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kilauea

2007-2009 Kīlauea Eruption Timeline

Kīlauea is currently active at two locations—the summit and east rift zone.
Volcanic activity since June 2007 is outlined below.

Black dates are summit events. Red dates are east rift or Pu`u `Ō `ō events.

Links below each date provide information about the events.

  2009
Summit:
Halema`uma`u
East Rift Zone
Pu`u `Ō `ō
August 9 - After almost six weeks of darkness, the summit vent is once again emitting a faint orange glow
Lava briefly reappears in Kīlauea's summit vent but disappears again during a deflation-inflation (DI) event that began on July 4th; the summit plume is thin and wispy and the vent remains dark through the rest of the month July 2-4 - Lava briefly reappears in Kīlauea's summit vent but disappears again during a deflation-inflation (DI) event that began on July 4th; the summit plume is thin and wispy and the vent remains dark through the rest of the month
July - Lava flows in the Royal Gardens subdivision burn another abandoned structure, the 207th to be destroyed by Kīlauea's ongoing east rift eruption; the Waikupanaha and Kupapa'u ocean entries remain active through mid-July, but the Kupapa'u entry dies during a deflation-inflation (DI) event that started on July 16 Lava flows in the Royal Gardens subdivision burn another abandoned structure
Large plume from Halema`uma`u Crater June 30 - Large collapse and rockfalls within Kīlauea's summit vent in Halema'uma'u Crater chokes the vent with rocky rubble and enlarges the opening to 132 m (433 feet) across; the nighttime glow emitted from the vent disappears
Churning lava in Kīlauea's summit vent creates a bright glow visible from the Jaggar Museum Overlook throughout the month; laser-ranging measurements in early June determined that the lava surface is  205 m (670 ft) below the floor of Halema'uma'u Crater June - Churning lava in Kīlauea's summit vent creates a bright glow visible from the Jaggar Museum Overlook throughout the month; laser-ranging measurements in early June determined that the lava surface is 205 m (670 ft) below the floor of Halema'uma'u Crater
May-June - Lava erupted from Kīlauea's east rift continues to flow into the ocean at Waikupanaha and Kupapa'u; surface flows occasionally break out of the lava tube and encroach on the Royal Gardens subdivision, burying three abandoned structures in June

