The 61G lava flow is still active on the pali and coastal plain, however the ocean entry is currently halted. Please see "Current Conditions" below for updates from USGS - Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.
Ranger Shyla explains how visitors can stay "Lava Safe" on the world's most active volcano, Kīlauea, by following these two simple rules: 1) Be Prepared. 2) Stay out of Closed Areas. It's Simple! Additional footage and photos courtesy of the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.
Tune in to our new public service announcement (PSA) to learn how to beat the crowds and have a stress-free holiday visit to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. This PSA is currently airing on The Beach FM (102.7 Hilo/106.9 Kona) as a free service to the public.
1 minute, 32 seconds
Credit / Author:
The Beach FM (102.7 Hilo / 106.9 Kona) & Ranger Jessica Ferracane
Current Conditions Courtesy USGS - Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
March 20, 2018 - 9:02 AM HST
Activity Summary: The eruptions at Kīlauea Volcano's summit and East Rift Zone continue without significant changes. This morning's measurement of the depth to the lava lake surface within the Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook vent was 32.5m (~107ft) beneath the adjacent crater floor. The Episode 61g lava flow is active, although clouds have obscured webcam views of surface lava flow activity over upper parts of the flow field and on Pulama pali. These lava flows pose no threat to nearby communities. Lava is not flowing into the ocean at this time. Low rates of ground deformation and seismicity continue across the volcano.
Summit Observations: The surface of the lava lake within the Halemaʻumaʻu Overlook vent was measured this morning at 32.5m (~107ft) below the adjacent Halemaʻumaʻu crater floor. Accompanying the drop in lava lake surface level from yesterday's measurement, summit tiltmeters recorded small deflationary tilt since yesterday afternoon. Seismicity in the summit area is within normal, background rates, with tremor amplitude fluctuations associated with lava lake spattering. Elevated summit sulfur dioxide emission rates persist. Current webcam views are here: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/multimedia_webcams.html.
Puʻu ʻŌʻō Observations: Though rates have slowed since yesterday, Puʻu ʻŌʻō tiltmeters have continued to register gradual inflationary tilt over the past day. Webcam views are obscured by clouds, but long-term sources of glow within Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater and from a small lava pond on the west side of the crater appear to persist. The sulfur dioxide emission rate from the East Rift Zone vents has been steady over the past several months and remains significantly lower than the summit emission rate.
Ocean Entry Hazards: Even though the Kamokuna lava delta is not currently active, it remains hazardous to visitors. Hazards include walking on uneven, glassy lava flow surfaces and around unstable, vertical sea cliffs. Venturing too close to the lava delta exposes you to flying debris from sudden explosions should the lava delta begin to collapse. Though inactive at present, the lava delta remains unstable because it is built on unconsolidated lava fragments on the steep submarine slope of Kīlauea. This loose material can easily be eroded away by surf and shoreline currents, causing the delta to become unsupported and slide into the sea. In several instances, such collapses have also incorporated parts of the older sea cliff. Should lava again resume entry into the ocean, the interaction of lava with seawater creates a corrosive seawater plume laden with hydrochloric acid and fine volcanic particles that can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs.
For comprehensive information on volcanic air pollution please see the vog dashboard at: www.ivhhn.org/vog/
This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea's East Rift Zone lava flow field. The area of the active flow field as of February 20 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as of February 27 is shown in red. Older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray. The yellow line is the trace of the active lava tubes. The Kamokuna ocean entry is inactive.
The blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 2013 digital elevation model (DEM), while the blue lines on the rest of the map are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 DEM (for calculation details, see https://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth's surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over the 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM).
These flows are about a 45 minute hike inland from the former Kamokuna ocean entry and are inside the park boundary. NPS Video by Janice Wei
August 31, 2017 - Planning to hike out to the surface lava flows? We’ve had excellent viewing of surface flows about a 45-minute hike over rough lava terrain mauka (inland) towards to pali (cliffs) all week. The flows pictured are within park boundaries. As always, be Lava Safe: be prepared and stay out of closed areas. Wear sturdy closed-toe shoes, long pants and carry plenty of water – at least 3 liters a person. Link to full resolution photo (opens in new window).
November 2017: The 61G lava flow is still active on the pali and coastal plain, however the ocean entry is currently halted. Please see "Current Conditions" near the top of this page for updates from USGS - Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.
The 61G lava flow, southeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, continues to stream down the Pulama Pali onto the coastal plain of Kīlauea volcano's East Rift Zone into the ocean. The actual flow is moving slowly and many breakouts were active upslope and widening the flow field. Bright incandescence remains visible on the active lava flow field, marking areas of active breakouts.
