Kilauea Volcano’s summit eruption in Halemaumau Crater began in March 2008. Since that time, countless changes have occurred. The crater enclosing the lava lake (called the Overlook crater) has enlarged through rockfalls, and explosions have thrown spatter around the crater and onto the rim of Halemaumau itself. The lava-lake level has fluctuated, leading to several overflows of lava onto the Halemaumau Crater floor.
Characterizing earthquakes is one of the most important activities we do at the U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Seismicity helps us monitor the “pulse” of volcanoes and can be a first indication of an impending eruption.