Lava erupted from Kīlauea's east rift continues to flow into the ocean at Waikupanaha and Kupapa'u; surface flows occasionally break out of the lava tube and encroach on the Royal Gardens subdivision, burying three abandoned structures in June
Small collapses and rockfalls continue within Kīlauea's summit vent, often resulting in dusty brown plumes; molten lava in the vent produces a nighttime glow visible from the Jaggar Museum overlook May - Small collapses and rockfalls continue within Kīlauea's summit vent, often resulting in dusty brown plumes; molten lava in the vent produces a nighttime glow visible from the Jaggar Museum overlook
April 29 - Small collapse reopens partly crusted summit vent; the wind blows a dusting of ash over an area that includes Kīlauea Visitor Center and parts of Volcano Village
April 2 - Lava continues to flow into the ocean at two entries—Waikupanaha and Kupapa`u New ocean entry near Poupou in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park about 2 km west of Waikupanaha ocean entry (Poupou ocean entry no longer active as of February 24)
A small collapse in the Halema'uma'u vent creates a robust brown plume and blankets the crater rim with ash; after the dust settles, thermal images reveal cycles of lava lake filling and draining in the vent March 25 - A small collapse in the Halema'uma'u vent creates a robust brown plume and blankets the crater rim with ash; after the dust settles, thermal images reveal cycles of lava lake filling and draining in the vent
March 19 - Lava reaches the sea at Kupapa`u near the eastern boundary of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park Lava reaches the sea at Kupapa`u near the eastern boundary of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park
Happy Anniversary! Kīlauea's summit vent in Halema`uma`u Crater exploded to life one year ago today March 19 - Happy Anniversary! Kīlauea's summit vent in Halema`uma`u Crater exploded to life one year ago today
February 28 - Large bench collapse at Waikupanaha ocean entry
February 18 - New ocean entry near Poupou in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park about 2 km west of Waikupanaha ocean entry (Poupou ocean entry no longer active as of February 24) New ocean entry near Poupou in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park about 2 km west of Waikupanaha ocean entry (Poupou ocean entry no longer active as of February 24)
February 17 - Small bench collapse at Waikupanaha ocean entry blasts rock and lava fragments 275 m (900 feet) inland Small bench collapse at Waikupanaha ocean entry blasts rock and lava fragments 275 m (900 feet) inland
February 9-10 - Bursting lava bubbles and jets of steam create hazardous conditions and increase likelihood of bench collapse at Waikupanaha
The infrared (IR) image  allows us to see through the fume into the vent. February 7 - Cycles of lava lake filling and draining inside the Halema`uma`u vent observed with thermal camera
The infrared (IR) image  allows us to see through the fume into the vent. February 4-5 - Thermal images reveal crusted lava pond 118 m (130 yards) below rim of Halema`uma`u vent
January 21-22 - Lava flows reach ocean at Waha`ula in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park (no longer active as of February 10) Incandescent parabolic arcs trace the path of ejecta cast out during explosions at the Waikupanaha ocean entry early Wednesday morning. This was a relatively small explosion, reaching a few tens of meters height, while the largest explosions this morning approached 70 meters in height. At the bottom of the photograph is the rim of the littoral cone built up by explosion deposits.
The infrared (IR) image  allows us to see through the fume into the vent. January 22 - After a six-week pause, Halema`uma`u vent is once again dusting nearby areas with ash and glowing intermittently
January 18 - Measurements show that recent rim collapses enlarged the summit vent to 115 m (377 feet);
January 8 - East rift eruption continues with pāhoehoe lava flows on the coastal plain and a robust ocean entry near Kalapana; active lobe approaching eastern boundary of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

Vigorous plume at Waikupanaha ocean entry.
January 1 - New Year rings in with decreasing activity at Kīlauea's summit; little or no tephra is being ejected from the Halema'uma'u vent, but the summit remains in a state of unrest with elevated sulfur dioxide emissions and seismic tremor
  2008
The infrared (IR) image  allows us to see through the fume into the vent. December 31 - Infrared images reveal that a once-open conduit in Kīlauea's summit vent is filled with rocky rubble
December 21 - Summit sulfur dioxide emissions and seismic tremor increase and remain elevated above background levels
December 16 - Lava flows inch toward the eastern boundary of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park and then stall

Lava flows inch toward the eastern boundary of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park and then stall.
December 15 - Volume of tephra erupted from summit vent plummets; ejected rock fragments are no longer derived from molten lava
Large collapse chokes summit vent with rocky rubble; plume becomes wispy and translucent; sulfur dioxide emissions drop to lowest levels since late 2007, but remain  elevated; seismic tremor declines to background levels; vent no longer glows at night December 4 - Large collapse chokes summit vent with rocky rubble; plume becomes wispy and translucent; sulfur dioxide emissions drop to lowest levels since late 2007, but remain elevated; seismic tremor declines to background levels; vent no longer glows at night
Plume cloud from November 28 overflight at Halema`uma`u vent. November 25 - Halema`uma`u eruption exceeds the 251-day record set in 1967-68 and is now the longest summit eruption since 1924
October 16 - One of last two occupied homes in Royal Gardens Subdivision is buried by lava flows

