What's Going On With The Volcanoes?

Current Conditions Courtesy of USGS - Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Monday, January 25, 2021, 8:39 AM HST

Map detailing the location of the 2020 summit eruption within the caldera of Kīlauea
Current Volcano Alert Level: Watch
Activity Summary: Kīlauea Volcano is erupting. Lava activity is confined to Halemaʻumaʻu with lava erupting from a vent on the northwest side of the crater. This morning, January 25, the lava lake was about 205 m (673 ft) deep and only the western half is active. SO2 emission rates remain elevated.

Summit Observations: The most recent sulfur dioxide emission rate measurements from January 16, are about 2,500 t/d—lower than the emission rates from the pre-2018 lava lake (3,000–6,500 t/d). The summit tiltmeters are on an inflationary trend. Seismicity remains elevated but stable, with steady elevated tremor and a few minor earthquakes.

East Rift Zone Observations: Geodetic monitors indicate that the upper portion of the East Rift Zone (between the summit and Puʻu ʻŌʻō) contracted while the summit deflated at the onset of this eruption. There is no seismic or deformation data to indicate that additional magma is currently moving into either of Kīlauea’s rift zones. SO2 and H2S emissions from Puʻu ʻŌʻō were below instrumental detection levels when measured on January 7.

Halemaʻumaʻu Lava Lake Observations: Low fountaining from the west vent supplies a channel of lava which is pouring into the lava lake within Halema‘uma‘u crater. At the moment effusion rates correlate, positively, with Uwe tilt and RSAM activity; higher (inflationary) tilt and RSAM values, greater lava effusion.

The active western half of the lava lake was about 205 m (673 ft) deep this morning (Jan. 25) while the stagnant eastern half of the lake remains several meters (yards) lower. The whole lava lake—including the stagnant eastern half—is perched/elevated above the crust between the perched lake and the crater wall. The east side is elevated ~1 m, and the west 4 m, above the solidified lava crust adjacent to the crater wall.

All the islands have been stationary over the past week, frozen in the eastern stagnant portion of the lava lake. The dimensions of the main island remained unchanged with its edges several meters (yards) above the lake surface. On January 22, the south end of the island was measured at 12 m (39 ft) above the lava lake surface, with the highest point at 23 m (75 ft) above the surface.

For more up-to-date monitoring information on Kīlauea: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/status.html

Hazardous volcanic gases are billowing out the crater and present a danger to everyone, especially people with heart or respiratory problems, infants, young children and pregnant women. For more information on air quality, visit: https://www.hawaiiso2network.com/
Annotated photograph of the molten lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu crater
Annotated photograph of Halemaʻumaʻu crater and the molten lava lake as it appeared on December 30, 2020. Note: this photo was taken by scientists studying the eruption and this view is not available from publicly accessible areas. (USGS Photo/K. Lynn)
Web cam image of an erupting volcanic crater, with pooling lava in the bottom


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

Park visitors watching a volcanic eruption from an overlook with a stone wall

Ranger Tips For A Successful Visit

A new eruption at the summit of Kīlauea is drawing large numbers of visitors. Plan ahead so you can stay safe and enjoy your visit.

Erupting volcanic crater glowing at night

2020-2021 Summit Eruption

Photos and media from the eruption that began on December 20, 2020

From lava to water and back again. Learn about three remarkable changes in the past three years at Halemaʻumaʻu crater on the summit of Kīlauea.
Transition From a Water Lake to Lava Lake in Halemaʻumaʻu
Green lake of water at the bottom of a volcanic crater Steaming and glowing lava lake in a volcanic crater
Water Lake on December 20, 2020 USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
Lava Lake on December 24, 2020 USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
On December 20, as lava cascaded into Halemaʻumaʻu crater, it instantly vaporized the growing lake of water that had been developing in the crater since 2018. By December 24, it was replaced by a lava lake more than 500 feet deep. (Photos by USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory)

Full moon over Mauna Loa volcano
Full moon over Mauna Loa (NPS Photo/J. Wei)

Mauna Loa
Current Volcano Alert Level: Advisory
Activity Summary: Mauna Loa Volcano is not erupting. Rates of deformation and seismicity have not changed significantly over the past week and remain above long-term background levels.

For more current monitoring info about Mauna Loa, see: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/mauna_loa/status.html

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

Last updated: January 25, 2021

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