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Kīlauea Volcano began erupting on December 20, 2020, at about 9:30 p.m. HST in Halema‘uma‘u crater. The last activity on the lava lake surface was observed on May 23, 2021.
Shortly after approximately 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 20, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) detected a glow within Halemaʻumaʻu crater at the summit of Kīlauea volcano. The water lake that had existed at the summit of Kīlauea since 2019 soon boiled away as an effusive eruption commenced. Three initial vents in the wall of Halemaʻumaʻu crater cascaded lava flows into a growing lava lake on the crater floor.
After 5 months of activity, a decrease in effusion indicated that the eruption in Halema‘uma‘u at the summit of Kīlauea was going to pause. HVO field crews did not observe any signs of lava lake activity on May 25, and reported no signs of active surface lava.
The next day Kīlauea was no longer erupting. The crusted-over lava lake was last measured at 229 m (751 ft) deep and was stagnant across its surface.
Transition From a Water Lake to Lava Lake in Halemaʻumaʻu
From lava to water and back again. Learn about three remarkable changes at Halemaʻumaʻu crater.
Last updated: December 27, 2022