Kīlauea (Hawaii)


Kilauea is an active shield volcano located on Hawaiian Island and it is also the most active among the 5 volcanoes that form the Island of Hawaii. Kilauea has been in a constant state of eruption since 1983. The volcano rises above 1,227 metres above sea level. On May 3, 2018, a number of fissures opened up in Leilani Estates, sending lava skyward.

Location: Big Island, Hawaii
Coordinates: 19.407666, -155.283485
Volcano Type: Shield Volcano


Kilauea’s Location:


Kilauea’s Latest Status

2024: Alert Level Advisory. Volcano is exhibiting signs of elevated unrest above known background level.


Kilauea’s Eruptive History

1823 First, well-documented eruption
1840 May- The largest East Rift eruption known. More than 7 billion cubic feet of lava erupted. The eruption started near the summit, before extending down the entire East Rift zone (35km). Extensive lava flows
1919 Halemaumau’s lava lake drained, generating a lava flow of 20km
1924 Untravulcanian eruptions across both the Southwestern and East Rift Zones
1952 After a quiet period, a huge lava fountain (245m) erupted at Halemaumau. The eruption lasted 136 days
1954-59 Ongoing eruptions
1960 Large, phreatic eruption and accompanying lava flow
1983 Jan – Eruption began along the East Rift Zone with vigorous lava fountaining. The Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone was created
1986 The lava flow shifted from Puʻu ʻŌʻō to a new vent (Kūpaʻianahā)
1992 The lava flow shifted back to Puʻu ʻŌʻō
2016 Extreme Pursuit observed the 61G lava flow and firehose
2018 Rapid inflation of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō with crater flow collapse. On May 3, new fissures erupted in the Leilani Estate area. Extreme Pursuit was in Leilani during this time and witnessed fire fountaining and fast moving lava flows.
2020 Three new fissures opened up in the Halema‘uma‘u crater. The existing water lake evaporated within 30 minutes. A lake lake is now present.
2021 New opening of fissures within the summit crater of Halemaʻumaʻu that lasts many months.
2022 April: Lava returns to Halemaʻumaʻu crater. Lava remains active until the eruption ceased in December
2023 Lava returned, however the eruption within Halemaʻumaʻu crater has again stopped. The lava is no longer active.
2024 Alert Level Advisory: Low-level seismicity continues beneath the summit and Southwest Rift Zone, while rates of ground deformation remain low.


Kilauea Monitoring

For monitoring of United States Volcanoes, please refer to USGS.


Kilauea Images