What's Going On With The Volcanoes?

Current Conditions Courtesy of USGS - Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Monday, May 10, 2021, 8:23 AM HST

Map showing the depth of the lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu crater with various shades of red
USGS map of the depth of the current lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu crater (Click to view full size)
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, May 10, the lava lake was 228 m (748 ft) deep and remains stagnant over its eastern half. SO2 emission rates remain elevated at 200 t/day, last measured on May 7.

Summit Observations: The most recent sulfur dioxide emission rate, measured on May 7, was 200 t/day and continues a trend of decreased emission rates that began in mid-April. This remains elevated compared to rates (less than 100 t/day) in the months before the summit lava lake eruption started on December 20, but is significantly lower than emission rates that averaged over 800 t/day from mid-February to mid-April. Summit tiltmeters recorded minor change over the past 24 hours. Seismicity remains stable, with elevated tremor.

East Rift Zone Observations: No unusual activity noted in the region. Geodetic monitors indicate that the summit and upper East Rift Zone—between the summit and Puʻuʻōʻō—is refilling at rates similar to those measured over the past 2 years and before the December 2020 eruption. SO2 and H2S emissions from Puʻuʻōʻō were below instrumental detection levels when last measured on January 7.

Halemaʻumaʻu lava lake Observations: Lava effusion from the west vent continues to supply the lava lake within Halema‘uma‘u crater through a submerged inlet to the lake. Lava circulation and intermittent foundering of crust continue in a smaller western portion of the lava lake, and lava has not oozed out along the perimeter of the lake over the past week. The total depth of the lake is 228 m (748 ft) this morning as measured by a continuous laser rangefinder on the active western portion. Stagnant and solidified lava crust covered 93% of the lake surface as measured by thermal mapping on April 16th.

Recent SO2 emission rate measurements suggest that the effusion (eruption) rate has decreased significantly since mid-April. Other decreases in emissions during this eruption have occurred while summit tilt was decreasing, whereas the recent lows in emissions are independent of summit tilt. Drops in SO2 emissions are commonly related to decreases in lava supply, but other possibilities also exist. It is common for eruptions to wax and wane or pause completely. It is unclear if the current decrease in activity will continue and conditions around Halema‘uma‘u crater remain hazardous. HVO continues to monitor Kīlauea volcano closely for additional signs of changes in activity.

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 thermal photograph of a lava lake in a volcanic crater, with one side partially solidified
Annotated thermal image of the molten lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu crater as it appeared on February 16, 2021. Note: this image was captured by scientists studying the eruption and this view is not available from publicly accessible areas. (USGS Photo/M. Patrick.
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.
Full moon over Mauna Loa volcano
Full moon over Mauna Loa (NPS Photo/J. Wei)

Mauna Loa
Current Volcano Alert Level: Advisory/Yellow
Activity Summary: Mauna Loa Volcano is not erupting. Rates of deformation and seismicity at the summit remain slightly elevated and above long-term background levels. Other Mauna Loa monitoring data streams show no significant change in deformation rates or patterns that would indicate increased volcanic hazard at this time.

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

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

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


(808) 985-6011

Contact Us