Timelapse Video Shows Lava Eruption From Hawaii Volcano

A timelapse video shows fountains of lava erupting from a dangerous volcano in Hawaii.

The footage, shared by the Hawaii Volcano Observatory, shows Kīlauea bubbling lava at its crater.

Kīlauea lies along the southeastern shore of Hawaii's Big Island. It's estimated to be between 210,000 and 280,000 years old, having emerged from the sea about 100,000 years ago.

The footage shows how lava gradually began filling the volcanic crater as the eruption intensified. This most recent eruption began on June 7, when scientists began noticing a glow coming from its crater.

In the early stages of the eruption, lava fountains were spluttering 50 feet high, the observatory said. Some bursts even reached 200 feet.

The lower section of the volcano's crater was filled with 33 feet of lava just three hours into the eruption. The lava lake covered a huge expanse of 370 acres.

When the volcano began to erupt, the U.S. Geological Survey raised the alert level around the volcano to red, meaning a major volcanic eruption was underway.

Timelapse Video Shows Lava Eruption
A screenshot from a timelapse video shows lava erupting from a Kilauea. A major volcanic eruption is underway. Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

The emission rates of the current eruption were measured at around 65,000 tonnes per day, according to the observatory.

As the eruption continued, lava fountain heights became lower, and they "are now ranging from 13 to 30 feet high."

"It's still a sight to behold!" the observatory said.

So far, this eruption hasn't posed any risks to people and communities.

It's normal for Kilauea to erupt regularly, as it is one of the most active volcanoes on Earth. It has been erupting regularly since 1983, and it last erupted in January this year.

Although most of the volcano's eruptions are confined to the crater, it has been known to produce devastating eruptions in the past.

In 2018, it underwent a particularly significant eruption that forever changed the island.

At the time, the volcano spewed large lava flows throughout the Puna District, which destroyed over 700 homes from May through August.

The summit area of the national park was also changed dramatically as the volcano caused tens of thousands of earthquakes.

The 2018 eruption also resulted in the collapse of the Kīlauea caldera. Since December 2020, several eruptions have caused the collapsed area to fill with lava lakes.

This most recent eruption is being streamed live by cameras set up by the U.S. Geological Survey, and people can watch it in real time.

Scientists will continue to monitor this eruption for any developments.

Do you have a tip on a science story that Newsweek should be covering? Do you have a question about Kīlauea? Let us know via science@newsweek.com.

Editor's Picks

Newsweek cover
  • Newsweek magazine delivered to your door
  • Unlimited access to Newsweek.com
  • Ad free Newsweek.com experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts
Newsweek cover
  • Unlimited access to Newsweek.com
  • Ad free Newsweek.com experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts