Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano is still erupting

Kilauea: Very bright clouds of the milky way arc from top left to bottom right, where you can see the fiery plumes of a volcano.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Tina Clothier captured the Milky Way above the erupting Kilauea caldera on June 12, 2023. Stunning, Tina. Thank you!

Kilauea is still at it. This shield volcano on the eastern slope of Mauna Loa in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park began erupting at 4:44 a.m. HST (14:44 UTC) on June 7, 2023. After a spurt of activity in January 2023, the volcano quieted down in March. But now it’s come roaring back.

Beginning on June 7, dome fountains of lava have erupted and filled the lava lake in Halema’uma’u crater. As a matter of fact, this pit crater collapsed in a 2018 eruption, doubling it in size. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said in its daily update on June 14, 2023:

Kilauea volcano is erupting. Eruptive activity is confined to Halema’uma’u crater within the summit caldera at Kilauea. No unusual activity has been noted along the volcano’s East Rift Zone or Southwest Rift Zone.

Halema’uma’u Eruption Observations: The eruptive vent in the southwest wall of Halema’uma’u continues effusing into the lava lake in the far southwestern portion of the crater. Intermittent spattering at this vent was visible in overnight webcam views. Other eruptive vents within the southwestern lava lake – previously taking the form of dome fountains – shut down yesterday morning, following several days of waning activity. There has been another source of lava effusion near the western eruptive vent from the January–March 2023 eruption, but it is only weakly active at this time.

Read the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory’s daily updates

Watch a livestream of the volcano

You can watch the livestream of Kilauea’s eruption at this USGS YouTube page or in the viewer below.

In case you want to visit

Also, the eruption has meant a rush of visitors to the park. For more on how to visit the park during crowded times of an eruption, visit this NPS webpage.

By the way, check out the tornado made of lava in the video below.

Scenes from Kilauea

Orange glowing lines and concentration with smoke against black background.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Paul C. Peh in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park captured this image on June 9, 2023. Paul wrote: “This image of Halema’uma’u lava lake was taken from Crater Rim Overlook. The fountaining has subsided since it erupted 2 days ago. Oh well, better late than never. Aloha. I also uploaded a video of this event on my webpage.” Thank you, Paul!

Bottom line: Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park began erupting on June 7, 2023. As of June 15, 2023, it is still erupting. Watch a livestream here.

Read more: US revamps volcano early warning system

June 15, 2023

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Kelly Kizer Whitt

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