wednesday 23 May until at 05:12 pm the summit area was shaken by a shallow M3.5 earthquake approximately 0.7 miles below the caldera floor. This earthquake, along with many smaller ones that followed for the next 1.5 hours, was felt by people in the area. This sequence of earthquakes eventually stopped when an ash explosion occurred at 06:44 pm that produced an ash cloud reaching 2135 m (7000 ft) above sea level. The earthquakes and ash explosions are occurring as the summit area subsides and adjusts to the withdrawal of magma from the summit.

Moderate seismic activity and ash explosions also continues throughout Thursday 24 May, with the largest explosion detected from the summit Overlook Crater occurring just after 6:00 pm. This explosion produced an ash cloud that rose to 3050 m (10,000 ft) above sea level and carried slightly more ash than most recent explosions. (HVO/USGS)
Kilauea volcano update: Map of current lava flows on 22 May
Update Wed 23 May 2018 13:27
Lava flow map as of 11:00 a.m. HST, May 22. The flow field has not expanded significantly during the past day because most of erupted lava moved southward through the active lava channels and into the ocean. Note a new lava flow that was observed during this morning's overflight west of the active channels (see label). There was a single ocean entry this morning. Shaded purple areas indicate lava flows erupted in 1840, 1955, 1960, and 2014-2015. (HVO/USGS)
Lava flow map as of 11:00 a.m. HST, May 22. The flow field has not expanded significantly during the past day because most of erupted lava moved southward through the active lava channels and into the ocean. Note a new lava flow that was observed during this morning's overflight west of the active channels (see label). There was a single ocean entry this morning. Shaded purple areas indicate lava flows erupted in 1840, 1955, 1960, and 2014-2015. (HVO/USGS)
22 May 2018 updated lava flow map and thermal image of the ongoing eruption of Kilauea in the East Rift Zone (HVO/USGS)
This thermal map shows the fissure system and lava flows as of 06:45 am on Tuesday, May 22. The primary lava flow originates from Fissure 22, but a new flow has been active over the past day from the Fissure 6 area. The black and white area is the extent of the thermal map. Temperature in the thermal image is displayed as gray-scale values, with the brightest pixels indicating the hottest areas. The thermal map was constructed by stitching many overlapping oblique thermal images collected by a handheld thermal camera during a helicopter overflight of the flow field. (HVO/USGS)
This thermal map shows the fissure system and lava flows as of 06:45 am on Tuesday, May 22. The primary lava flow originates from Fissure 22, but a new flow has been active over the past day from the Fissure 6 area. The black and white area is the extent of the thermal map. Temperature in the thermal image is displayed as gray-scale values, with the brightest pixels indicating the hottest areas. The thermal map was constructed by stitching many overlapping oblique thermal images collected by a handheld thermal camera during a helicopter overflight of the flow field. (HVO/USGS)

Moderate level activity continues, fissures feeding lava flows that reach the ocean
Update Wed 23 May 2018 10:13
Aerial view of erupting fissure 22 and lava channels flowing southward from the fissure during an early morning overflight on 21 May. ( Photo :  Volcano Helicopters)
Aerial view of erupting fissure 22 and lava channels flowing southward from the fissure during an early morning overflight on 21 May. ( Photo : Volcano Helicopters)
Helicopter overflight of Kīlauea Volcano's Lower East Rift Zone on 21 May showing lava fountains at Fissure 22. (HVO/USGS)
Helicopter overflight of Kīlauea Volcano's Lower East Rift Zone on 21 May showing lava fountains at Fissure 22. (HVO/USGS)
By the end of the afternoon on 21 May, only a single ocean entry was active which lava channel originates from fissure 22. (HVO/USGS)
By the end of the afternoon on 21 May, only a single ocean entry was active which lava channel originates from fissure 22. (HVO/USGS)
View during an early morning overflight of Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone on 22 May. Two fissures (not pictured) are sending lava down two channels that merge near the coast before the lava pours into the ocean. (HVO/USGS)
View during an early morning overflight of Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone on 22 May. Two fissures (not pictured) are sending lava down two channels that merge near the coast before the lava pours into the ocean. (HVO/USGS)
On the Big Island of Hawai’i, Kilauea’s activity proceeds without any signs of weakening. Eruption of lava and ground cracking continues in the area of Leilani Estates subdivision in the Lower East Rift zone. Monday 21 May lava was being erupted from multiple points along the northeast end of the active fissure system. HVO/USGS reported that whilst fissures 6, 17 and 19 only showed intermittent spattering, fissure 20 was erupting a short line of low lava fountains feeding a channelized lava flow that reached the coast. By the evening of 21 May there was only a single lava ocean entry left. Over the course of Tuesday 22 May, most eruptive activity in the Lower East Rift Zone shifted to the middle portion of the system of fissures. Lava fountains were being ejected from fissures 6 through to fissure 22 and some weak spattering occurred from fissures 5, 6, 17 and 19. A new area of fountaining started in the afternoon along the fissure line between Kaupili and Mohala Streets near Fissure 23.

Magma is still being supplied to the lower East Rift Zone and elevated earthquake activity continues. However, earthquake locations have not moved farther down-rift in the past couple of days, and there were only a few earthquakes located today in the rift zone.

Explosions continue to occur from Haleama’uam’u crater in Kilauea’s summit caldera. HVO/USGS reported a first small explosion early Monday morning 21 May at 12:55, producing an ash plume that reached about 2135 m (7000 ft) and which was carried by the wind to the southwest. Several smaller explosions took place throughout Monday 21 and Tuesday 22 May, all ejecting ash to under 3050 m (10,000 ft) above sea level. Additional explosions are possible at any time. Seismic activity on Kilauea’s summit which had abruptly decreased after the recent explosive eruptions, is again slowly increasing.
Eruption continues, lava flow feeding ocean entry drains into crack
Update Mon 21 May 2018 12:16
Lava flows from the Fissure 20 complex move downslope and enter the ocean. Lava can be seen in the middle of the channel. A laze plume hides the point of ocean entry. (HVO/USGS)
Lava flows from the Fissure 20 complex move downslope and enter the ocean. Lava can be seen in the middle of the channel. A laze plume hides the point of ocean entry. (HVO/USGS)
Throughout Sunday 20 May, Kilauea’s eruption continued at a moderate level along the northeast end of the active fissure system at the lower east rift zone. In the early afternoon, HVO reported that there was still active spattering from fissures 6 and 17. At the same time large lava flows continued to be erupted from fissure 20, two of which reached the ocean the previous night. A new development occurred early in the morning of 20 May when a large crack opened up underneath the east lava flow feeding the ocean entry, diverting the lava from the channel into underground voids. By flowing into the crack, lava in the easternmost channel has diminished and the flow into the ocean is less vigorous. A similar situation happened in 2011, when lava from the Kamoamoa fissure eruption near Pu'u 'O 'o poured into a crack in the ground, never to re-emerge at the surface.
The helicopter hovers above the ocean entry on May 20, 2018, around 6:45 AM HST. Several braided lava channels (red) are visible on the right. The white plume is "laze," which forms when hot lava hits the ocean sending hydrochloric acid and steam with fine glass particles into the air. (HVO/USGS)
The helicopter hovers above the ocean entry on May 20, 2018, around 6:45 AM HST. Several braided lava channels (red) are visible on the right. The white plume is "laze," which forms when hot lava hits the ocean sending hydrochloric acid and steam with fine glass particles into the air. (HVO/USGS)


Lava from the eastern channel of the Fissure 20 complex flows into a crack in the ground. The crack opened in the early morning hours of May 20, 2018. Prior to opening, lava was flowing vigorously down a channel. After the crack formed, the lava began pouring into the ground. (HVO/USGS)
Lava from the eastern channel of the Fissure 20 complex flows into a crack in the ground. The crack opened in the early morning hours of May 20, 2018. Prior to opening, lava was flowing vigorously down a channel. After the crack formed, the lava began pouring into the ground. (HVO/USGS)

Ground deformation continues and seismicity remains elevated in the east rift zone area. As this eruption continues to evolve, activity can change rapidly and additional outbreaks of lava could occur both uprift (southwest) and downrift (northeast) of the existing fissures, or, existing fissures can be reactivated. As a result of the voluminous eruptions from Fissure 20, volcanic gas emissions have tripled and SO2 concentrations are likely elevated to higher levels throughout the area downwind of the vents.
The crack in which lava from fissure 20 is flowing is "robbing" the easternmost channel of lava and the eastern ocean entry of lava. The latter is therefore now less vigorous than the western entry of lava into the ocean. (HVO/USGS)
The crack in which lava from fissure 20 is flowing is "robbing" the easternmost channel of lava and the eastern ocean entry of lava. The latter is therefore now less vigorous than the western entry of lava into the ocean. (HVO/USGS)


At Kilauea’s summit, there have been two explosive eruptions over the weekend as well as several smaller ash emissions. Seismic levels had abruptly decreased after explosive eruptions on Saturday afternoon and Sunday noon but are again slowly increasing since Sunday afternoon (local time). It is clear that at any time activity can become more explosive and result in increased ash production as well as ballistic projectiles thrown out near to the Halema’uma’u vent. (HVO / USGS)
Map of current lava flows
Update Sun 20 May 2018 21:52
Updated map of lava flows with ocean entry points (image: HVO / USGS)
Updated map of lava flows with ocean entry points (image: HVO / USGS)

Eruption intensifies, lava reaches ocean

Update Sun 20 May 2018 21:48
Aerial view of the lava flows advancing towards the coast on 19 May morning (image: Bruce Omori / facebook)
Aerial view of the lava flows advancing towards the coast on 19 May morning (image: Bruce Omori / facebook)
This thermal map shows the fissure system and lava flows as of 12:15 pm on Saturday, May 19. The two primary lava flows originate from the Fissure 20-22 area, and crossed Pohoiki Road over the past day. The flow front position based on a 6:40 pm update is shown by the red circle. The black and white area is the extent of the thermal map. (image: HVO / USGS)
This thermal map shows the fissure system and lava flows as of 12:15 pm on Saturday, May 19. The two primary lava flows originate from the Fissure 20-22 area, and crossed Pohoiki Road over the past day. The flow front position based on a 6:40 pm update is shown by the red circle. The black and white area is the extent of the thermal map. (image: HVO / USGS)
Lava flows emerging from the elongated fissure 16-20 form channels. (image on morning of 19 May: HVO / USGS)
Lava flows emerging from the elongated fissure 16-20 form channels. (image on morning of 19 May: HVO / USGS)
Cinder cone formed at the fissure #17 (image: civilbeat.org / facebook)
Cinder cone formed at the fissure #17 (image: civilbeat.org / facebook)
The eruption intensified significantly during 19 May, producing sustained lava fountains and two lava flows that reached the ocean near Pohoiki and McKenzie State Park in the late evening and were still active this morning (local time Hawaii).
HVO reported earlier in the evening: "Beginning yesterday (18 May) and into today, the rate of lava eruption has increased. Fissure 17 is weakly active now, and Fissures 16-20 have merged into a continuous line of spatter and fountaining.
"Flows from the consolidated Fissure 20 crossed upper Pohoiki road late yesterday afternoon and continued flowing southward. This afternoon two flows from the merged fissure complex have joined less than a mile from the coast and continue to flow southward between Pohoiki and Opihikao Rds."