The flows on the west side of the active flow field followed Ali`i Avenue for a short distance, where they destroyed one of the two remaining intermittently occupied structures in the subdivision. In this photo, the house has already been destroyed and active flows are covering other rain tarps and other items.
Ash-rich mushroom cloud from October 12 explosion eruption at Halema`uma`u vent. October 12 and 14 - Two more explosive eruptions in Halema'uma'u eject fragments of frothy lava on to crater rim above the vent
This near-vertical view reveals a vigorously bubbling lava surface below the rim of the vent within Halema`uma`u crater. Continuous spattering was casting globs of lava across the lake surface and onto the conduit walls. September 5 - HVO scientists observe lava lake in Halema'uma'u vent (viewed from helicopter above crater) A momentary clearing of the fume in Pu`u `Ō `ō crater reveals a brief glimpse of the north crater wall.
Sixth explosive eruption in Halema`uma`u September 2 - Sixth explosive eruption in Halema'uma'u showers crater rim with vesicular lava fragments up to 5 cm (2 inches) in diameter
August 28 - Delta collapse at ocean entry causes small explosion, throwing basketball-sized rocks 100 m (300 feet) inland

Delta collapse at ocean entry causes small explosion, throwing 100 m (300 feet) basketball-sized rocks inland.
Fifth significant explosion at summit vent August 27 - Fifth significant explosion at summit vent Lava continues to pour into the ocean at Waikupanaha, creating a billowing laze plume. The shiny surface inland from the entry is from the August 10-12 breakouts.
August 10 - Lava makes its way back down the TEB tube and flows into the ocean at the Waikupanaha entry

August 6 - In response to a summit DI (deflation-inflation) event, lava stopped flowing through TEB tube system and into ocean

 A slabby pahoehoe channel from a breakout on the coastal plain enters the ocean this morning to the west of the Waikupanaha entry.
Halema`uma`u summit plume  turned brown as ash is erupted from the vent. August 1 - Fourth explosive eruption at Halema`uma`u scatters rocky debris along a narrow band downwind of the crater vent; summit plume occasionally turns brown as ash is erupted from the vent
Steady plume rises from Halema`uma`u July - Steady plume rises from Halema`uma`u The lava fountain on shield 3 was 12-15 m high.
June-July - A pulse of magma moving through Kīlauea's east rift zone results in spattering vents and a small pond of lava in Pu`u `Ō `ō, lava fountains gushing from the TEB tube, channelized 'a'ā flows in Royal Gardens, and large littoral explosions at Kīlauea's ocean entry near Kalapana Incandescent parabolic arcs trace the path of ejecta cast out during explosions at the Waikupanaha ocean entry early Wednesday morning. This was a relatively small explosion, reaching a few tens of meters height, while the largest explosions this morning approached 70 meters in height. At the bottom of the photograph is the rim of the littoral cone built up by explosion deposits.
Aerial view of the gas and ash plume from Halema`uma`u with the gas plume from Pu`u `Ō `ō in the distance. The three hills on the horizon are, from right to left, Mauna Ulu (active 1969-1974), Kane Nui o Hamo (small eruption June 19, 2007), and Pu`u `Ō `ō. May-June - Halema`uma`u vent continues to emit SO2 and ash Lava plunges into a submarine tube at the middle entry on the Waikupanaha delta. At the right edge of the photo are steaming cracks, clear evidence that the new delta is inherently unstable.
A small explosion took place from the new vent at about 4 a.m. on April 16. Geologists' truck leaves tracks in the pale-red rock dust that coated Crater Rim Drive near the Halema`uma`u parking lot. April 16 - Third explosion in Halema`uma`u
Halema`uma`u from Steaming Bluff. April 9 - Second explosion in Halema`uma`u Vigorous steam plumes rise from the Waikapanaha ocean entry this morning.
View of the ash-rich plume in Halema`uma`u from the southeast side of Kilauea Caldera. Note the ash fallout down-wind of the plume. March 24 - Halema`uma`u plume ash-rich Lava streams into the ocean at the Ki entry, as seen from the lava viewing trail.
The wooden fence of the overlook itself was bombarded by rocks. Nearly every rock on the surface in this photo was deposited by the explosion. March 19 - Explosion in Halema`uma`u Crater Large skylight on the TEB tube near the top of Royal Gardens subdivision. The lava is flowing to the left, and small bubbles and other detail can be seen on the surface of the lava stream. The dark spots are bits of cooled lava crust being blown into the skylight by the helicopter.
View of the new gas vent at the base of the eastern wall of Halema`uma`u crater on March 14, 2008 from the Jaggar Museum overlook. March 12 - New gas vent opens in Halema`uma`u Crater
March 5 - Lava enters the ocean for the first time since June 2007 Lava entered the ocean yesterday for the first time since June 2007. A small delta, extending for about 100 m along the face of the sea cliff, had been constructed by this morning.
February 20 - Lava flows into Royal Gardens subdivision This is one of several lava streams of the Prince Avenue flow slicing through the forest between the cross streets of Paradise and Orchid. The lava stream is about 3 meters (10 feet) wide.
Continuous on-site gas monitoring site located on the rim of Halemaumau crater in the summit caldera of Kilauea Volcano, Hawai`i. February - Sulfur dioxide emission rate at summit is 600 to 1,000 tonnes/day
January 10 - Lava advances toward Royal Gardens subdivision View of the top of Royal Gardens subdivision. The light grey flows in the center of the photo are from Pu`u `Ō `ō in the 1980s. The very small fume source near the top center of the photo is the terminus of the `a`a flow from the shield #4 breach. The highest house in the subdivision can be seen on the long street to the right of the older lava flows. The flow was ~1.1 km (0.68 miles) from the top of the subdivision at the time the photo was taken.

