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Photos: Fiery Lava from Kilauea Volcano Erupts on Hawaii's Big Island

Cracking roads

Kilauea cracks

(Image credit: U.S Geological Survey)

A geologist with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory stands next to cracks on Nohea Street in the Leilani Estates on May 17.

Airplane-high explosion

Kilauea Summit Explosion

(Image credit: U.S Geological Survey)

On May 17, the summit at Kilauea exploded as boulders and a volcanic cloud, more than 5 miles high, spewed out of the Overlook vent at the top of the volcano.

[Read more about the 5-mile-high explosion here]

Fiery lava

Kilauea spatter May 16

(Image credit: U.S Geological Survey)

Lava becomes airborne between fissures 16 and 20 on May 16.

Kilauea's rocks

The Overlook vent on Kilauea's summit threw out chunks of rock that broke apart on impact. The rocks were about 24 inches (60 centimeters) before they hit the ground near the parking lot on May 16.

(Image credit: U.S Geological Survey)

The Overlook vent on Kilauea's summit threw out chunks of rock that broke apart on impact. The rocks were about 24 inches (60 centimeters) before they hit the ground near the parking lot on May 16.

Air patrol

Airplane view of Kilauea

(Image credit: U.S Geological Survey)

Civil Air Patrol flight CAP20 reported plumes as tall as 9,500 feet (2900 meters), with the dispersed plume rising as high as 11,000 feet (3,300 m) on May 15. Ash from this plume fell on communities downwind of Kilauea.

Steamy jet

Kilauea May 14

(Image credit: U.S Geological Survey)

Steam jets out of Fissure 17 on May 14.

Fissure 17

Kilauea volcano ash plume

(Image credit: U.S. Geological Survey)

A slow and sticky flow emerges from a new fissure — No. 17 — northeast at the end of Hinalo Street on May 13.

[Read complete coverage of the Kilauea Volcano eruption]

Road cracks

Kilauea volcano ash plume

(Image credit: U.S. Geological Survey)

Cracks appear on Highway 132 on the Big Island on May 13. Researchers marked the cracks with orange spray paint to track changes over time.

Hot fissure

Kilauea volcano ash plume

(Image credit: U.S. Geological Survey)

A view of Fissure 17 taken on May 13.

Fissure 16

Kilauea volcano ash plume

(Image credit: U.S. Geological Survey, photograph courtesy of County of Hawai'i Fire Department)

A bird's-eye view of Fissure 16 captured on May 12.