At the summit, things have been a bit calmer during the past days. Only a small short-lived explosion occurred at Halemaumau at 23:58 local time on 18 May, and generated an ash cloud that reached up to 10,000 ft asl and was carried southwest by the wind.
Since then, "small ash emissions from the Overlook crater have occurred intermittently today. Moderate trade winds were blowing to the southwest and noticeable ashfall may happen in downwind locations.
Additional explosive events that could produce minor amounts of ashfall downwind are possible at any time. Volcanic gas emissions at the summit remain high." (HVO / USGS)

Some videos / images from the ongoing activity:

Aerials from 19 May by Bruce Omori:



Lava entering the ocean this morning:


Fissures #16-20 erupting during 18-19 May:

Eruption continues, increasing concern around summit area
Update Fri 18 May 2018 07:17
View of the eruption plume early yesterday morning nearly an hour after the event started. This image is from the webcam located on the north rim of Moku‘āweoweo Caldera near the summit of Mauna Loa Volcano. (image: HVO / USGS)
View of the eruption plume early yesterday morning nearly an hour after the event started. This image is from the webcam located on the north rim of Moku‘āweoweo Caldera near the summit of Mauna Loa Volcano. (image: HVO / USGS)
After the explosive eruption yesterday early morning, no other bigger explosions have occurred, but seismic levels have been gradually increasing. Several cracks have appeared on Hwy 11 in the summit area.
View of erupting fissure #21 in the afternoon of 17 May (image: HVO / USGS)
View of erupting fissure #21 in the afternoon of 17 May (image: HVO / USGS)

In the lower east rift zone, the eruption continues with no significant changes: As of yesterday afternoon local time (this morning GMT), "fissure 17 is still actively spattering but the flow is nearly stalled.
Continuing erupting fissure #17, the most productive so far. the spattering height and intensity at Fissure 17 seemed to have intensified slightly from yesterday, but the length of active spattering in the fissure is shorter. The overall vigor of Fissure 17 appears to have dropped over the past two days, accompanying a stalling of the Fissure 17 flow front. (image: HVO / USGS),
Continuing erupting fissure #17, the most productive so far. the spattering height and intensity at Fissure 17 seemed to have intensified slightly from yesterday, but the length of active spattering in the fissure is shorter. The overall vigor of Fissure 17 appears to have dropped over the past two days, accompanying a stalling of the Fissure 17 flow front. (image: HVO / USGS),

In addition, fissures 18, 19, and 20 have reactivated and a new fissure (21) has opened between fissures 7 and 3. An area 50-100 yards wide, parallel to and north of the line of fissures between Highway 130 and Lanipuna Gardens, has dropped slightly. This long depression is currently being filled by pahoehoe lava flows from fissures 20 and 21."
Aerial view of ground cracks on Pohoiki Road yesterday morning (17 May; image: HVO / USGS)
Aerial view of ground cracks on Pohoiki Road yesterday morning (17 May; image: HVO / USGS)

Fissure (#21) had opened earlier between fissures #3 and #7 in the Leilani Estates and was erupting lava fountains and a lava flow.
"Volcanic gas emissions remain elevated throughout the area downwind of the fissures."

"Magma continues to be supplied to the lower East Rift Zone as indicated by the continued northwest displacement of a GPS monitoring station. Elevated earthquake activity continues, but earthquake locations have not moved farther downrift in the past couple of days." (HVO / USGS)
Cracks on Hwy 11
Update Fri 18 May 2018 07:23
Cracks on Hwy 11 on 16 May (image: bigislandvideonews.com)
Cracks on Hwy 11 on 16 May (image: bigislandvideonews.com)
Due to the strong deflation of the summit, cracks have also appeared on Highway 11 passing on the north rim of the Kilauea caldera.
Cracks Appear On Highway 11 In Volcano (Big Island video news)

Violent summit explosion, ash to 30,000 ft altitude

Update Thu 17 May 2018 18:00
A violent explosion - the largest since 1924 - occurred this morning at the Halema'uma'u crater at about 04:15 local time, sending an ash plume to 30,000 ft (9 km) altitude, i.e. generating an eruption column of 8 km height.
The ash plume drifted northeast. "Continued emissions from the crater are reaching as high as 12,000 ft asl.", HVO reports.
This is very likely the result of deep-seated water interaction with hot rocks and patches of magma in the drained conduit, as the observatory had been warning about since a few days when the alert level was raised to RED.
"At any time, activity may again become more explosive, increasing the intensity of ash production and producing ballistic projectiles near the vent."
East rift zone continues, ash emission from Halema'uma'u decreased
Update Thu 17 May 2018 14:01
Satellite data show continued deflation of Kilauea's summit  This image is an #interferogram made from radar data collected by the Cosmo-SkyMed satellite constellation operated by the Italian Space Agency (@ASI_spazio). The colored fringes show #deformation of Earth's surface towards or away from the satellite. The more fringes that are clustered together, the more deformation has occurred. Each color cycle is equivalent to 1.5 cm (0.6 in) towards or away from the satellite.
Satellite data show continued deflation of Kilauea's summit This image is an #interferogram made from radar data collected by the Cosmo-SkyMed satellite constellation operated by the Italian Space Agency (@ASI_spazio). The colored fringes show #deformation of Earth's surface towards or away from the satellite. The more fringes that are clustered together, the more deformation has occurred. Each color cycle is equivalent to 1.5 cm (0.6 in) towards or away from the satellite.
Kīlauea Lower East Rift Zone Fissures and Flows, May 16 at 7:00 a.m. HST. Map shows the location of the lava flow spreading from fissure 17 as of 7:00 a.m. HST, May 16. The flow is following a path of steepest descent (blue line) south of a 1955 'a'ā flow. Shaded purple areas indicate lava flows erupted in 1840, 1955, 1960, and 2014-2015.
Kīlauea Lower East Rift Zone Fissures and Flows, May 16 at 7:00 a.m. HST. Map shows the location of the lava flow spreading from fissure 17 as of 7:00 a.m. HST, May 16. The flow is following a path of steepest descent (blue line) south of a 1955 'a'ā flow. Shaded purple areas indicate lava flows erupted in 1840, 1955, 1960, and 2014-2015.
Kilauea summit caldera

The most recent update from HVO/USGS on the continuing eruption of Kilauea volcano (Hawaii) stated that ash emission from the Overlook crater within Halema`uma`u has decreased. There is still an ash cloud rising up from Halema'uma'u an estimated 3 to 4,000 feet above the ground - altitudes varying with pulses of emission intensity - and drifting slowly northward from the Kilauea summit. Ashfall may occur in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park and Volcano Village, those communities downwind that may receive ashfall should take necessary precautions.

HVO/USGS also reports that several magnitude 3 or stronger earthquakes occurred at shallow depth beneath Kilauea's summit today. The explosive eruption of 1924 at the Kilauea summit was also marked by hundreds of felt earthquakes as magma drained from the caldera. These earthquakes resulted in damage to some facilities within the National Park and seem related to cracks in Highway 11 near the entrance to Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.

Both the earthquakes beneath the summit caldera and the cracks in highway 11 are likely the expression of the continued subsiding of the Kilauea summit caldera since the magma below it drained away downwards to the east rift zone. The whole caldera deflated and dropped more than 25 cm / 10 in between May 8-11 and likely has continued subsiding since then.

Kilauea Lower East Rift Zone

At the Leilani Estates division eruptive activity remains concentrated at fissure 17 but the spattering was decreasing in vigor. The advance of the flow has slowed significantly since yesterday afternoon and has now a total length of nearly 2.5 km (1.5 mile). Volcanic gas emissions remain elevated throughout the area downwind of the fissures. Continued northwest displacement of a GPS monitoring station indicates that magma continues to be supplied to the lower East Rift Zone. Elevated earthquake activity continues, but earthquake locations have not moved farther downrift in the past couple of days. (HVO/USGS)
Eruption continues, explosive activity at summit increases
Update Wed 16 May 2018 23:25
Short-lived eruption of a new fissure (#21?) northeast of Leilani, between fissures #16 and #20
Short-lived eruption of a new fissure (#21?) northeast of Leilani, between fissures #16 and #20
Close view of rock hurled from the Overlook crater during an explosive event last evening. The rock broke apart on impact, and was about 60 cm (24 in) before it hit the ground. The location is a few hundred meters (yards) south of the Overlook crater at the Halema‘uma‘u parking lot. Note the ash covering the parking lot, less than about 1 cm (0.4 in) in thickness. (image: HVO / USGS)
Close view of rock hurled from the Overlook crater during an explosive event last evening. The rock broke apart on impact, and was about 60 cm (24 in) before it hit the ground. The location is a few hundred meters (yards) south of the Overlook crater at the Halema‘uma‘u parking lot. Note the ash covering the parking lot, less than about 1 cm (0.4 in) in thickness. (image: HVO / USGS)
The eruption in the lower east rift zone continues with no significant changes. A new fissure has opened up probably during thge night between fissure #16 and #20 and erupted small amounts of lava with spattering during a few hours.
The so-far most productive fissure #17 continues to feed a lava flow towards the ESE, but its progress has significantly slowed down. HVO estimates that it only advanced about 100 m during the past 24 hours, making the scenario of lava reaching the coast in a near future much less likely now.

