Volcano Watch: A new eruption in Halema‘uma‘u

  • Telephoto aerial image of eruption in Halema‘uma‘u at Kilauea Volcano’s summit taken during an overflight at approximately 7:30 a.m. HST on September 30, 2021. A series of fountains in the central portion of the lava lake are visible, as well as the prominent vent in the west wall of Halema‘uma‘u. The island, which formed during the early phase of the December 2020-May 2021 eruption within Halema‘uma‘u, remains above the new lava lake surface and is visible in the center of the photo. USGS image by K. Mulliken.

  • A helicopter overflight on September 30, 2021, at approximately 7:30 a.m. HST allowed for aerial visual and thermal imagery to be collected of Halema‘uma‘u crater at the summit of Kilauea. This thermal map shows a closer view of the new lava lake within Halema‘uma‘u. The scale of the thermal map ranges from blue to red, with blue colors indicative of cooler temperatures and red colors indicative of warmer temperatures. The dimensions of the new lava lake are 980 m (1070 yd) E-W axis and 710 m (780 yd) in N-S axis. The estimated area of the lake is about 52 hectares (127 acres). USGS map by M. Patrick. (Public domain.)

Kilauea volcano is erupting again. Wednesday afternoon, lava returned to Kilauea’s summit within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park after a 4-month hiatus. A new line of fissures sliced through the solidified crust of the 2020–21 lava lake in Halema‘uma‘u at 3:21 p.m. HST.