What's happening at Kīlauea Volcano's summit vent?
The Overlook crater lava lake level was 55 m (180 ft) below the vent rim on March 18, 2015 (left). On April 26, 2015, at 8:30 a.m., HST, the lava lake level had risen to 3 m (10 ft) below the vent rim (right).
In response to steady inflation that began on the afternoon of April 22, 2015, the lava lake within the Overlook crater (the active vent at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano) has risen to record heights. HVO scientists are closely monitoring the lava lake, and changes in the lava lake level are posted in HVO's daily Kīlauea eruption update.
Background information about this ongoing eruption is provided in "The first five years of Kīlauea's summit eruption in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, 2008-2013."
Because of the high lava lake level, visitors at the Jaggar Museum Overlook in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park can, for the first time since the Kīlauea summit eruption began in March 2008, see the actual lake surface, as well as molten lava spattering above the vent rim.
The active vent (Overlook crater) at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano is located within Halemaʻumaʻu, a crater within the volcano's caldera. The lava lake within the summit vent was about 70 m (230 ft) below the vent rim when this aerial photo was taken on March 6, 2015. Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park’s Jaggar Museum is perched on the Kīlauea caldera rim (out of view to the right).