More significant events have been taking place at the summit, at the site of the former Halema'uma'u lava lake: Visually, ash emissions have increased during the past 48 hours, prompting HVO to raise the aviation color code to red. There are signs that some of the explosive activity might not only be caused by deep rockfalls / collapses inside the drained conduit, but beginning water-hot rock interaction:
Ballistic blocks of up to up to 60 cm (2 feet) across "were found in the parking lot a few hundred yards from Halemaumau. These reflect the most energetic explosions yet observed and could reflect the onset of steam-driven explosive activity. Further observations are necessary to asses this interpretation. Additional such explosions are expected and could be more powerful." (HVO / USGS)
Ash emissions from Halema'uma'u
previewImage-2026.jpg
Ash emissions from Halema'uma'u at 11:15 local time on 15 May 2018 (image: HVO / USGS)
Puu Oo after the collapse now a 350 m deep crater
During an overflight on May 11, we collected thermal images of the crater at Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō and created an updated 3D model of the crater geometry. The collapse on April 30 produced a large cavity, with the deepest point roughly 350 m (1150 feet) below the crater rim.
During an overflight on May 11, we collected thermal images of the crater at Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō and created an updated 3D model of the crater geometry. The collapse on April 30 produced a large cavity, with the deepest point roughly 350 m (1150 feet) below the crater rim.
Most of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park closed
Most parts of the National Park are currently closed for visitors. current information from NPS
Alert level raised to RED because of increased ash emissions and risk of explosions at summit
Update Wed 16 May 2018 00:06
For the first time in a long time, HVO raised the official aviation alert level of the volcano to color code RED. The reason is that ash emissions to significant altitudes (10,000 ft or more) have been increasing. As the summit reservoir of magma continues to drain, rockfalls and infiltrating water are likely to cause increasingly violent explosions.

The volcano observatory (HVO) issued the following notice:

"As of early this morning, eruption of ash from the Overlook vent within Halemaumau crater at Kilauea Volcano's summit has generally increased in intensity. Ash has been rising nearly continuously from the vent and drifting downwind to the southwest. Ashfall and vog (volcanic air pollution) has been reported in Pahala, about 18 miles downwind. NWS radar and pilot reports indicate the top of the ash cloud is as high as 10,000 to 12,000 feet above sea level, but this may be expected to vary depending on the vigor of activity and wind conditions.
Ash emission from the Kilauea summit vent will likely be variable with periods of increased and decreased intensity depending on the occurrence of rockfalls into the vent and other changes within the vent.
At any time, activity may become more explosive, increasing the intensity of ash production and producing ballistic projectiles near the vent.
" (HVO / USGS)
Map of the most active lava flow at the NE end of fissure system
Map of the lava flow from fissure #17 on 14 May (image: HVO / USGS)
Map of the lava flow from fissure #17 on 14 May (image: HVO / USGS)
This thermal map shows a close up of the northeastern end of the fissure system. Fissure 17 was producing a lava flow extending about 1.7 km (1.1 miles) from the fissure. The black and white area is the extent of the thermal map. Temperature in the thermal image is displayed as gray-scale values, with the brightest pixels indicating the hottest areas. The thermal map was constructed by stitching many overlapping oblique thermal images collected by a handheld thermal camera during a helicopter overflight of the flow field. The base is a copyrighted color satellite image (used with permission) provided by Digital Globe.
[See large image]
Eruption continues, lava flow approaches coast
Update Tue 15 May 2018 23:44
At 2:30 p.m. HST, the flow front of Fissure 17 continues down slope. The barren, brown area to the right in the photograph is a lobe of the Kii Flow from the eruption of 1955. The Fissure 17 flow front is located approximately .7 miles makai of Highway 132 and is 1.4 miles mauka of Hwy 137. (image: HVO / USGS)
At 2:30 p.m. HST, the flow front of Fissure 17 continues down slope. The barren, brown area to the right in the photograph is a lobe of the Kii Flow from the eruption of 1955. The Fissure 17 flow front is located approximately .7 miles makai of Highway 132 and is 1.4 miles mauka of Hwy 137. (image: HVO / USGS)
The eruption keeps evolving. While at least 3 more fissures with lava emission have opened up (making a total of at least 20 so far), most activity seems to be occurring from fissure #17, which had started to erupt last Saturday (12 May) and seems to be the one located most downrift (NE direction).
Map of the eruptive fissures and lava flows as of 14 May (image: HVO / USGS)
Map of the eruptive fissures and lava flows as of 14 May (image: HVO / USGS)

Fissure #17 has been producing continuous, low lava fountains and is feeding a lava flow that has started to travel downslope southeast direction towards the coast.
Explosive activity at Halema'uma'u on 15 May (image: HVO / USGS)
Explosive activity at Halema'uma'u on 15 May (image: HVO / USGS)

Its most advanced front is currently only approximately 1.5-2 km away from the coast. Although HVO mentioned that its progress has slowed down significantly (something to be expected as the distance increases), a new lava sea entry in the coming days to weeks is becoming increasingly likely.

HVO reports "intermittent lava spattering at fissure 18" and small lava effusion from the newest fissure #20. "The 'a'ā flow spreading from fissure 17 advanced about 380 m (1,250 ft) since 2:30 p.m. HST yesterday. The advance of the flow has slowed significantly since yesterday afternoon. At 6:45 a.m. the flow was nearly 2.5 km (1.5 mi) in length."
"Volcanic gas emissions remain elevated throughout the area downwind of the fissures."
"Magma continues to be supplied to the lower East Rift Zone as indicated by the continued northwest displacement of a GPS monitoring station. Elevated earthquake activity continues, but earthquake locations have not moved farther downrift in the past couple of days."

Lava fountaining from fissure #18 on 14 May:



Kīlauea Volcano Summit
Explosive activity (ash emissions, explosions) caused by the draining magma column at the summit is also increasing at the moment:
"Ash emission from the Overlook crater within Halemaumau has generally increased this morning (15 May) compared to previous days. Although varying in intensity, at times the plume contains enough ash to be gray in color.
The cloud is rising an estimated 3 to 4,000 feet above the ground, but altitudes are varying with pulses of emission. The ash cloud is drifting generally west and southwest from the Kilauea summit and ashfall is occurring in the Ka'u Desert. Communities downwind are likely to receive ashfall today and should take necessary precautions." (HVO / USGS)
Eruption intensifies, lava continues to spread in lower rift zone
Update Mon 14 May 2018 18:03
Current webcam image of the Lower RIft Zone at Kilauea (image: HVO / USGS)
Current webcam image of the Lower RIft Zone at Kilauea (image: HVO / USGS)
The eruption seems to pick up in activity. Activity at the most recent fissures 17 and 18, located at the northeast end of the active fissure system (downrift), has been continuous during the night.
It is characterized by "lava fountaining, explosion of spatter bombs hundreds of feet into the air, and several advancing lava flow lobes moving generally northeast from fissure 17 at the downrift (northeast) end of the new fissure system.", HVO reported a short time ago in the first morning update. "As of about 7 pm, one lobe was 2 yards thick and advancing roughly parallel to Highway 132. The flow front was just over a half mile southeast of the intersection of Highway 132 and Noni Farms Road."
No other significant changes have occurred: earthquakes continue and the summit continues to deflate, increasing the risk of explosive eruptions if ground water enters into the drained conduit of where Halema'uma's lava lake used to be.
Eruption continues, new fissures open
Update Mon 14 May 2018 08:01
Lava flow from fissure #17 yesterday at 14:00 local time (view is towards S from near Hwy 132) (image: HVO / USGS)
Lava flow from fissure #17 yesterday at 14:00 local time (view is towards S from near Hwy 132) (image: HVO / USGS)
Lava continues to be erupted from the latest fissures that opened up during the past 48 hours, labeled #17 and #18, and there are signs that the eruption is still developing and might continue (and potentially increase) for a while.
Kīlauea Lower East Rift Zone Fissures, May 13 at 9:00 a.m. HST
Kīlauea Lower East Rift Zone Fissures, May 13 at 9:00 a.m. HST

"As of late May 13 local time (this morning GMT)", HVO reported,"activity was dominated by lava fountaining, explosion of spatter bombs hundreds of feet into the air, and several advancing lava flow lobes moving generally northeast from fissure 17 at the downrift (northeast) end of the new fissure system."
"As of about 19:00, one lobe was 2 yards thick and advancing roughly parallel to Highway 132. The flow front was just over a half mile southeast of the intersection of Highway 132 and Noni Farms Road."
"Based on overflight images late this afternoon, additional lava from fissure 17 was also moving slowly southeast. Volcanic gas emissions remain elevated." (HVO / USGS)
New lava emission from new fissures after 3 days of pause
Update Sun 13 May 2018 05:38
aerial view of fissure 16, located about 1.3 km (0.8 miles) northeast of fissure 15 (top left). The fissure is located 500 m northeast of the Puna Geothermal Venture site (top right). Photograph courtesy of Hawai`i County Fire Department. (via HVO / USGS)
aerial view of fissure 16, located about 1.3 km (0.8 miles) northeast of fissure 15 (top left). The fissure is located 500 m northeast of the Puna Geothermal Venture site (top right). Photograph courtesy of Hawai`i County Fire Department. (via HVO / USGS)
After a pause of 3 days with no lava emission, two new fissures (#16 and #17) started to erupt yesterday.
The first (#16) opened about 06:45 local time yesterday morning about 1 mile northeast of fissure 15 at the northeast end of the existing vent system, and produced minor lava spattering, and a lava flow that reached about 250 m length until ending activity at about 14:30.
The next one (#17) opened at around 18:00 in the evening just east of fissure 16, about a half mile northeast from the end of Hinalo Road.
According to HVO, "lava from this latest outbreak is actively spattering and degassing but no flow has yet formed. This area was actively steaming earlier in the day."
"
Earthquake activity, ground deformation, and continuing high emission rates of sulphur dioxide in the area indicate additional outbreaks of lava are likely as this eruption continues. The location of future outbreaks could include areas both uprift (southwest) and downrift (northeast) of the existing fissures, or, existing fissures can be reactivated. Communities downslope of these fissures could be at risk from lava inundation."

