Kilauea eruption ceases

  • This is a USGS image of the lava lake within Halema‘uma‘u crater, at Kīlauea volcano’s summit, taken on May 25. Kīlauea’s summit collapse in 2018 deepened Halema‘uma‘u crater by over 500 meters (1,640 feet). The eruption that began the evening of December 20, 2020, has filled approximately 229 m (751 feet) of the base of Halema‘uma‘u crater, which is more than the height of the Space Needle in Seattle, Washington.

Kilauea volcano is no longer erupting, according to an alert issued by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Accordingly, HVO has lowered the Volcano Alert Level for ground-based hazards from “watch” to “advisory.”


The lava flowing into the Halemaʻumaʻu crater lava lake has ceased, and sulfur dioxide emissions have decreased to near pre-eruption background levels.

HVO said the lava supply to the lava lake appears to have ceased between May 11 and May 13, based upon elevation measurements of the lake surface that showed the surface was no longer rising.

The eruption began Dec. 20, 2020, and the lava lake reached 751 feet in depth.

Dwindling lava supply over the previous month had caused the active lava lake to shrink to two small ponds by May 11, and was completely crusted over by May 20. The last surface activity on the lake was observed on May 23.

Changes in the lava lake have been accompanied by a drop in gas emissions to levels close to pre-eruption background level.


Since May 11, there has been weak inflation and an increase in shallow volcano tectonic earthquakes at the summit, suggesting magma entering the system is being stored at depth. These observations indicate that the eruption in Halema‘uma‘u at the summit of Kilauea has paused. It is possible that the Halema‘uma‘u vent could resume eruption, or that Kilauea is entering a period of quiescence prior the next eruption, according to HVO.

There are currently no indications suggesting that a resumption of volcanic activity is imminent.

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