Eruptions of Kīlauea

Listed below are just a few of the most recent and spectacular eruptions of this highly active volcano. Learn more about Kīlauea, the youngest volcano on the Island of Hawaiʻi.
Hand-colored photo of lava moving through a forest landscape
1919-1920 Eruption of Maunaiki

The Maunaiki eruption in the Kaʻū Desert lasted from December 1919 to August 1920.

Black and white photograph of human figures in front of an ash cloud
1924 Explosive Eruption of Kīlauea

For 18 days in 1924, hundreds of steam explosions from Kīlauea hurled mud, debris, and boulders great distances.

Black and white photo of molten lava at night, from above.
1952 Summit Eruption

The 1952 eruption at the summit of Kīlauea volcano lasted for 136 days.

Glowing orange molten lava lake from above.
1954 Summit Eruption

The short eruption of 1954 was not specifically predicted, but it was not unexpected.

Erupting lava fountain at night
1959 Eruption of Kīlauea Iki

The 1959 eruption out of Kīlauea Iki Crater featured a lake of lava and the highest lava fountains ever recorded.

Black and white photo of a lava fountain from above at night
1961 Summit Eruption

Halemaʻumaʻu crater hosted three eruptive phases during a seven month period of sporadic activity in 1961.

Pond of molten lava and rivulets from above
1967-1968 Summit Eruption

The spectacular eruption of 1967-1968 lasted 251 days.

Molten lava cascades into a crater
1969-1974 Eruption of Maunaulu

The eruption of Maunaulu lasted nearly five years and reshaped the landscape.

An erupting volcanic fissure at the base of a pit crater fountains orange molten lava and pools it
July 1974 Summit Eruption

The three-day eruption in July 1974 sent flows across Chain of Craters Road and into Kaluapele (Kīlauea caldera)

A series of lava fountains at night.
December 1974 Eruption

The 1974 eruption of Kīlauea's Southwest Rift Zone featured intense seismic activity, multiple fissures, and extensive lava flows.

Erupting lava cone at night
1983-2018 Eruption of Puʻuʻōʻō

In the past 500 years, no rift zone eruption comes close to matching the duration of the one that began in 1983.

Silhouette of human figures in front of a glowing volcanic crater
2008-2018 Summit Eruption

The summit of Kīlauea hosted a lava lake-style eruption for a decade before the massive summit collapse in 2018.

Aerial view of a river of molten lava
2018 Eruption and Summit Collapse

The eruption of Kīlauea in 2018 was the largest in centuries and coincided with a dramatic summit collapse.

Erupting volcanic crater glowing at night
2020-2021 Summit Eruption

The first summit eruption following the collapse of Halemaʻumaʻu crater marked a significant geological event.

Deep dark crater at night with bright orange glow and smoke.
September 2021-2022 Summit Eruption

A 300-acre lava lake delights park visitors with mesmerizing lava views once more since 2018.

A lava lake produces several lava fountains at night.
January 2023 Summit Eruption

A magnificent 61-day eruption that left park visitors in awe.

A lava lake filling a volcanic crater at night.
June 2023 Summit Eruption

An intense 13-day eruption that illuminated the night sky with towering lava fountains and a lake of incandescent lava.

A series of volcanic vents erupting from a crater floor.
September 2023 Summit Eruption

Learn about the recent six-day eruption that started on September 10, 2023.

Milky way and glow from a volcanic eruption can be seen in a distance at night.
2024 Southwest Rift Zone Eruption

After nearly 50 years of dormancy, Kīlauea's Southwest Rift Zone erupted in the early hours of June 3, 2024.


Eruptions of Mauna Loa

Read about some of the more recent and notable eruptions of Mauna Loa, the largest active volcano on the planet. Learn more about Mauna Loa.
Black and white photograph of devastated houses in a field of rubble
1868 Eruption of Mauna Loa

One of the deadliest disasters in Hawaiian history

Painting of an erupting volcano with a boat on the ocean in the foreground
1880-1881 Eruption of Mauna Loa

An eruption that threatened the city of Hilo and saw the first known attempts at lava diversion in Hawaiʻi

Black and white aerial photo of a bomb exploding on a lava flow
1935 Eruption of Mauna Loa

As the 1935 eruption began to close in on Hilo, aerial bombing was employed in an attempt to alter its course

Volcano erupting along its flank in a distance.
1942 Eruption of Mauna Loa

An eruption that was declared a "secret" during World War II.

Black and white aerial photo of lava flow entering the sea
1950 Eruption of Mauna Loa

In June 1950, Mauna Loa sent large lava flows to the sea with blazing speed.

Molten lava flowing down a mountain side with a silhouetted mountain beyond at sunrise
1975 Eruption of Mauna Loa

The brief but spectacular eruption of 1975 lasted less than 24 hours

Helicopter on the ground in front fountains of orange molten lava
1984 Eruption of Mauna Loa

The 1984 eruption of Mauna Loa that ended 4 miles away from the town of Hilo.

Lava fountaining along the flank of a volcano.
2022 Mauna Loa Eruption

Mauna Loa erupted for the first time in nearly 40 years.


Learn More About Lava

Molten lava is only visible during an eruption, but its solidified form makes up the island of Hawaiʻi.

Last updated: June 14, 2024

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 52
Hawaii National Park, HI 96718


808 985-6011

Contact Us