"Kīlauea Volcano Summit
Deflationary tilt continues. Based on this and field observations of the past two days, the lava lake level continues to drop. Over the course of the day, rockfalls from the steep enclosing crater walls have generated small ash clouds mixed with white condensed water vapor intermittently throughout the day. These ash clouds have been relatively low concentration and have risen only a few thousand feet above the ground, a few generating very localized ashfall downwind. More explosive activity generating larger ash clouds remains possible and can occur with no warning.

Earthquake activity in the summit remains elevated with several felt events at HVO today. Many of these earthquakes are related to the ongoing subsidence of the summit area and earthquakes beneath the south flank of the volcano." (HVO / USGS)
Summit lava lake continues to drop, risk of explosions increases
Update Thu 10 May 2018 05:48
Ash column rises from the Overlook crater at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano. HVO's interpretation is that the explosion was triggered by a rockfall from the steep walls of Overlook crater. The photograph was taken at 8:29 a.m. HST from the Jaggar Museum overlook. The explosion was short-lived. Geologists examining the ash deposits on the rim of Halema‘uma‘u crater found fresh lava fragments hurled from the lava lake. This explosion was not caused by the interaction of the lava lake with the water table. When the ash cleared from the crater about an hour after the explosion, geologists were able to observe the lava lake surface, which is still above the water table. (image: HVO / USGS)
Ash column rises from the Overlook crater at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano. HVO's interpretation is that the explosion was triggered by a rockfall from the steep walls of Overlook crater. The photograph was taken at 8:29 a.m. HST from the Jaggar Museum overlook. The explosion was short-lived. Geologists examining the ash deposits on the rim of Halema‘uma‘u crater found fresh lava fragments hurled from the lava lake. This explosion was not caused by the interaction of the lava lake with the water table. When the ash cleared from the crater about an hour after the explosion, geologists were able to observe the lava lake surface, which is still above the water table. (image: HVO / USGS)
Thermal view of the pit crater where the lava lake used to be, no longer visible as of 10 May morning (image: HVO / USGS)
Thermal view of the pit crater where the lava lake used to be, no longer visible as of 10 May morning (image: HVO / USGS)
The summit lava lake inside Halema'uma'u crater continues to drop and the summit continues to deflate. As of yesterday evening, the lava lake's surface was 295 m (970 ft) below the floor of the crater, leaving a deep funnel. Lava is no longer visible on the webcam images.
At about 8:32 local time yesterday morning, a large rockfall from the steep crater walls into the retreating lake triggered an explosion that generated an ash column above the crater (image); the ash was blown toward the south-southwest. Rockfalls and explosions that produce ash columns are expected to continue.

Warning of phreatic explosions
However, the volcano observatory now warns that as the magma column in the summit reservoir connecting to the lava lake continues to drain and drop, the risk of potentially large explosions increases. This will be especially true if the surface of the magma column drops beneath the ground water table under the caldera floor, which would allow water to seep into the hot conduit, and likely trigger violent steam-driven (phreatic) explosions, perhaps similar to those observed in 1924, when violent phreatic activity destroyed the pre-1924 lava lake and excavated the Halema'uma'u crater as it was known after 1924.

--------
from the Kilauea Volcano Activity Notice 20180509_0802:
"Debris expelled during such explosions could impact the area surrounding Halemaʻumaʻu and the Kīlauea summit. At this time, we cannot say with certainty that explosive activity will occur, how large the explosions could be, or how long such explosive activity could continue."

Ballistic projectiles hazard
"During steam-driven explosions, ballistic blocks up to 2 m (yards) across could be thrown in all directions to a distance of 1 km (0.6 miles) or more. These blocks could weigh a few kilograms (pounds) to several tons.
Smaller (pebble-size) rocks could be sent several kilometers (miles) from Halemaʻumaʻu, mostly in a downwind direction.

Ashfall hazard
"Presently, during the drawdown of the lava column, rockfalls from the steep enclosing walls of the Overlook crater vent impact the lake and produce small ash clouds. These clouds are very dilute and result in dustings of ash (particles smaller than 2 mm) downwind.
"Should steam-driven explosions begin, ash clouds will rise to greater elevations above ground. Minor ashfall could occur over much wider areas, even up to several tens of miles from Halemaʻumaʻu. In 1924, ash may have reached as high as 20,000 feet above sea level. Small amounts of fine ash from these explosions fell over a wide area as far north as North Hilo (Hakalau), in lower Puna, and as far south as Waiohinu.

Gas hazard
"Gas emitted during steam-drive explosions will be mainly steam, but will include some sulfur dioxide (SO2) as well. Currently, SO2 emissions remain elevated.

Warning time
"Steam-driven explosions at volcanoes typically provide very little warning. Once the lava level reaches the groundwater elevation, onset of continuous ashy plumes or a sequence of violent steam-driven explosions may be the first sign that activity of concern has commenced.

Background
"Kīlauea’s lava lake began to drop on May 2, 2018. From its peak on May 2 to the most recent measurement at 9 pm on May 6, the lava lake surface dropped a total of more than 200 m (656 ft). The subsidence was at a relatively constant rate of about 2 meters (yards) per hour.
Measurements of subsidence have not been possible since May 6 because of thick fume and the increasing depth to the lava surface. However, thermal images indicate continued lowering of the lake surface since that time, consistent with deflationary tilt recorded at Kīlauea’s summit. Therefore, we infer that the lake surface continues to drop at roughly the same rate. So, while HVO cannot report exact depths of the receding lava lake, we can monitor the overall trend.
Earthquake activity in the summit remains elevated. Many of these earthquakes are related to the ongoing subsidence of the summit area and earthquakes beneath the south flank of the volcano." (HVO / USGS)
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Eruption continues, slowly propagates downrift

Update Thu 10 May 2018 05:34
At 13:00 p.m. HST. Aerial view from the Hawaii County Fire Department of fissure 15. The fissure cut across Pohoiki Road. (image: HVO / USGS)
At 13:00 p.m. HST. Aerial view from the Hawaii County Fire Department of fissure 15. The fissure cut across Pohoiki Road. (image: HVO / USGS)
The intermittent lower east rift zone eruption in the Leilani Estates continues. New fissures and areas of ground steaming have appeared, enlarging the affected area both down- (towards NE) and uprift (SW direction), showing that the intrusion of magma continues.
Severe ground cracks associated with fissure 14 in Leilani Estates. (image: HVO / USGS)
Severe ground cracks associated with fissure 14 in Leilani Estates. (image: HVO / USGS)

In its latest statement, HVO described that the "visible activity yesterday early afternoon was again focused on the northeast portion of the fissure area", which is now about 5 km long across the southern portion of Leilani Estates. "Fissure 15 broke ground across Poihiki Road, generating a pahoehoe flow about 20 m (66 ft) long. During an overflight of the area about 3 p.m. HST, geologists observed a new steaming area uprift (west) of Highway 130. During a second overflight at 4:30 p.m., the area was still steaming."
Map of the east rift zone and the location of eruptive fissures as of 9 May
Map of the east rift zone and the location of eruptive fissures as of 9 May

Signs are that magma might further propagate downrift: HVO writes that "rates of motion increased late this morning on a GPS station 1.5 km (1 mile) southeast of Nanawale Estates. The direction of motion is consistent with renewed movement of magma in the downrift direction (to the northeast)."
"Rates of seismicity changed little throughout the day; located earthquakes were mostly uprift (west) of Highway 130. Gas emissions remain elevated in the vicinity of fissures."
New fissures with brief lava emission
Update Wed 09 May 2018 07:06
Activity of fissure #13 yesterday afternoon (image: HVO / USGS)
Activity of fissure #13 yesterday afternoon (image: HVO / USGS)
Preliminary map of the new fissures #13 and #14 (image: HVO / USGS)
Preliminary map of the new fissures #13 and #14 (image: HVO / USGS)
Plot of earthquake depth vs time for 1 week (image: HVO / USGS)
Plot of earthquake depth vs time for 1 week (image: HVO / USGS)
During the afternoon, two more fissures opened along the lineament of the previous fissures in the Leilani Estates and erupted briefly. Fissure #13 erupted at 14:47 local time across Leilani Street near the intersection with Pohoiki Road and rem,ained active until about 17:00.
The fissure #14, located a bit to the SW, had apparently a similar activity.
Earthquakes continue, but have been decreasing in numbers and size over the past days.
Eruption on lower east rift zone pauses
Update Tue 08 May 2018 21:55
The eruption on the lower east rift zone has paused this morning, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) reports, but it is likely to resume in a near future.
No lava was being erupted this morning. "As of 7:00 am (8 May local time), the eruption ... has paused. Strong emission of gas continues from the fissure system that is now about 2.5 miles long. This pause is likely temporary and resumption of lava emission or additional fissure outbreaks are possible at any time." (HVO)

