Volcano Watch: A new eruption and a new era at Kilauea Volcano

Plot showing rise of Kīlauea’s summit lava lake since the eruption in Halema‘uma‘u began on Dec. 20 at 9:30 p.m. Since then, laser rangefinder measurements of lava lake surface are made two to three times per day. Photos compare the lava lake on the morning of Dec. 21, when it was about 289 ft deep, to the evening of Dec. 23 when it was about 511 ft deep. For comparison, the water lake that was present in Halema‘uma‘u until the evening of Dec. 20 was 167 ft at its deepest, prior to vaporizing. (USGS plot/H. Dietterich)

‘Twas the Sunday before Christmas, the eve of the winter solstice, and festive holiday lights blinked of bright red and green. And then, shortly after 9:30 p.m. on Dec. 20, so did the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory’s (HVO’s) volcano alert level/aviation color codes for Kilauea!