Pele’s show continues

Kilauea volcano has erupted more than 4.2 billion gallons of lava since its current summit eruption began Sept. 29.

Volcano Watch: What’s that rising from the lava lake?

The past year has seen fluctuating lava lakes, ephemeral lava fountains, craggy spires, and drifting “islands” reminiscent of pre-1924 Halemaʻumaʻu activity at the summit of Kilauea. The recent activity has USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) scientists reflecting on prior observations and how they compare to recent activity.

Kilauea volcano eruption continues

Kilauea volcano’s summit lava lake continued to rise Wednesday, one week after the start of the most recent eruption within Halema‘uma‘u crater.

Kilauea alert level lowered

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Monday lowered Kilauea volcano’s alert level, noting less vigorous lava fountaining, reduced emissions and no indication of activity migrating outside the summit caldera.

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

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.

Volcano Watch: How does HVO determine which regions are most threatened by lava flows?

Most residents of the Island of Hawaii live on one of four potentially active volcanoes and probably have wondered about the threat of lava flows at one time or another. Interestingly, determining future threats relies on knowledge of the past. The long-term likelihood of an area being invaded by lava in the future, is estimated in two different ways based on the history of lava flow activity.

Volcano Watch: The MILEAGE project — mapping Kilauea’s gas emissions

Large quantities of volcanic gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and hydrogen sulfide (H2S), are released into the atmosphere during volcanic eruptions. But even between eruptions, smaller amounts of the same gases continue to escape and can provide important clues about the current state of the volcano and the underlying magma. But to measure them, you first must identify where gas is coming from.

Volcano Watch: Eruption? Intrusion? What’s the difference?

We know that when a volcano erupts, molten red rock makes it to the surface, while during an intrusion it doesn’t. The difference between the two processes, if we depend on seismicity (earth shaking) or deformation (changes in ground surface) instrumentation, is not obvious. The events during the start of either are identical. But we can’t be certain that an intrusion will lead to an eruption.

Volcano Watch: New Kilauea summit intrusion draws comparison to past activity

Late Monday afternoon, earthquake activity picked up at Kilauea’s summit. At about 1:30 a.m. HST on Tuesday, that activity intensified, and it became clear that seismicity and increasing deformation were indicating a new intrusion of magma. The seismicity extended southward from Halema‘uma‘u crater, to an area south of the Kilauea caldera.