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Kilauea volcano

Kilauea is the youngest and most active Hawaiian shield volcano, located on the southern part of the Island of Hawai’i, known as Big Island. Hawai’i is the southernmost and largest of the island chain, which owes its existence to the very active Hawaiian hot spot.
Kilauea volcano is near-constantly erupting from vents either on its summit (caldera) or on the rift zones. At present, Kilauea volcano is still having one of the most long-lived eruptions known on earth, which started in 1983 on the eastern rift zone and has mainly been concentrated at the Pu’u ‘O’o vent.

Shield volcano 1277 m (4,190 ft)
Hawai’i, 19.41°N / -155.29°W
Current status: erupting (4 out of 5)

Kilauea webcams / live data |
Volcano videos
Places to stay
Kilauea volcano eruptions:
Near-continuous eruptions. Since 1960: 1961 (4x), 1962, 1963 (2x), 1965 (2x), 1967-68, 1968 (2x), 1969, 1969-74, 1971 (2x), 1973 (2x), 1974 (3x), 1975, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1982 (2x), 1983-2018 (incl. 1986, 1992, 1997, 2007, 2011 (3x)), 2018 (lower east rift zone in Leilani subdivision), 2020 (Dec) – ongoing
Typical eruption style:
Dominantly effusive since 1790, but ~60% explosive over past ~2500 years.

Last earthquakes nearby

Kilauea volcano tours

Hawaii – Birthplace of Islands (14 days walking and study tour to Oahu, Kauai, Maui, Hawai’i)

Dream Come True – World Volcano Tour (4-week round-the-world trip to Hawaii – Vanuatu – New Zealand – Indonesia)

Pele´s Fire and Myths (7 days walking tour exploring Kilauea´s historic eruption sites, Hawai’i)

Latest satellite images

Sentinel hub “ 8

Kilauea volcano sat by (C) NASA

Kilauea volcano sat by (C) NASA


Volcano news & updates: Kilauea volcano (Big Island, Hawaii)

Kilauea volcano (Hawai’i): new eruption in summit caldera

Mon, 21 Dec 2020, 09:22

09:22 AM | BY: T

Weak glow is visible from the Kilauea caldera this morning (evening in Hawaii) (image: HVO / USGS)

Earthquakes at Kilauea during the past week (image: HVO)

Earthquakes at Kilauea during the past week (image: HVO)

Location of this morning's quake near Kalapana

Location of this morning’s quake near Kalapana

A new eruption started at Kilauea volcano in the evening of 20 Dec in Hawaii (local time). The volcano observatory reported:

“Shortly after approximately 9:30 p.m. HST, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) detected glow within Halemaʻumaʻu crater at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano. An eruption has commenced within Kīlauea’s summit caldera. The situation is rapidly evolving and HVO will issue another statement when more information is available.”

During the past weeks, earthquakes had been more frequent under the caldera and the upper rift zone. They likely reflected magma intrusions at shallow level.

Shortly after the new eruption, observed less than two hours ago, a magnitude
4.3 quake struck the southern flank of the volcano, about 10 miles west of Kalapana. This quake might be related as a response to the new eruption, probably causing a small southwards movement of the southern flank of Kilauea, acting as adjustment for the additional space needed of the magma intrusion in the summit area.

Previous news
Northeastern flank of  Puʻu ʻŌʻō (image: HVO)
According to Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) an increase of seismic activity has been recorded during 29 Nov-3 Dec. … read all

Location of today's quakes (red) near the summit of Kilauea volcano
A swarm of small shallow earthquakes has been occurring today in an area 2-3 miles northwest of the summit caldera, near the Highway 11. … read all

Panorama view of Halemaʻumaʻu water lake taken 09 October 2020 (Image: USGS live webcam)
To capture the public’s attention, some news articles occasionally over-exaggerate on the scientific truth, elaborating on evidence and observation. Is the Halema‘uma‘u Crater within Kīlauea Volcano really “turning into a deadly crater lake?” as portrayed in a recent Forbes article and thus triggering similar eye-catching news stories. One article claims “the volcano is quickly turning into a crater lake full of lava” – a statement that is very misleading and, scientifically, inaccurate for the volcano in question. … read all

Comparison of Kilauea's summit (water) lake between 2 August 2019 and 21 July 2020 (image: HVO)
The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) reported that the volcano’s summit water lake has continued to rise since 25 July last year when water was first spotted at the bottom of Halema‘uma‘u pit crater inside the summit caldera. … read all


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