Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

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earthquakes that occurred beneath the island
December 31, 2018

earthquakes that occurred beneath the island

The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory continues to closely monitor volcanoes and earthquakes on the Island of Hawai‘i. On this map, which shows earthquakes that occurred beneath the island between August 6, 2018, and November 14, 2018, the size of each circle depicts earthquake magnitude and color indicates earthquake depth, relative to mean sea level.

Continued degassing from fumaroles at fissures
December 31, 2018

Continued degassing from fumaroles at fissures

Continued degassing from fumaroles at fissures on Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone produce native sulfur crystals when sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide gases react and cool upon reaching the surface. The delicate sulfur crystals are 5–15 mm (0.2–0.6 in) long.

Explosive eruption columns of ash rising
December 31, 2018

Explosive eruption columns of ash rising

Explosive eruption columns of ash rising from Halema‘uma‘u at 11:15 a.m. on May 18, 1924 (top) and at 11:05 a.m. on May 15, 2018 (bottom) look similar. Researchers are re-evaluating early assumptions about the role groundwater played in triggering these explosive eruptions at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano and are now looking at the build-up of gases from retreating magma

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 Department of Interior UAS pilots
December 31, 2018

UAS pilots at Kilauea

Department of Interior UAS pilots from left to right – Elizabeth Pendleton (USGS, Woods Hole, MA), Colin Milone (Office of Aviation Services, AK), John Vogel (USGS; Flagstaff, AZ), Sandy Brosnahan (USGS, Woods Hole, MA), Brandon Forbes (USGS; Tucson, AZ), Chris Holmquist-Johnson (USGS; Fort Collins, CO), Hannah Dietterich (USGS; Anchorage, AK), and Emily Sturdivant (USGS,

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Map of selected earthquakes beneath a portion of southeast Hawaii
December 31, 2018

Map of selected earthquakes beneath a portion of southeast Hawaii

Map of selected earthquakes beneath a portion of southeast Hawai`i from May 4, 2018 to March 14, 2019, showing principally aftershocks following May 4, 2018 M6.9 earthquake. Black dots indicate epicenters of 13,083 earthquakes located during this time interval; yellow stars show locations of the M6.9 earthquake and the March 13, 2019 M5.5 earthquake.

December 31, 2018

Hovering Above—UAS’ Role in the 2018 Kīlauea Volcano Eruption Response

The 2018 Kīlauea Volcano eruption marked the first time the federal government used Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to assist in an eruption response in the United States. The UAS were used to survey areas otherwise inaccessible or too hazardous for field crews or manned aircraft, collect multiple types of data, and provide 24/7 real-time situational awareness at Kīlauea

Lava flow thickness 2018
December 31, 2018

Lava flow thickness 2018

This preliminary thickness map of Kīlauea Volcano's 2018 lower East Rift Zone lava flows was calculated by subtracting pre-eruption ground surface elevations from post-eruption ground surface elevations mapped with USGS Unmanned Aerial System (drone) flights. The drones acquired 2,800 aerial photos from which 1.5 billion common points were automatically selected by Surface

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December 31, 2018

Hovering Above—UAS’ Role in the 2018 Kīlauea Volcano Eruption (AD)

The 2018 Kīlauea Volcano eruption marked the first time the federal government used Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to assist in an eruption response in the United States. The UAS were used to survey areas otherwise inaccessible or too hazardous for field crews or manned aircraft, collect multiple types of data, and provide 24/7 real-time situational awareness at Kīlauea

midwinter dawn at Halema‘uma‘u
December 20, 2018

midwinter dawn at Halema‘uma‘u

A midwinter dawn at Halema‘uma‘u on Kīlauea. Steaming cracks tell of water and heat interacting beneath the summit caldera of the volcano. In the background, the first rays of sunlight illuminate Uēkahuna Bluff.

Kīlauea Volcano showing the main collapse area
November 8, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano showing the main collapse area

September 19, 2018 USGS photo of the south caldera of Kīlauea Volcano showing the main collapse area. The south Sulphur Bank is in the left side of the photo. Uēkahuna Bluff, from where this photo was taken, cuts across the bottom and lower right corner of the photo. After the collapse of 1868, the caldera floor may have looked something like this.

November 7, 2018

3D model of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō's crater

This 3D model of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō's crater was created from thermal images during an overflight of the cone. The deepest portion of the crater is about 320 meters (1050 feet) below the crater floor that existed prior to April 30.

Sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide gases
November 6, 2018

Sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide gases

Sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide gases themselves are not visible, but dramatic plumes are sometimes visible at Kīlauea Volcano's summit (shown here) and Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō. These plumes are a result of atmospheric conditions rather than increased volcanic activity, and frequently occur when warm volcanic gases condense as they are released into cooler air temperatures of early

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