Volcano Watch: Five years flow by: Reflections on the destructive 2018 eruption of Kilauea

Large cracks in 2018 run through Leilani Avenue near the old junction with Pohoiki Road. Lava spatter from fissure 6 (out of view on the left) covers the road and volcanic gas rises from cracks in the ground. This area was covered by lava from renewed fissure 6 activity on May 20. (L. DeSmither/USGS)

From the visitor viewing area in front of the Jaggar Muesum at 7:45 a.m. HST. Explosive episodes from the night before in Halemaumau Crater created ash falls which blanketed the surrounding landscape. (Courtesy/photo) (note: no photo credit or source was given online)

An aerial view looking downrift from Leilani Estates in 2018 at erupting fissures 5, 6, 19, and 22. Ponded lava from these fissures fed lava channels moving downslope, right side of the image, including the channels that fed the ocean entries just north of MacKenzie State Park. (S. Isgett/USGS)

Five years ago, volcanic activity at Kilauea dramatically changed when magma intruded into the lower East Rift Zone (LERZ). What happened at Kilauea in 2018? What have been the resulting learning opportunities?