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What's Happening on Kīlauea?

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.

     Frequently Asked Questions About Air Quality in Hawai'i - SO2, Vog, and Ash
          Current SO2 Conditions in the Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park (National Park Service website)
East Rift Zone
Pu`u `Ō `ō
Aerial view of the gas and ash plume from Halema`uma`u with the gas plume from Pu`u `O`o 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 `O`o. 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 `O`o 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.

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.

Archive of previous feature stories

  Ash-laden Halema`uma`u plume captures the rainbow in the early morning light. Photo taken from Steaming Bluffs.
Photograph by J. Kauahikaua
March 29, 2008

Impressive Halema`uma`u plume captures and turns

Top: Ash-laden Halema`uma`u plume captures the rainbow in the early morning light. Photo taken from Steaming Bluffs.

Bottom: Halema`uma`u plume, just minutes after it turns from bright white to reddish-brown. Notice the contrast from bright white in the sky to reddish-brown near the vent.

Archive of Featured Photographs

  Halema`uma`u plume, just minutes after it turns from bright white to reddish-brown.  Notice the contrast from bright white in the sky to reddish-brown near the vent.
Photograph by J. Kauahikaua
March 27, 2008


More Volcano Information from HVO and Beyond

Earthquake seismogramReport a felt earthquake to HVO using this form.
More USGS Volcano Web sites

Volcano WatchCurrent issue of Volcano Watch essay, written weekly by USGS scientists.
National Park ServiceHawai`i Volcanoes National Park, home to HVO. Find visitor information and resources here. Graphic: Kids DoorVolcanoes for kids, from the Volcano World website.
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Last modification: 20 August 2008 (pnf)