Hawaiian Volcano Observatory


Daily updates about ongoing eruptions, recent images and videos of summit and East Rift Zone volcanic activity, maps, and data about recent earthquakes in Hawaii are posted on the HVO website. 

Volcano Watch is a weekly article and activity update written by U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists and colleagues.

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Date published: September 25, 2019

Volcano Watch - Scientific community lends a hand to measure Kīlauea's changing shape

The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) has an extensive network of instruments that helps us monitor how the ground deforms due to magma moving underground. However, we are fortunate that scientific colleagues also pitched in to support our responses to Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) eruption and summit collapse.

Date published: September 25, 2019

Volcano Watch - Kīlauea hazard assessments include analyses of salts on volcanic ash

Sulfur dioxide (SO2)-rich emissions have long been a feature of Kīlauea Volcano's summit activity. However, vigorous volcanic ash production during the 2018 eruption raised new concerns about potential impacts for downwind communities.

Date published: September 19, 2019

New USGS geonarrative describes Kīlauea Volcano's 2018 events

A new USGS geonarrative provides a brief overview of recent Kīlauea eruptions, highlighting the circumstances leading up to and summarizing the 2018 events.

Date published: September 18, 2019

USGS Hazard Science – Understanding the Risks is Key to Preparedness

 Learn About USGS Hazards Science and More About National Preparedness Month:  The very nature of natural hazards means that they have the potential to impact a majority of Americans every year.  USGS science provides part of the foundation for emergency preparedness whenever and wherever disaster strikes.

Date published: September 9, 2019

Photo and Video Chronology - Mauna Loa - September 8, 2019

An early morning view looking north across Moku‘āweoweo, Mauna Loa's summit caldera, from a spot near the summit cabin on the volcano's south caldera rim.

Date published: August 29, 2019

Volcano Watch - New research sheds light on relationship between Hilina fault system and large earthquakes

The pali (cliffs) of Kīlauea's south flank are some of the volcano's most striking features. Reaching up to 500 m (1500 ft) high, they stand out against the otherwise gentle slopes of Hawai‘i's most active shield...

Date published: August 26, 2019

A Kīlauea Volcano First – Water Pond Found in the Summit Crater

On July 25, 2019, a helicopter pilot flying a U.S.Geological Survey mission over Kīlauea noticed an unusual green patch at the bottom of Halema‘uma‘u, the crater at the summit of the volcano.

Date published: August 22, 2019

Volcano Watch - Sub-Antarctic lava lake spied from space

Last month, the entire world celebrated the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11's triumphant flight to the moon and the first human footsteps on the surface of another planetary body on July 20, 1969. 

Date published: August 21, 2019

Water pond in Halema‘uma‘u

HVO geophysicist Jim Kauahikaua discusses the water pond in Halema‘uma‘u and what it means.

Date published: August 15, 2019

Volcano Watch - What does water in Halema‘uma‘u mean?

The slowly deepening pond of water on the floor of Halema‘uma‘u, the first in recorded history, has captured the interest of media and the public, both locally and nationally. Many questions are being asked. The two most frequent are, where is the water coming from and what is its importance?

Date published: August 8, 2019

Volcano Watch - HVO now tracking ponds of water, not lava, at Kīlauea's summit

The recent appearance of water at the bottom of Halema‘uma‘u, a crater at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano, has attracted wide attention and generated many questions. To understand the significance of this water, we must first gather accurate information on its behavior.

Date published: August 1, 2019

Volcano Watch - Water or no water: that is (or was) the question

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) scientists usually base their research on observations, either visual or instrumental. Interpretations come from these observations, so they must be as good as possible. Incorrect observations can, and have, led to erroneous interpretations.