The summit area of the volcano continues to deflate and the lava lake inside the Halema'uma'u crater continues to drop, while elevated sulfur dioxide emission rates persist at the summit. Rockfalls into the exposed crater previously containing the lava lake cause intermittent ash plumes.
Earthquake activity remains high, following Friday's magnitude-6.9 earthquake and the strong internal pressure changes due to internal magma migration into the rift zone.
At Pu'u 'O'o, collapses continue to occur into the collapsed crater, and no lava is present at the cone any more at the moment.
Summit lava lake about to disappear from view
Update Tue 08 May 2018 11:38
Thermal image looking onto the disappearing lava lake (image: HVO webcam)
Thermal image looking onto the disappearing lava lake (image: HVO webcam)
The summit lava lake inside Halema'uma'u crater keeps dropping as lava is being drained away into new space in the rift zone. This is the current view from the overlook crater rim, showing the surface of what remains of the lake at now more than 200 m below the rim.
Eruption at east rift zone continues at moderate - low levels
Update Tue 08 May 2018 10:35
At 12:20 a.m. HST, fissure 12 (shown here) opened shortly after fissure 11 became inactive. Fissure 12 opened in the forest south of Malama Street in Leilani Estates. (image: HVO/USGS)
At 12:20 a.m. HST, fissure 12 (shown here) opened shortly after fissure 11 became inactive. Fissure 12 opened in the forest south of Malama Street in Leilani Estates. (image: HVO/USGS)
Eruption of lava and gas continues at a low level along Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone within the Leilani Estates subdivision. USGS reports that on Monday 7 May 2 new fissures opened up and temporarily erupted lava, making a total of 12 fissure segments that broke ground and were active since the start of the eruption in the Leilani Estates. The longest lava flow thereby advanced about 0.9 km (0.6 miles) northward from fissure 8 before stopping. Large cracks have now also appeared on Highway 130 west of the eruption site and they continue to widen (up to 7 – 8 cm by now) and expel volcanic gasses and steam. Rates of seismicity and deformation changed little throughout the day and gas emissions likely remain elevated in the vicinity of fissures.
At 10:00 a.m. HST, steam rose from fissure 9 on Moku Street in the Leilani Estates Subdivision. HVO scientists on the scene reported hearing rumbling noises in the area. (image: HVO/USGS)
At 10:00 a.m. HST, steam rose from fissure 9 on Moku Street in the Leilani Estates Subdivision. HVO scientists on the scene reported hearing rumbling noises in the area. (image: HVO/USGS)


Updated thermal map of the fissure eruption in the Leilani Estates subdivision, showing the 12 fissure segments and the long northward lava flow from fissure 8 (image: HVO/USGS)
Updated thermal map of the fissure eruption in the Leilani Estates subdivision, showing the 12 fissure segments and the long northward lava flow from fissure 8 (image: HVO/USGS)

Lower East Rift Zone
Map indicating the lava hazard on the Big Island, Hawaii. Red Zone 1 is where fissures begin eruptions. Downhill, pink Zone 2 is where those eruptions are most likely to feed flows. The current eruption in the Leilani Estates is in the bottom right Red Zone 1 (image: USGS)
Map indicating the lava hazard on the Big Island, Hawaii. Red Zone 1 is where fissures begin eruptions. Downhill, pink Zone 2 is where those eruptions are most likely to feed flows. The current eruption in the Leilani Estates is in the bottom right Red Zone 1 (image: USGS)


During the night from 6 to 7 May lava emission from fissures was minimal whilst strong degassing continued. However, seismicity in the area continued at the same rate, indicating that this was only a short pause in activity and that additional outbreaks and/or resumption of activity at existing fissures was likely. This was confirmed when two new fissure segments broke ground on Monday 7 May, with activity focused on the southwest portion of the eruption area. The first (fissure 11) opened in a forested area southwest of Leilani Estates about 9:30 am and was active for only 3 hours. The second (fissure 12) opened about 12:20 between older fissures 10 and 11. By 3:15 pm, both new fissures were in active but the west end of fissure 10 was steaming heavily.



Compilation video of the activity of fissure segments in the Leilani Estates Subdivision in the past few days (footage from Tropical Visions Video, Inc. and Paradise Helicopters)


Kilauea Summit

Tiltmeters at the summit of Kilauea Volcano continue to record the deflationary trend of the past week and the summit lava lake level continues to drop. Rockfalls from the steep crater walls into the retreating lake continue to produce occasional ash plumes above Halema'uma'u crater. Since Friday’s magnitude-6.9 earthquake, seismic activity in the summit remains elevated but has decreased over the past few days. Many of these earthquakes are related to the ongoing subsidence of the summit area and earthquakes beneath the south flank of the volcano.

Puʻu ʻŌʻō

A tiltmeter on the Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone continues to record the deflationary pattern that followed collapse of the crater floor on April 30. Rockfalls from the steep crater walls will likely continue to collapse intermittently, producing small ashy plumes. There is however no more active lava in the Puʻu ʻŌʻō area and also the 61g lava flow is no longer active.

Hazard Analysis

Continued eruptive activity (fluctuating and intermittent) in the lower East Rift Zone is likely. New outbreaks or resumption of lava production at existing vents can occur at any time. Areas downslope of erupting fissures are at risk of lava inundation. The general area of Leilani Estates remains at the greatest risk. However, as the eruption progresses, other areas of the lower East Rift Zone may also be at risk.
High levels of volcanic gas including sulphur dioxide are being emitted from the fissure vents. In addition, smoke from burning houses and burning asphalt is a health concern and should be avoided. As the lava lake level inside Halemaʻumaʻu drops, rockfalls from the enclosing walls may increase in frequency prompting explosions of spatter from the lake onto the nearby crater rim and lofting plumes of ash. Dustings of ash from these events can occur downwind. Additional aftershocks from the magnitude-6.9 earthquake are expected and some may be strong. (HVO/USGS)
Rift-zone eruption continues, but decreases a bit
Update Mon 07 May 2018 09:17
A lava flow moves on Makamae Street in Leilani Estates at 09:32 am HST on May 6. (image: HVO / USGS)
A lava flow moves on Makamae Street in Leilani Estates at 09:32 am HST on May 6. (image: HVO / USGS)
The summit lava lake has dropped significantly over the past few days, and was roughly 220 m below the crater rim (image taken evening of 6 May). This very wide angle camera view captures the entire north portion of the Overlook crater. (image: HVO / USGS)
The summit lava lake has dropped significantly over the past few days, and was roughly 220 m below the crater rim (image taken evening of 6 May). This very wide angle camera view captures the entire north portion of the Overlook crater. (image: HVO / USGS)
Map of the active fissures (satellite image via HVO / USGS)
Map of the active fissures (satellite image via HVO / USGS)
The intermittent eruption of lava from several small fissures in the Leilani Estates continues: yesterday, Fissure 8 erupted lava fountains until about 16:00 local time, and generated an a'a lava flow that advanced slowly northward through the afternoon, even after the lava fountains shut down, HVO reported.
In the early evening the flow had crossed Ho'okopu Road, a distance from fissure 8 of about about 1.1 km (0.6 miles). New ground cracks were discovered in the vicinity of fissures 8 and 9. These were emitting thick steam and gases, but no lava spattering was observed by the time of HVO's latest status report this morning (9pm local time yesterday).
According to HVO, "rates of seismicity and deformation decreased in the past day. The absence of additional deformation in the past day suggests a pause in magma acculumation in the distal part of the intrusion."

"Kīlauea Volcano Summit
Tiltmeters at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano continue to record the deflationary trend of the past several days. Corresponding to this deflationary trend, the summit lava lake level in Overlook crater dropped about 2 m (6.5 ft) per hour during the day. The lake level has dropped an estimated 220 m (722 ft) since the collapse of Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater on April 30. Rockfalls from the steep crater walls into the retreating lake continue to produce ashy plumes above Halema'uma'u crater. Rockfalls and ashy plumes are expected to continue as the lake level drops.

Earthquake activity in the summit remains at elevated levels. In the past 24 hours, about 31 magnitude-2 earthquakes occurred at depths less than 5 km (3 miles) beneath the summit area (compared to the 24-hour period when 152 magnitude-2 and magnitude-3 earthquakes. These earthquakes are related to the ongoing subsidence of the summit area and earthquakes beneath the south flank of the volcano." (HVO / USGS)
Map of active fissures and road blocks
Update Sun 06 May 2018 16:30
Map of parts of Puna with roadblocks and active fissures (slightly outdated already) from mentioned resource of County of Hawaii
Map of parts of Puna with roadblocks and active fissures (slightly outdated already) from mentioned resource of County of Hawaii
The County of Hawaii published an an online interactive map where known eruptive fissures, roadblocks and areas most at hazard of lava inundation are shown.
Zoom into Leilani Subdivision showing the location of the first 7 eruptive fissures
Zoom into Leilani Subdivision showing the location of the first 7 eruptive fissures

Eruption continues, elevated seismic activity
Update Sun 06 May 2018 11:02
The subsiding lava lake this afternoon - the lava is drained away into the intrusion of the rift zone (image: HVO webcam)
The subsiding lava lake this afternoon - the lava is drained away into the intrusion of the rift zone (image: HVO webcam)
The eruption in the Leilani Estates in the lower East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano continues. HVO reported that fissure 7 stopped erupting in mid-afternoon yesterday, while a new fissure erupted this evening near fissures 2 and 7, and produced lava fountains up to 70 m tall.
Early this morning, new ground cracks were reported on Highway 130, but no heat or escaping steam was subsequently observed.
According to various information in social media, about 30 fissures in total have opened in the area (but only some of them erupted lava), at least 5 houses have been destroyed) and about 2000 people have been evacuated.
The area is patrolled by army to prevent plundering.
At the summit caldera, deflation continues and the lava lake has dropped more than 100 m over the past few days, leaving the walls of its pit crater exposed. Frequent rockfalls occur, sometimes generating ash plumes that rise from Halema'uma'u.
Whether the current eruption will result in the end of the summit lava lake activity, and /or the end of Pu'u 'O'o on the rift zone is unclear, but a possible scenario.

