Explore our planet through photography and imagery, including climate change and water all the way back to the 1800s when the USGS was surveying the country by horse and buggy.
Bee pollinating a flowering coastal prairie plant
The Fissure 8 viewed from the north at 7:50 AM. The cone is roughly 50 m (165 ft) high at is peak, and a plume of sulfur dioxide and other volcanic gases rises as an orange tinge from the erupting lava fountains (hidden within the cone). Lava is still flowing out of the ventunabated as a full channel. To the left of the cone, a standing wave of lava can be seen in the...
Closer view of new land in the Kapoho area. The new coastline, following the ragged lava-ocean interface, is approximately 2.1 km (1.3 mi) in length. The white steam/laze plume marks the location of the most active lava entry site during the morning overflight.
In this photo, we are performing a Groundwater Integrity Test by pumping the well with a Grundfos Submersible Pump. Shown in the photo on the "left" is James Caldwell checking the pump rate in 5 gallon buckets, while Dale Tom shown on the "right" is checking the water level and rate drop off in the well with an electric tape. The location of this photo is at Groundwater...
A closer view of the cracks cutting across the parking lot for the former Halema‘uma‘u visitor overlook (closed since 2008, when an active vent opened within the crater). Additional photos—ground views—of the parking lot cracks were posted on June 7 and 11.
Fissure 8 (fountain visible in distance) feeds lava into an active braided channel that flows about 8 miles (north, then east) to the ocean entry in Kapoho Bay. USGS image taken June 12, 2018, around 6:50 a.m. HST.
The south side of the ocean entry was most active today, with many small streams of lava and corresponding steam plumes spread along a fairly broad section of the southern part of the delta. USGS image taken June 12, 2018, around 6:13 AM.
Events at the summit of Kīlauea over the past few weeks have dramatically reshaped Halema‘uma‘u, shown here in this aerial view, which looks west across the crater. The obvious flat surface (photo center) is the former Halema‘uma‘u crater floor, which has subsided at least 100 m (about 300 ft) during the past couple weeks. Ground cracks circumferential to the crater rim...
Water measurements, VT
This 'warped-curb' crack, the largest in the parking area for the former Halema‘uma‘u overlook (closed since 2008), is one of many that have sliced the parking area into slices. Ballistics (blocks of solid rock) strewn across the area are visible in the foreground. Loose, dislodged...
A photogrammetry survey of Kīlauea's summit by the U.S. Department of Interior Unmanned Aircraft Systems' (UAS) Kīlauea response team show the topography of Halema‘uma‘u as of June 8. Cracks through the former overlook parking lot (bottom of image) wrap around the east margin of Halema‘uma‘u; the once-popular overlook viewing area (closed since 2008 due to volcanic hazards...
Overflows of the upper fissure 8 lava channel this morning sent small flows of lava down the levee walls. These overflows did not extend far from the channel, so they posed no immediate threat to nearby areas. Channel overflows, like the ones shown here, add layers of lava to the channel levees, increasing their height and thickness.
A closer aerial view of the lava delta forming at the Kapoho Bay ocean entry, where fissure 8 lava continued enter the ocean as of this morning. Laze (lava haze), an acidic white plume laced with tiny particles of volcanic glass, is produced by the ocean entry and creates an ongoing hazard that should be avoided.
A closer view of the fissure 8 lava channel with the cinderquarry more clearly visible in the foreground (bottom of photo). During this morning's overflight, HVO geologists observed no new breakouts of lava near this quarry.
Distant view of Kīlauea Volcano's fissure 8 lava channel from HVO's early morning overflight on June 10, looking to the southeast. Bryson's cinder quarry is the brown patch just to the north of the channel.
Another aerial view showing prominent cracking around Halema‘uma‘u from the ongoing subsidence at Kīlauea's summit. The steaming cracks in the background have been observed for several days.
Cracking and slumping of the Halema‘uma‘u crater walls are clearly evident in this aerial view captured during HVO's overflight of Kīlauea's summit this morning. Steam plumes have been rising from within the crater, as well as from cracks adjacent to the crater.
An aerial view of the Kapoho ocean entry, as of 6:30 a.m. HST today, shows the extent of the lava delta, now about 200 acres in size, that has formed over the past six days (lava first entered the ocean on the night of June 3). Across the front of the delta, plumes of laze—created by molten lava interacting with seawater—appeared diminished this morning, but was probably...
Fissure 8 and lava channel in the lower East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano during this afternoon's overflight, with no apparent slowing in the eruption rate. The lava channel remained incandescent all the way around Kapoho Crater before entering the ocean.
USGS-HVO geophysicists installed additional continuous GPS stations around Halema‘uma‘u this morning. These stations will allow scientists to better monitor and measure the ongoing subsidence of Halema‘uma‘u and the adjacent...
HVO's early morning helicopter overflight of Kīlauea's lower East Rift Zone showed that lava continues to flow into the ocean in the vicinity of Kapoho Bay and Vacationland.
Dramatic changes at Halema‘uma‘u could be seen through gases rising from the crater during HVO's overflight of the summit this morning at 10 a.m. HST. The view here looks to the southwest, with the former overlook parking lot barely visible to the left of the gas plume.
Water-quality sampling locations on Rapid Creek and Canyon Lake in Rapid City, SD.
Nearshore geophysical mapping with sub-bottom sled (foreground), personal watercraft equipped with echosounders (background, water) and beach-based personnel (background, beach).
This animated GIF shows a sequence of radar amplitude images that were acquired by the Italian Space Agency's Cosmo-SkyMed satellite system. The images illustrate changes to the...
Many large blocks appeared to be in depressions in the ash, but upon closer examination, it was concluded that wind had winnowed ash from around the blocks, creating a false impression that the depressions were made by impact. In places, ash has accumulated on the upwind sides and been removed from the downwind sides of the ballistics, giving a smooth streamlined...
The Halema‘uma‘u parking lot is sliced into blocks by cracks. These cracks, first noted in a very early stage on May 13, now are the dominant features of the parking lot. The cracks, which are circumferential to Halema‘uma‘u, warp and offset the pavement and curbing, as seen here. The crack responsible for warping this curbstone is visible on both sides of it.