Volcano Watch: A year of continuous eruption at Halemaʻumaʻu? Close, but not quite

  • USGS photo This unoccupied aircraft system (UAS) photograph shows the western eruptive vent (upper left) and lava pond (center right) within Halemaʻumaʻu crater during an eruptive pause on Jan. 28, 2022. The pond hosts the only active lava in this view. The western impounding walls of the drained lava lake are visible from center to lower left of this image.

The ongoing summit eruption at Kilauea volcano turned 1 year old on Sept. 29, 2022. The past year’s activity has commonly been described as “continuous” effusion of lava within Halema‘uma‘u crater. Although this has been mostly true — especially in recent months — there have been multiple occasions when lava was not flowing. What happened at those times, and why?