Videos from the eruption can be found all over the social media, like this:


Seismicity continues to be elevated, in particular on the southern flank where the magnitude 6.9 earthquake occurred yesterday. HVO interprets the ongoing seismic activity and deformation as sign of continued accumulation of magma within the rift zone. This means the eruption is likely only at its beginning, and will drastically change Kilauea volcano.

from HVO latest update:
Kīlauea Volcano Summit
"Tiltmeters at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano continue to record the deflationary trend of the past several days. Satellite InSAR data show that between April 23 and May 5, 2018, the summit caldera floor subsided about 10 cm (4 in). Corresponding to this deflationary trend, the summit lava lake level in Overlook crater has dropped about 128 m (518 ft) below the crater rim since April 30. Rockfalls from the crater walls into the retreating lake produced ashy plumes above Halemaumau crater today, resulting in light ashfall in the summit area. Rockfalls and ashy plumes are expected to continue as the lake level drops.

Earthquake activity in the summit increased in the past 2 days, coincident with the magnitude-6.9 earthquake on May 4 beneath the south flank of Kīlauea. In the past two days, about 152 magnitude-2 and magnitude-3 earthquakes occurred at depths less than 5 km (3 miles) beneath the summit area. Twenty two magnitude 3 earthquakes were recorded. These earthquakes are related to the ongoing subsidence of the summit area and beneath the south flank of the volcano."
Lava fountains up to 70 m tall
Update Sun 06 May 2018 09:02
Lava fountaining from the fissure that opened last night (image: HVO / USGS)
Lava fountaining from the fissure that opened last night (image: HVO / USGS)
The eruption seems to be increasing in intensity. HVO published an image showing a new fissure (the 9th?) which started last night at around 20:44 local time near fissures 2 and 7. By 21:00, it erupted already lava fountains as high as about 70 m (230 ft).
Eruption and earthquakes continue with little changes
Update Sun 06 May 2018 07:14
At 07:45 a.m. HST on Sat 5 May 2018, lava from fissure 7 slowly advanced to the northeast on Hookapu Street in Leilani Estates subdivision on Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone. (image: HVO / USGS)
At 07:45 a.m. HST on Sat 5 May 2018, lava from fissure 7 slowly advanced to the northeast on Hookapu Street in Leilani Estates subdivision on Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone. (image: HVO / USGS)
The (so-far) weak eruption of lava and gas from several fissures in the Leilani Estates subdivision continues. As of last evening, at least 8 fissures were active, but so far only erupted relatively small amounts of lava.
Map of the eruptive fissures as of yesterday (image: HVO / USGS)
Map of the eruptive fissures as of yesterday (image: HVO / USGS)

Earthquakes continue to occur at rates of one every few minutes both under the rift zone and the southern flank as of this morning. The summit lava lake inside Halema'uma'u continues to drop as deflation persists, and now leaves an impressive deep pit inside Halama'uma'u. No lava is arriving at Pu'u 'O'o and the G61 lava flow is now history.
At 12:26 p.m. HST yesterday (5 May), a crack opened on Pohoiki Road just east of Leilani Street in the Leilani Estates subdivsion. (image: HVO / USGS)
At 12:26 p.m. HST yesterday (5 May), a crack opened on Pohoiki Road just east of Leilani Street in the Leilani Estates subdivsion. (image: HVO / USGS)


The lava lake as of this morning, showing the dramatic drop (image: HVO webcam)
The lava lake as of this morning, showing the dramatic drop (image: HVO webcam)

from the latest report of the volcano observatory at 11:54 AM HST (Saturday, May 5, 2018, 21:54 UTC):
"Summit Observations: Deflationary tilt at the summit continues. In concert, the summit lava lake is dropping. Tremor amplitude is fluctuating with lava lake spattering. No large rockfalls or ash plumes related to rockfalls into the lava lake, such as occurred yesterday during the large earthquake sequence, have occurred. Elevated summit sulfur dioxide emission rates persist. Gas emissions remain elevated. Current webcam views are here: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_webcams.html

Puʻu ʻŌʻō Observations: Seismicity remains elevated at Puʻu ʻŌʻō but tiltmeters near the cone show no significant deformation overnight. No lava is active in the area and the 61g lava flow is no longer being fed. The summit crater of the cone will likely continue to collapse intermittently producing small plumes of ash. Yesterday, there were several vigorous episodes of ash emission in response to collapse, including immediately after the nearby M6.9 earthquake.

Hazard Analysis: Additional fissure outbreaks producing spatter and lava flows are likely. Locations cannot be forecast with certainty, but new outbreaks thus far have been preceded by ground cracking, then strong steam and volcanic gas release. Areas uprift and downrift of the current fissure zone are the most likely to see further outbreaks.

Areas downslope of an erupting fissure or vent are at risk of lava inundation. Currently, lava flows from active fissures are sluggish and not moving very quickly or far. The general area of the Leilani subdivision remains at greatest risk. However, as the eruption progresses, other areas of the lower East Rift Zone may also be at risk.
High levels of volcanic gas including sulphur dioxide are being emitted from the fissure vents. In addition, smoke from burning houses and burning asphalt is a health concern and should be avoided.

As the lava lake level inside Halemaʻumaʻu drops, rockfalls from the enclosing walls may increase in frequency prompting explosions of spatter from the lake onto the nearby crater rim and lofting plumes of ash. Dustings of ash from these events can occur downwind. Yesterday's strong earthquakes were responsible for some of these plumes and associated ashfall, both from Kīlauea Volcano's summit lava lake and the Puʻu ʻŌʻō vent.

Additional aftershocks from yesterday's M6.9 earthquake are expected and some may be strong. Residents are advised to review earthquake preparedness by consulting available resources such as: https://www.shakeout.org/hawaii/dropcoverholdon/" (HVO /USGS)
Eruption continues with mild lava emission from at least 6 fissures in Leilani Estates
Update Sat 05 May 2018 07:27
Fissure 3 opened around 6:00 a.m. HST on Friday, May 4, with weak fuming from a crack on Kaupili Street. This fuming increased, as did rumbling sounds. Eventually spatter was ejected and accumulated around the fissure. Large, loud bubble bursts were common at this fissure. (image: HVO / USGS)
Fissure 3 opened around 6:00 a.m. HST on Friday, May 4, with weak fuming from a crack on Kaupili Street. This fuming increased, as did rumbling sounds. Eventually spatter was ejected and accumulated around the fissure. Large, loud bubble bursts were common at this fissure. (image: HVO / USGS)
The new rift eruption in the Leilani Estates subdivision in the lower East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano continues: as of Friday afternoon local time, at least 6 fissures have opened up in the area, each several hundred meters long.
Steaming of the ground just before a fissure opened (image: HVO / USGS)
Steaming of the ground just before a fissure opened (image: HVO / USGS)

So far, the intensity of the eruption (i.e. the lava output from the fissures) is comparably low, though: no large lava flows have formed (yet). It seems that the main mass of magma is still "undecided" where to create a major and more efficient conduit breaching the surface, and "trying out" several locations instead. The locations of the first 3 fissures are on Makamae, Kaupili and Mohala Streets, while new ones have opened near Kahukai and Pohoiki Road. It seems that so far, the Puna Geothermal Venture has not been touched.
Fissure 5 opened shortly before 12:00 p.m. in Leilani Estates subdivision--Leilani Street runs left to right at the bottom of the photo; Kahukai Street is the cross street. (image: HVO / USGS)
Fissure 5 opened shortly before 12:00 p.m. in Leilani Estates subdivision--Leilani Street runs left to right at the bottom of the photo; Kahukai Street is the cross street. (image: HVO / USGS)

HVO warns that additional fissures are likely to form (and probably have by the time of this update). Although the lava output is so far small, several houses and properties have already been destroyed. Another major hazard are the large quantities of SO2 gas emitted from the fissures.
Map of the first 3 fissures (HVO / USGS)
Map of the first 3 fissures (HVO / USGS)


Map of recent quakes on Kilauea volcano
Map of recent quakes on Kilauea volcano

Seismic activity at the volcano remains elevated, suggesting that the intrusion of magma continues and that what is happening now might be just a foreplay: over 160 small to moderate earthquakes have occurred during the past 6 hours alone, concentrated in two areas: under the lower east rift, where the magma is intruding, and under Kilauea's southern flank, which is responding to this along normal faults by southward and downward movements (and also responsible for yesterday's magnitude 6.9 quake, which was the largest on the island since 1975).
Depth vs time of recent quakes
Depth vs time of recent quakes


Ash plume generated by an internal collapse at Pu'u 'O'o following yesterday's 6.9 South Flank of Kīlauea earthquake (image: HVO / USGS)
Ash plume generated by an internal collapse at Pu'u 'O'o following yesterday's 6.9 South Flank of Kīlauea earthquake (image: HVO / USGS)

