Lava Update | November 19, 2021

Eruptive activity continues at Kilauea’s summit, as the vent on Halema‘uma‘u’s west wall continues to discharge lava into the contained lava lake. Since this phase began on September 29th, USGS estimates the level of lava has increased 197 feet, and total erupted volume to be about 30 million cubic meters, or 7.8 billion gallons!

The cone that has formed at the west vent contains a pond of boiling and spattering lava, visible from above, while the effusing lava has formed a perched pond on the lava lake’s surface between the vent and the large floating island in the middle.

Below are photos taken during our most recent documentary overflight on November 16th:

The west vent discharges lava into the perched pond on the lava lake’s surface.
Gases rise and drift to the north, as light southerly winds blow over the crater.
Lava continues to effuse from the west vent into Halemaumau’s lava lake.
Remnants of Crater Rim Drive lead up to the collapsed depths of Halemaumau crater and the lava lake, while the summits of Mauna Loa and Maunakea sit in the distance. Jaggar Museum sits on the ridge in the upper right.
The effusing lava from the west vent has formed a perched pond on the lava lake’s surface.
A view of Halemaumau and its lava lake from above the south rim.
Another view of the perched pond that has formed on the lava lake’s surface.

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