Volcano Hazards Program Office

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Example of a boundary problem in the Yellowstone geologic map
August 26, 2020

Example of a boundary problem in the Yellowstone geologic map

An example of a boundary iproblem n the Yellowstone National Park geologic map, which was stitched together from many smaller mapped sections. The red line highlights the contacts that contain different units across the boundary.

August 25, 2020

Timelapse: 45 minutes of activity at Kīlauea's summit water lake

This timelapse video shows approximately 45 minutes of activity in the water lake at the summit of Kīlauea volcano. The video shows that the color zones are highly dynamic, shifting from minute to minute. This behavior has been common in the lake during much of the past year. Note that the camera exposure changes several times, shifting the color slightly at times. USGS

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August 20, 2020

Doppler radar in Ka‘ū: more than a weather radar

Radar image of the May 17, 2018 eruption of ash from Halema‘uma‘u Crater. This image is a slice through the cloud at an altitude of 14,000 ft (4 km) above sea level at 4:12 a.m., HST. The colors scale is radar reflectivity, a measure of the size of the particles and their concentration within the ash cloud. Colors indicate the different echo intensities or reflectivity.

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August 20, 2020

Doppler radar in Ka‘ū: more than a weather radar

Nā‘ālehu radome, 39 ft (about 12 m) in diameter. The radar dish inside is 28 ft (8.5 m) across. USGS photo by C. Neal on July 27, 2019. More details on the technical specifications of this instrument can be found at this website (https://www.roc.noaa.gov/WSR88D/Engineering/NEXRADTechInfo.aspx).

Deformation that results from pressurization of a "Mogi" source model
August 18, 2020

Deformation that results from pressurization of a "Mogi" source model

Cross section through the Earth showing the ground surface with an embedded pressure source (red circle)—the so-called “Mogi model”—beneath the ground.  When this pressure source expands, the ground surface inflates like a balloon (the opposite occurs when the pressure in the source decreases).  Dashed black line shows, in an exaggerated way, how the shape the surface

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August 17, 2020

Time-Lapse of Yellowstone Lake (2019 - 2020)

This time-lapse movie, which spans January 2019 to August 2020, shows the changing nature of the seasons at Yellowstone Lake as captured by the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory webcam. Snow and ice come and go, and there is even a wildfire visible during the summer of 2019!
 

Photo looking north from the north shore of Yellowstone Lake at lake terraces.
August 16, 2020

Photo looking north from the north shore of Yellowstone Lake

Photo looking north from the north shore of Yellowstone Lake. The photo was taken from a level bench, or terrace, which marks a previous high stand of the lake.  In the middle distance (between the two red lines), the ground slopes up to second, higher-level terrace that indicates an even higher past lake level.

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August 13, 2020

Water was in Kīlauea caldera before the 2018 summit collapse

Black streak on caldera wall (center) is about 50 m (yards) long, and white steam plume (lower right) rises from northwestern part of Halema‘uma‘u. Photo from Volcano House Hotel on July 4, 2018. The configuration of this area changed considerably after the photo was taken, as collapse continued into early August. USGS photo.

August 7, 2020

Role of Infrasound in the USGS Eruption Response

Infrasound is an important tools for volcanologists, allowing them to detect eruptions, locate the source of explosions, and understand important parameters of volcanic events. John Lyons discusses how the technique is used by the USGS, especially in Alaska, and how we are working to help study infrasound around the world.
 

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August 7, 2020

Rainbow over Halema‘uma‘u and the water lake

The KWcam webcam at Kīlauea's summit captured a rainbow over the water lake in Halema‘uma‘u this afternoon, as light mist moved across the caldera.

Monitoring for volcanic gases at Newberry Volcano
August 3, 2020

A MultiGAS instrument measures gases at Newberry Volcano

Scientists use a MultiGAS instrument (gray, hard-shell case) to measure gas compositions from the East Lake hot spring in the Newberry caldera. The photo was taken on August 3, 2020 just after sunrise. The vapor above the hot spring and lake is typical for cool mornings and is not visible later in the day.

Thin section image of a lava sample from Yellowstone using a polarizing microscope.
August 1, 2020

Thin section image of a lava sample from Yellowstone

Thin section image of a lava sample from Yellowstone using a polarizing microscope. The mineral assemblage is representative of many of Yellowstone’s basaltic rocks. The three large and colored crystals (known as phenocrysts) in the center of the image are the mineral olivine. The olivines are surrounded by a groundmass of small plagioclase feldspar crystals (white-grey

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