Volcano Watch: Kilauea Volcano’s summit eruption is now a decade old

A little more than 10 years ago, conditions around Kilauea Volcano’s summit were much different than today. The caldera floor was open to the public, and the air above it was normally clear. Halema‘uma‘u was an impressive sight, but peacefully in repose. That quiet phase at Kilauea’s summit ended abruptly in 2008, ushering in a new era of lava lake activity that continues today.

Volcano Watch: Is the current summit eruption a return to Kilauea Volcano’s past?

To set the stage for next week’s Volcano Watch about the upcoming anniversary of Kilauea Volcano’s current summit eruption, this week we revisit the history of past Halemaʻumaʻu eruptions. We do so by reprising parts of a Volcano Watch article written in December 2008, soon after the ongoing Halemaʻumaʻu lava lake reached a milestone as Kilauea’s longest summit eruption since 1924.

Volcano Watch: Archive now complete and inspires a new column

In November, “Volcano Watch” entered its 27th year of publication. The long history of this column is, in large part, thanks to the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists and affiliates who write the weekly articles, Hawaii newspapers and online news outlets that print and post the column and you, the dedicated readers who peruse it each week.

Volcano Watch: What makes the lava lake within Halema‘uma‘u rise and fall?

About a year ago, the lava lake within Halema‘uma‘u at Kilauea Volcano’s summit was high enough that spattering on the lake surface was commonly visible from the Jaggar Museum overlook in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Although nighttime glow from the lava lake remains impressive, direct views of spattering lava are now less common because the lake level gradually dropped since that time.