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Volcanic plume heights from the summit of Kilauea Volcano, Hawai'i

January 20, 2021

This data release provides volcanic plume heights from the summit of Kilauea Volcano for 2008-2015, and during the eruptive events of 2018. For 2018, a Secacam Wild Vision Full HD camera with a 7mm focal length was located at 1717 m elevation approximately 15 m south of the Mauna Loa Strip Road within Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, 19.475843degreesN, 155.363560degreesW (WGS84). The camera was pointed southeast to capture images of the Kilauea caldera every two minutes. These images were used to calculate maximum plume heights within the full frame of the camera. For each two-minute image, the maximum plume heights above the Halema'uma'u crater rim, and in the overall image, were calculated using the horizontal distance to the plume feature, the inclination angle, camera focal length, pixel size, and basic trigonometry. For 3,518 images the plume height above Halema'uma'u crater represents the maximum height in the image, and a '0' is indicated for the overall image (camera frame) plume height. For 4,325 images, no visible plume was discernable in the image directly above Halema'uma'u (as a result of fog, clouds, plume moving downwind, or other factors), and the maximum plume height in the entire camera frame is reported, with a '0' indicated for the Halema'uma'u plume height. Included in the release are all 83,320 images from 9 April, 2018 to 16 August, 2018. These images include both day and night, whether or not a plume is visible.
Plume height data from 31 March, 2008 to 23 April, 2015 were recorded by an observer using a handheld inclinometer while standing close to the corner of the low rock wall at the Jaggar overlook at 19.251065degreesN, 155.171629degreesW (WGS84). Date, time, approximate location of the highest plume feature, and inclination angle were recorded. The horizontal distance to the highest plume feature, the inclination angle, and basic trigonometry were used to calculate the maximum plume height above the elevation of the vent within Halema'uma'u.