  2007
December - Rootless shields grow at the base of the TEB shield Drained pond 1 in foreground and TEB and satellitic shields just beyond and to the left. A recently active seep produced the pahoehoe flows directly left of pond 1.
November 21 - "TEB" (Thanksgiving Eve breakout) lava flow View looking northeast across the new breakout point with the partly-drained pool 1 of the perched channel beyond. The deep red incandescence in the distance is the now-exposed opening beneath the bridge separating the first and second pools of the perched channel.
October-November - Lava continues to erupt from July 21st fissure and flow through perched lava channel Looking upstream at lava cascading out of perched channel and into the lower channel at 6:47 am.
August-September - July 21st fissures continue to erupt and create perched lava channels The surface of the lava stream in the both the perched channel and much of the lower channel is covered by a pahoehoe crust. About halfway down the lower channel, the surface texture of the lava stream changes abruptly where it pours over a small lava falls. The combination of turbulent action and cooling is just enough to cause the textural change from smooth pieces of crust to more blocky looking chunks.
July 21 - Fissures erupt downrift of Pu`u `Ō `ō Leading tip of the fissure (steaming area at bottom of photo) that erupted lava minutes after photo was taken.
July 1-20 - Episode 57: Pu`u `Ō `ō refills with lava Pu'u 'O'o from the east. The new lava is difficult to see from this angle because of the persistent fume that rises from the east rim of the crater.
June 20-July 1 - Pause in eruption Weather and visibility at Pu'u 'O'o cone improved this afternoon. Flying downrift from the summit of Kilauea, the cone looks unchanged.
Halemaumau Crater. June 19 - Sulfur dioxide emissions increase at Kīlauea's summit
June 19 - Eruption on the flank of Kane Nui o Hamo Steam and gas from a fissure (nearest) and a crack (farthest) that opened up some time last night (June 18 or 19). A small pad of new but cooling lava had issued from the fissure. Mauna Loa is in the far background and Mauna Ulu is in the near background.
June 17 - Shallow intrusion into Kīlauea's upper east rift zone Cracks in Chain of Craters Road near Mauna Ulu turnoff. More cracking was observed to the east between Mauna Ulu and Kane Nui o Hamo. Father's Day, June 17.

   

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Updated: 24 August 2009 (pnf)