The government has ordered evacuation of Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens Subdivision and Police, Fire and County agencies along with the National Guard are assisting with evacuation. Read more at the County of Hawai'i's website.
Quake updated to magnitude 6.9
Update Fri 04 May 2018 23:18
USGS estimate of the strong earthquake on Kilauea in the afternoon of 4 May 2018
USGS estimate of the strong earthquake on Kilauea in the afternoon of 4 May 2018
The strong earthquake that occurred a short time ago is now estimated at magnitude 6.9 by USGS with its hypocenter at 5 km depth and epicenter a few km northwest of Kalapana.
Magnitude 6.5 earthquake
Update Fri 04 May 2018 23:05
hawaii-quake-m6-4may18.jpg
An even stronger quake of (estimated) magnitude above 6 occurred 30 min ago on the Big Island, probably near the east rift zone or the southern flank - its precise location has not yet been published by USGS.
Magnitude 5.3 earthquake near Kalapana
Update Fri 04 May 2018 21:53
Location of the mag 5.3 earthquake on Hawaii today
Location of the mag 5.3 earthquake on Hawaii today
A magnitude 5.3 earthquake, the largest-so-far in the ongoing crisis, occurred a short time ago at 6 km depth in the area of Kalapana about 18km SW of Leilani Estates where the new rift eruption is occurring.
Numerous reports about the quake, widely felt over the Big Island, are coming in. The earthquake is probably reflecting a movement of the southern flank of Kilauea volcano in response to the ongoing rift zone intrusion.
First pictures of new eruption
Update Fri 04 May 2018 19:37
Steaming cracks at 5:57 a.m. HST in Leilani Estates subdivision, moments before a fissure opened up on Kaupili Street.
Steaming cracks at 5:57 a.m. HST in Leilani Estates subdivision, moments before a fissure opened up on Kaupili Street.
A new lava fissure commenced around 1:00 am HST on Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone on Makamae and Leilani Streets in the Leilani Estates subdivision. Spatter was being thrown roughly 30 m (about 100 ft) high at the time of this photo. Copious amounts of sulfur dioxide gas, which should be avoided, is emitted from active fissures. The eruption is dynamic and changes could occur with little warning.
A new lava fissure commenced around 1:00 am HST on Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone on Makamae and Leilani Streets in the Leilani Estates subdivision. Spatter was being thrown roughly 30 m (about 100 ft) high at the time of this photo. Copious amounts of sulfur dioxide gas, which should be avoided, is emitted from active fissures. The eruption is dynamic and changes could occur with little warning.
HVO published a first set of pictures from the new eruptive fissures in Leilani Estates, which started to erupt over night:
Eruption resumes, at least 3 more eruptive fissures in Leilani Estates
Update Fri 04 May 2018 19:04
Aerial view of the recently formed collapse crater in Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō. This photo looks to the east, and shows the deep collapse crater formed on Monday, April 30, when magma beneath Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō drained. For scale, the crater is about 250 meters (820 feet) wide. (image: HVO / USGS)
Aerial view of the recently formed collapse crater in Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō. This photo looks to the east, and shows the deep collapse crater formed on Monday, April 30, when magma beneath Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō drained. For scale, the crater is about 250 meters (820 feet) wide. (image: HVO / USGS)
Following a brief pause after the first outbreak reported earlier, at least 3 more eruptive fissures have opened in the same area (Leilani Estates subdivision), apparently over night.
HVO reported this morning (Hawaiian local time) that "at this time, activity consists mostly of vigorous lava spattering. Additional outbreaks in the area are likely. Deflationary tilt at the summit of the volcano continues and the lava lake level continues to drop."

"Each outbreak has been preceded by ground cracking and strong gas emission. Activity consists primarily of vigorous spattering of lava and development of very short lava flows that have yet to travel more than a few tens of yards from the vent. Earthquake activity in the area remains elevated and ground deformation is continuing. High levels of volcanic gas are reported around the fissure vents.

"Residents of the Puna District to remain alert, review individual, family, and business emergency plans, and watch for further information about the status of the volcano. Hawaii County Civil Defense messages regarding conditions, warning, and evacuations may be found at www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts/.

"Summit Observations: Deflationary tilt at the summit continues. In concert, the summit lava lake is dropping. Tremor amplitude is fluctuating with lava lake spattering. Elevated summit sulfur dioxide emission rates persist. Gas emissions remain elevated.

"Puʻu ʻŌʻō Observations: Seismicity remains elevated at Puʻu ʻŌʻō but tiltmeters near the cone show no significant deformation overnight. During fieldwork at Puʻu ʻŌʻō yesterday, no lava activity was observed in the area. The 61g lava flow is no longer being fed. The summit crater of the cone continues to collapse intermittently producing small plumes of ash; yesterday there were several episodes of ash emission in response to collapse, including immediately after the nearby M5.0 earthquake." (HVO / USGS)
Eruption in Leilani Estates already ended, but crisis continues
Update Fri 04 May 2018 08:36
Yesterday's eruption in the Leilani Estates subdivision in the lower East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano only lasted about 2 hours and already ended by about 18:30 local time. Only small amounts of lava were erupted and produced flows that advanced less than 10 m from the fissure.
"At this time, the fissure is not erupting lava and no other fissures have erupted", HVO reports, but this brief episode is likely only the beginning of something else: seismic activity continues to be elevated, indicating that magma is still on the move. As well, the summit caldera continues to deflate, i.e. magma is draining from the summit reservoir into the rift. Therefore, a rather likely scenario is that new and potentially larger eruptions in similar or other areas of the rift zone will occur in a near future.

from the latest report:
"HVO geologists are working near the fissure overnight to track additional activity that may occur, and other scientists are closely tracking the volcano's overall activity.

Recent Observations
Geologists reported this evening that the presence of sulfur gas is quite noticeable around the fissure, typical of active and recently active fissures. The concentration of sulfur dioxide gas is high within tens of meters (yards) of the fissure.
Lava flows did not advance more than about 10 m (33 ft) from the fissure. The flows are no longer active.
At this time, no other fissures have erupted from along the rift zone.

Tiltmeters at Kīlauea's summit continue to record deflationary tilt and the lava lake level has dropped about 37 m (121 ft) in the past 24 hours.
Seismic activity has not changed significantly during the day or since the brief fissure eruption.

Hazard Analysis
The opening phases of fissure eruptions are dynamic and uncertain. Additional erupting fissures and new lava outbreaks may occur. It is not possible at this time to say when and where new vents may occur.
Areas downslope of an erupting fissure or vent are at risk of lava inundation. At this time, the general area of the Leilani subdivision appears at greatest risk." (HVO / USGS)

New eruption in Leilani Estates

Update Fri 04 May 2018 06:03
New eruption at Kilauea's lower east rift zone in the Leilani Estates subdivision in the lower East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano. White, hot vapor and blue fume emanated from an area of cracking in the eastern part of the subdivision. Spatter began erupting shortly before 5:00 p.m. HST. Lava was confirmed at the surface in the eastern end of the subdivision, in the areas of Mohala and Leilani Streets. According to the Hawai‘i County Civil Defense update at 5:40 p.m., all residents in Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens Subdivsions are required to evacuate.(image: HVO/USGS)
New eruption at Kilauea's lower east rift zone in the Leilani Estates subdivision in the lower East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano. White, hot vapor and blue fume emanated from an area of cracking in the eastern part of the subdivision. Spatter began erupting shortly before 5:00 p.m. HST. Lava was confirmed at the surface in the eastern end of the subdivision, in the areas of Mohala and Leilani Streets. According to the Hawai‘i County Civil Defense update at 5:40 p.m., all residents in Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens Subdivsions are required to evacuate.(image: HVO/USGS)
The expected new rift eruption has begun on Kilauea yesterday afternoon shortly before 17:00 local time (this morning GMT).
Map of Kilauea's Rift zone (exact location of vent not yet shown) (image: HVO / USGS)
Map of Kilauea's Rift zone (exact location of vent not yet shown) (image: HVO / USGS)

Lava emerged from a fissure vent about 150 m long inside a forest in the Leilani Estates subdivision (lower East Rift Zone of Kilauea volcano), in the area where already yesterday new ground cracks had been observed. This means that the magma which had been migrating from underneath Pu'u 'O'o cone (whose floor collapsed as consequence) during the past 3 days since the intrusion had started on 30 April afternoon, has traveled approximately 20 km downrift during 72 hours.
Closer view of the new eruptive fissure (image: HVO / USGS)
Closer view of the new eruptive fissure (image: HVO / USGS)


HVO reports: "Shortly before 5 pm, lava was confirmed at the surface in the eastern end of the subdivision. Hawaii County Civil Defense is on scene and coordinating needed response including evacuation of a portion of the Leilani subdivision.
Residents of the lower Puna District should remain alert, review individual, family, and business emergency plans, and watch for further information about the status of the volcano. Hawaii County Civil Defense messages may be found at www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts/.

Recent Observations:
New ground cracks were reported in Leilani Estates late this afternoon. White, hot vapor and blue fume emanated from an area of cracking in the eastern part of the subdivision. Spatter began erupting shortly before 5 pm.
HVO and the County of Hawaii are on the ground and conducting overflights to further identify characterize activity and identify the direction of flowing lava.

Hazard Analysis:
Areas downslope of the erupting vent are at risk of lava inundation. At this time, the general area of the Leilani subdivision appears at greatest risk.
The opening phases of fissure eruptions are dynamic. Additional vents and new lava outbreaks may occur and at this time it is not possible to say where new vents may occur."

Source: HVO/USGS Volcanic Activity Notice
Mag 5 earthquake south of Pu'u O'o
Update Thu 03 May 2018 22:19
Location of this morning's mag 5 quake near Pu'u 'O'o
Location of this morning's mag 5 quake near Pu'u 'O'o
A magnitude 5 earthquake occurred at 10:30 local time south of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō. It caused rockfalls and possibly additional collapse into the crater, but so far no other changes at the volcano.
HVO reports that "a short-lived plume of ash produced by this event lofted skyward and is continuing to dissipate as it drifts southwest from Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō. Anyone downwind may experience a dusting of ash."
Continuing crisis in lower east rift zone
Update Thu 03 May 2018 10:01
Puna residents reported to HVO geologists the recent appearance of ground cracks on a couple of roads in and around Leilani Estates. No steaming or heat were observed to originate from the cracks, and the cracks are currently still small (no more than several inches across). (image: HVO / USGS)
Puna residents reported to HVO geologists the recent appearance of ground cracks on a couple of roads in and around Leilani Estates. No steaming or heat were observed to originate from the cracks, and the cracks are currently still small (no more than several inches across). (image: HVO / USGS)
Earthquakes on Kilauea volcano during the past 7 days showing the crisis in the lower eastern rift zone (image: HVO / USGS)
Earthquakes on Kilauea volcano during the past 7 days showing the crisis in the lower eastern rift zone (image: HVO / USGS)
The seismic crisis at Kilauea's lower east rift zone east of Pu'u O'o continues: magma is currently intruding into the rift zone and could (but not necessarily must) cause a new rift zone eruption in the near future. New ground cracks have been appearing in the area of Leilani Estates as the intrusion of magma propagates.
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) is following the situation closely; this is the latest report published a short time ago:

"Elevated rates of seismicity and deformation at Kīlauea Volcano along a section of the lower East Rift Zone east of the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō vent are continuing this evening. This activity is associated with the continued intrusion of magma into the East Rift Zone to locations east of Highway 130. An outbreak of lava from the lower East Rift Zone remains a possible outcome of the continued unrest. At this time it is not possible to say with certainty if or where such an outbreak may occur, but the area downrift (east) of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō remains the most likely location.

