Kīlauea Volcano Eruption Update

Current Conditions
Courtesy of USGS - Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Wednesday, January 19, 2022, 8:57 AM HST

A volcanic crater spewing red lava
Views of the active lava lake from the eruption viewing area on Old Crater Rim Drive.

NPS Photo/J.Wei

Activity Summary: The summit eruption of Kīlauea volcano, within Halemaʻumaʻu crater, resumed at approximately 10:45 a.m. HST yesterday, January 18, following a multiday pause. All lava activity is confined to the crater, and there are no indications of activity migrating elsewhere on Kīlauea.

Summit Observations: Kīlaueaʻs summit eruption resumed began re-inflating at about 10:45 a.m. HST yesterday, January 18, following a multiday pause. Lava reappeared after approximately 17 hours of inflation and 25 minutes of increased tremor. The most recent sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission rate of approximately 300 tonnes per day (t/d) was measured on January 11 during the eruption pause, while a rate of approximately 3,300 t/d was measured on the morning of January 6 when the lava lake was active.

Halemaʻumaʻu Lava Lake Observations: Lava returned to the western vent within Halemaʻumaʻu crater at about 10:45 a.m. HST yesterday, January 18. By 4:30 p.m. HST yesterday, the lava lake level had increased by approximately 12 meters (39 feet), recovering and slightly surpassing the lake’s peak level recorded on January 12. The lava lake level has been slowly decreasing since approximately 5 p.m. HST yesterday, following decreases in summit tilt. The surface of the lava lake remains active in the western side of the crater. The lake has seen a total rise of about 83 meters (272 feet) since lava emerged on September 29, 2021. Measurements on December 30, 2021, indicated that the total lava volume effused since the beginning of the eruption was approximately 40 million cubic meters (10.5 billion gallons) at that time.
Crater walls expose a clear sequence of red lava flows and cinder that built the cone in the early 1980s.
Photo courtesy of USGS
Hazard Analysis: This new eruption at Kīlauea’s summit is occurring within a closed area of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. Therefore, high levels of volcanic gas are the primary hazard of concern, as this hazard can have far-reaching effects down-wind. Large amounts of volcanic gas—primarily water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), and sulfur dioxide (SO2)—are continuously released during eruptions of Kīlauea volcano. As SO2 is released from the summit, it reacts in the atmosphere to create the visible haze known as vog (volcanic smog) that has been observed downwind of Kīlauea. Vog creates the potential for airborne health hazards to residents and visitors, damages agricultural crops and other plants, and affects livestock. 

Additional hazards include Pele's hair and other lightweight volcanic glass fragments from the lava fountains that will fall downwind of the fissure vents and dust the ground within a few hundred meters (yards) of the vent (s). Strong winds may waft lighter particles to greater distances. Residents should minimize exposure to these volcanic particles, which can cause skin and eye irritation. 

Other significant hazards also remain around Kīlauea caldera from Halemaʻumaʻu crater wall instability, ground cracking, and rockfalls that can be enhanced by earthquakes within the area closed to the public. This underscores the extremely hazardous nature of Kīlauea caldera rim surrounding Halemaʻumaʻu crater, an area that has been closed to the public since early 2008. 

Learn more about vog and current conditions.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) continues to closely monitor Kīlauea volcano.

More Information:
Deep dark crater at night with bright orange glow and smoke.

Eruption Viewing

Planning a visit to see the new eruption? Read this page before you go.

A lava lake in a volcanic crater


Get a live look inside the park, courtesy of USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Molten lava spraying out of a fissure


Learn about some of the previous eruptions of Kīlauea and Mauna Loa


Last updated: January 19, 2022

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