Park rangers have set up a Coastal Ranger Station (CRS) at the end of Chain of Creaters Road with eruption update, hiking and safety tip exhibits. Visitors are strongly urged to stop and talk with rangers and review all signage and watch the video at the CRS. The CRS is staffed daily and in the evening during peak visitation hours. The park is open 24 hours a day.
Hiking out to the lava flow from the park is allowed, but it's not for everyone. From the Coastal Ranger Station, it's a grueling, 11 mile roundtrip hike. Hikers may walk along the gravel emergency access route for the majority of the hike.
All who attempt to hike out the lava flows are urged to prepare ahead and bring a 2-4 liters or quarts of water for every person in your party, sun protection, a hat and wear strong hiking boots or shoes. If you hike out later in the day, ensure you have a good flashlight and extra batteries in case you are out after dark. Cell phone flashlights are not sufficient. See the safe hiking tips page for additional information on proper footwear, clothing, and other important safety information.
Stay safe, and be very mindful of poor air quality. When plumes of hazardous volcanic gases (sulfur dioxide and hydrochloric acid) are blown along shore, they are a threat to your health.
If you do hike in from the park side, be aware that the gases get stronger the closer you get to the ocean entry. Rangers have roped off the park side of the ocean entry and placed signs warning of the toxic fumes. Be aware that even in the open areas, volcanic gases are likely to be at unhealthy levels. Volcanic gases are a danger to everyone, particularly to people with heart or respiratory problems and infants, young children and pregnant women. Check with rangers at the end of Chain of Craters Road about current conditions before you head out, review the exhibits, and obey all closures and signs. You can head inland to avoid the fumes, and hike until you get upwind of the ocean entry fumes.
Volcanoes are dynamic and ever-changing natural phenomena. The flow information, distances, and other lava information provided here can change at any time.
Experienced bicyclists may use the gravel emergency access route during the day. It is not recommend to ride bikes on the loose gravel after dark. Motorized bicycles are prohibited.
Respect the Hawaiian culture. Do not poke lava with sticks or other items. Do not roast marshmallows or cook foods. To many Hawaiians, molten lava is the kinolau, or body form, of volcano goddess Pele. In addition, it is a federal offense to remove, destroy, alter, deface, dig or disturb anything from its natural state in a national park. (36 CFR § 2.1)
Pets, motorized vehicles, unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and overnight camping on the flow field within the park are prohibited.
Visitors are advised to "slow down and go with the flow." Hiking to the current lava flows is a 6-8 hour adventure for most fit hikers. Adding a roundtrip drive from the west side of Hawai'i Island makes for a very long day, and is not recommended. Remember: Kīlauea is also erupting from its summit crater, Halema'uma'u. You can safely and easily observe the summit eruption from the observation deck at Jaggar Museum, which is open 24 hours a day.
December 12, 2016 - Closure of a portion of Eruption Area
Until further notice a portion of the area near the coastal lava flow known as 61g and described below will be closed by direction of the park Superintendant. The closure is based on the potential for airborne debris being projected up to 300 meters from a collapsing lava bench. Flying debris is a safety concern for the public and employees. This closure will be in effect until there is no longer a danger. Area to be closed: A 300 meter section within the boundary of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park that is marked with posted signs notifying the public of the closure, where possible will be augmented by a rope barrier. Due to the constant shifting of lava benches and ocean entries, this area is subject to change and is therefore only referred to by the current location of posted signs.
The County of Hawai‘i has opened the emergency road on the Kalapana side for lava viewing since Thursday, June 30, 2016, between the hours of 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm daily. This is outside Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and managed by the County.
Kalapana viewing area status (recorded message): 808-430-1966
Directions to Kalapana from Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park: Take Hwy 11 towards Hilo to Hwy 130. Follow Hwy 130 until you reach the road's end and the visitor parking area. (45 miles).
HOT LINES for Eruption Information
Resources for more information about the lava flows:
USGS - Hawaiian Volcano Observatory - Following the December 31, 2016, lava delta collapse at Kīlauea Volcano's Kamokuna ocean entry, lava continued to flow into the sea without building a new lava delta, most likely because the lava was cascading down a steep offshore slope to deeper parts of the ocean. But in late March 2017, a new delta finally began to form, although it was obscured by steam during HVO's March 30 overflight (left photo). The thermal image at right shows lava streaming into the ocean from the leading edge of the delta (bright yellow area in center of image) and the adjacent heated seawater (discolored water in the photo). It also shows the trace of the active lava tube that carries lava from the vent to the sea (right side of image), as well as small breakouts of lava along the tube and surface flows near the Puʻu ʻŌʻō vent (top of image).