Scientists of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory will be on duty overnight to monitor the changing seismicity and deformation, and residents of the Puna District should remain alert and watch for further information about the status of the volcano; watch for Hawaii County Civil Defense messages at www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts/.

Recent Observations

Elevated earthquake activity in Kīlauea’s lower East Rift Zone has persisted through the day, with many reported felt events by residents. Earthquake counts have decreased slightly since midnight in the area east of Highway 130.

Beginning this morning a GPS station located about 1.5 km (1 mile) southwest of Nanawale Estates began moving toward the north, indicating the magma intrusion is approaching this area of the East Rift Zone. The station has moved several cm (inches) since this morning.

A tiltmeter at Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō recorded steady, deflationary tilt during the day, with several sharp inflation offsets. These offsets probably recorded the continued episodic collapse of the crater floor. Some of these offsets corresponded to short-lived ashy plumes rising from the crater.

Tiltmeters at the summit began recording an increased deflationary tilt this afternoon. The summit lava lake level has lowered about 20 m (65 ft) since the deflationary tilt began in the early morning on May 1.

New small ground cracks less than a few cm (inches) wide developed today across a couple of roads in and adjacent to Leilani Estates; these cracks reflect the buildup of stress at the surface due to the magma intrusion. No steam or gases were observed escaping from the cracks.

Analysis of webcam images of the 61g lava flow field on May 1 indicates that surface flows within a few kilometers (miles) of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō have stopped advancing—the few areas of incandescence visible in the images did not move starting early morning on May 1. The 61g flow is likely no longer being supplied with lava from Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō.

Hazard Analysis

The migration of seismicity and deformation downrift (east) of Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone following Monday’s collapse indicates that a large area along the East Rift Zone is potentially at risk for a new outbreak.

The location of any future outbreak will determine what areas are in the path of new lava flows.

The situation continues to evolve and USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists continue to closely monitor Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone and summit. More updates will follow as information becomes available." (HVO /USGS)
Eruption warning in East Rift zone
Update Wed 02 May 2018 06:47
A new crack 1 km (0.6 mile) long was found on the west (uprift) side of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō during HVO's overflight on 1 May. The cracking appeared to be nearly continuous en echelon structures that were heavily steaming. A small amount of lava was apparently erupted from the crack, based on the presence of nearby tiny pads of lava and spatter, but it was no longer active when HVO geologists saw it during the overflight. This photo looks east, with Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō obscured by low clouds in the upper left corner. (image: HVO / USGS)
A new crack 1 km (0.6 mile) long was found on the west (uprift) side of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō during HVO's overflight on 1 May. The cracking appeared to be nearly continuous en echelon structures that were heavily steaming. A small amount of lava was apparently erupted from the crack, based on the presence of nearby tiny pads of lava and spatter, but it was no longer active when HVO geologists saw it during the overflight. This photo looks east, with Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō obscured by low clouds in the upper left corner. (image: HVO / USGS)
Earthquakes on Kilauea volcano during the past 7 days
Earthquakes on Kilauea volcano during the past 7 days
Signs of a possible new eruption on the east rift zone of Kilauea volcano are increasing. A large crack has appeared on the west side of Pu'u 'O'o, which seems to be the most likely area to expect a new eruptive episode, although so far it has not erupted significant amounts of lava.

HVO issued the following report this morning (evening of 1 May on Hawai'i): "The increase in seismicity and deformation recorded since Monday afternoon at Kīlauea Volcano's East Rift Zone east of the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō vent is continuing.
The activity is associated with the intrusion of magma eastward from the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō magma system. Since this morning, seismicity rates in the lower East Rift Zone east of Highway 130 have increased. An outbreak of lava in a new location remains a possible outcome of the continued unrest.
At this time it is not possible to say with certainty if or where such an outbreak may occur, but the area along the East Rift Zone downrift (east) of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō remains the most likely location.

Recent Observations

About 250 located earthquakes have occurred since the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō collapse event yesterday afternoon. Since that time, earthquakes have migrated eastward from Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō to the lower East Rift Zone.

Since around 8:00 a.m. HST this morning, seismicity rates in the lower East Rift Zone east of Highway 130 have increased slightly on two seismic stations. The seismicity consists primarily of small-magnitude (less than magnitude 3) earthquakes at depths of less than 10 km (6.2 miles). Many of these earthquakes have been felt by residents in the area.

A tiltmeter on the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō cone has recorded a steady deflationary tilt since late last evening, with several sharp inflation offsets. These offsets probably recorded the continued episodic collapse of the crater floor.

A tiltmeter located 12 km (7.5 miles) east of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō has recorded a slowing rate of southeastward-directed tilt of the ground along the East Rift Zone, suggesting diminished but continued deformation associated with the intrusion into the lower East Rift Zone.

Kīlauea’s summit eruption has thus far not been affected by the change at Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō. Tiltmeters at the summit have recorded a slight deflationary trend since early this morning, and the level of the summit lava lake lowered by a few meters (yards).

During a helicopter overflight to Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō earlier today, geologists observed a new fissure and crack extending about 1 km (0.6 miles) uprift (west) from the west flank of the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō cone. A small amount of lava erupted from the crack during yesterday’s collapse of the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater floor. Geologists also noted red ash that was deposited around Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō and blown farther downwind; the ash resulted from small explosions that accompanied the collapse of the crater floor.

Poor weather and an ashy plume from the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater prevented geologists from observing the newly collapsed crater floor or the west pit area where a perched lava pond was erupting before yesterday’s collapse event.

Geologists observed a few small, sluggish breakouts of the 61g lava flow, likely from lava still moving through the lava-tube system; the 61g vent was likely severed from the magma supply to Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō.

Geologists did not observe any new ground cracks downrift of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō in areas where seismicity was concentrated over the past day.

Hazard Analysis

The migration of seismicity and deformation downrift (east) of Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone following Monday’s collapse indicates that a large area along the East Rift Zone is potentially at risk for a new outbreak. The location of any future outbreak will determine what areas are in the path of new lava flows.

The situation continues to evolve and USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists continue to closely monitor Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone and summit. More updates will follow as information becomes available."

Collapse of Puu Oo crater floor:


from the earlier reports 30 April 2018:
A collapse of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater floor Monday afternoon on Kīlauea Volcano’s East Rift Zone has prompted increases in seismicity and deformation along a large section of the rift zone, with seismicity currently occurring as far east as Hwy 130. A outbreak of lava in a new location is one possible outcome. At this time it is not possible to say with certainty if or where such an outbreak may occur, but the area downrift (east) of Puʻu ʻŌʻō is the most likely location, as this is where seismicity and deformation have been concentrated overnight.
Residents of lower Puna should remain alert and watch for further information about the status of the volcano; watch for Hawaii County Civil Defense messages at www.hawaiicounty.gov/active-alerts

Recent Observations:

Between about 2:00 and 4:30 pm on Monday, April 30, following weeks of uplift and increasing lava levels within the cone, the crater floor at Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō on Kīlauea Volcano’s East Rift Zone collapsed.
Poor weather prevented HVO from flying over the activity or seeing details of the activity in our web cameras on site.
Following the collapse, HVO seismometers and tiltmeters recorded an increase in seismic activity and deformation from Kīlauea Volcano’s summit to an area about 6-10 miles downrift (east) of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Overnight, this activity localized downrift of Puʻu ʻŌʻō and continued to propagate eastward along the rift zone.

The largest earthquake of this sequence so far was a magnitude 4.0 earthquake just offshore south of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō at 02:39 this morning,.

Just after 2:00 p.m. HST today, April 30, 2018, a marked increase in seismicity and ground deformation (change in ground surface shape) began at Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō on Kīlauea Volcano’s East Rift Zone. A few minutes later, a thermal webcam (PTcam) located on the rim of the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater showed the first of two episodes of crater floor collapse; the second collapse began at 3:20 p.m. and lasted about an hour. Webcam views into the crater and surrounding area were frequently obscured by poor weather conditions. However, shortly after 4:00 p.m., the PTcam recorded images that were likely the signature of small explosions from the western side of the crater as the floor collapsed. At the time of this update (6:00 p.m.), there was no evidence of new lava within the crater, seismicity remained elevated in the vicinity of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō, and ground deformation at Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō had significantly slowed.

Kīlauea’s summit eruption has thus far not been affected by this afternoon’s activity at Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō.

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists continue to closely monitor Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone and summit. A helicopter overflight of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō and the 61g flow field is scheduled for early Tuesday, weather permitting."
Large lava lake overflows covering Halema'uma'u crater
Update Sun 29 Apr 2018 05:23
At approximately 6:15 a.m. today (April 26) a new overflow began on Halema‘uma‘u crater floor. The lava lake overflow continued until about 10:30 a.m. and covered about 36 hectares (90 acres) of the crater floor with lava (approximately 2/3). This is the largest overflow since the summit eruption began in 2008. This photo is looking south, and the gas plume is being produced by the lava lake in the southeast crater floor (upper left). (image: HVO / USGS)
At approximately 6:15 a.m. today (April 26) a new overflow began on Halema‘uma‘u crater floor. The lava lake overflow continued until about 10:30 a.m. and covered about 36 hectares (90 acres) of the crater floor with lava (approximately 2/3). This is the largest overflow since the summit eruption began in 2008. This photo is looking south, and the gas plume is being produced by the lava lake in the southeast crater floor (upper left). (image: HVO / USGS)
A series of large lava lake overflows occurred during 25-26 April, covering most of the crater flows of Halema'uma'u crater with fresh lava flows.
This thermal image (looking south) shows the active overflows from the lava lake (upper left) onto the Halema‘uma‘u crater floor. View is toward the south. (image: HVO / USGS)
This thermal image (looking south) shows the active overflows from the lava lake (upper left) onto the Halema‘uma‘u crater floor. View is toward the south. (image: HVO / USGS)


 

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