Current Conditions
Courtesy of USGS – Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

The National Park Service update on the activity at Kilauea as of Monday, May 2nd. Our popular volcano tours enable you to witness the primitive power of the active volcano.

Monday, May 2, 2022, 8:56 AM HST

Activity Summary: The summit eruption of Kīlauea volcano, within Halemaʻumaʻu crater, continued over the past 24 hours. All recent activity has been confined to the crater and current data indicate that this scenario is likely to continue. No significant changes have been noted in the summit or East Rift Zone.

Halemaʻumaʻu Lava Lake Observations: Eruption of lava from the western vent into the active lava lake and onto the crater floor continued over the past 24 hours. The active part of the lava lake showed continuous surface activity. The lake level was relatively steady over the past day. Sporadic breakouts also continue along the margins of the crater, but have been weak over the past day. Since the beginning of this eruption on September 29, 2021, the crater floor has seen a total rise of about 99 meters (325 feet). The volume of lava effused since the beginning of this eruption was approximately 66 million cubic meters (18 billion gallons) as measured on April 6, 2022.

Summit Observations: Summit tiltmeters recorded only minor fluctuations over the past day. Volcanic tremor remains above background levels. A sulfur dioxide (SO2) emission rate of approximately 1,800 tonnes per day (t/d) was measured on April 28, 2022.

Rift Zone Observations: No unusual activity has been noted along the East Rift Zone or Southwest Rift Zone; low rates of ground deformation and seismicity continue along both. Measurements from continuous gas monitoring stations downwind of Puʻuʻōʻō in the middle East Rift Zone remain below detection limits for SO2, indicating that SO2 emissions from Puʻuʻōʻō are negligible.

Hazard Analysis: This eruption at Kīlauea’s summit is occurring within a closed area of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Therefore, high levels of volcanic gas are the primary hazard of concern, as this hazard can have far-reaching effects downwind. Large amounts of volcanic gas—primarily water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), and sulfur dioxide (SO2)—are continuously released during eruptions of Kīlauea volcano. As SO2 is released from the summit, it reacts in the atmosphere to create the visible haze known as vog (volcanic smog) that has been observed downwind of Kīlauea. Vog creates the potential for airborne health hazards to residents and visitors, damages agricultural crops and other plants, and affects livestock.

Additional hazards include Pele’s hair and other lightweight volcanic glass fragments from lava fountains that will fall downwind and dust the ground within a few hundred meters (yards) of the erupting fissure vent(s). Strong winds may waft lighter particles to greater distances. Residents should minimize exposure to these volcanic particles, which can cause skin and eye irritation. 

Other significant hazards also remain around Kīlauea caldera from Halemaʻumaʻu crater wall instability, ground cracking, and rockfalls that can be enhanced by earthquakes within the area closed to the public. This underscores the extremely hazardous nature of the rim surrounding Halemaʻumaʻu crater, an area that has been closed to the public since early 2008.  

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) continues to closely monitor Kīlauea volcano.