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Hawaii Volcano Observatory Update
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The following is the most recent Volcano Update from the Hawaii Volcano Observatory in the Hawaii Volcano National Park. This update is usually current on weekdays. For more detailed information and historical archives visit the HVO Website.

Current Eruption


Current Eruption

Kīlauea Volcano began erupting on 20 December 2020 at about 9:30 p.m. HST in Halema‘uma‘u crater. 

See the Frequently Asked Questions about Kīlauea's Current Eruption

Current Kīlauea Updates

Current Kīlauea Updates

See the most recent volcano update for Kīlauea.

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Photo & Video Chronology

Photo & Video Chronology

A series of posts showing photos and videos from Kīlauea. 

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Webcams show current conditions on Kīlauea.

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Graph showing depth of Halemaumau lava lake, Kilauea volcano

Graph showing the depth of the Halema‘uma‘u crater lava lake at Kīlauea Volcano's summit. Measurements began one day after the start of the eruption on December 20, 2020 and are updated by geologists making observations from the field. HVO field crews use a portable laser range finder to measure the vertical distance between points of known elevation and the lava lake surface. Frequent sets of repeat manual measurements were averaged and plotted to derive the lava lake depth.  

On January 8, 2021, a novel laser rangefinder was stationed at Kīlauea Volcano's summit. The fixed instrument continuously measures the distance to the lava lake surface, and telemeters data to HVO in real time. The raw data has been edited for this graph, with a running mean average filter of 3600 seconds. 

Variations in plotted depth can occur due to alternating field crews, the uneven surface of the lava lake, or laser rangefinder returns on gas rather than the lake surface.

Graph showing Average measurements of SO2 from Kilauea summit since 12 December 2020

Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission rates measured using an upward-looking ultraviolet spectrometer. These data are collected by traversing the gas plume in a vehicle or helicopter, downwind of Halema‘uma‘u, generally within and/or southwest of Kīlauea caldera. Results from multiple traverses during a day are averaged to yield the emission rates shown here. Successful measurements depend on wind, weather, and staff availability. Values are preliminary and are subject to revision.

(Public domain.)

Color map of lava lake and volcano summit

This map of Halema‘uma‘u at the summit of Kīlauea shows 20 m (66 ft) contour lines (dark gray) that mark locations of equal elevation above sea level (asl). The map shows that the lava lake has filled 218 m (715 ft) of the crater, to an elevation of 735 m (2411 ft) asl since the eruption began at approximately 9:30 p.m. HST on December 20, 2020. Contour lines highlighted in green, purple, and blue mark the rim of Halema‘uma‘u, the edge of the eastern down-dropped block, and the rim of the 2018 collapse, respectively. Lava is expected to be within view of the Kīlauea Overlook visitor area shortly before it rises to the level of the green contour line at 800 m (2625 ft) asl. USGS map.

(Public domain.)

"Volcano Watch" articles relevant to the ongoing eruption

Additional resources related to the eruption:


Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park remains open with COVID restrictions. However, the Jaggar area is closed. Please visit the Park website to learn more about their operations. 

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