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Hawaii

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The Pacific Region has nine USGS Science Centers in California, Nevada, and Hawaii. The Regional Office, headquartered in Sacramento, provides Center oversight and support, facilitates internal and external collaborations, and works to further USGS strategic science directions.

News

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.

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Aerial photograph of Wake Island. The deep ocean water around the atoll is dark blue, the shallow lagoon water is light blue.
Date Published: July 15, 2019
Status: Active

Low-lying areas of tropical Pacific islands

Sea level is rising faster than projected in the western Pacific, so understanding how wave-driven coastal flooding will affect inhabited, low-lying islands—most notably, the familiar ring-shaped atolls—as well as the low-elevation areas of high islands in the Pacific Ocean, is critical for decision-makers in protecting infrastructure or relocating resources and people.

Contacts: Curt Storlazzi
Camera was positioned halfway in and out of water to show a coastal bluff with vegetation in background, coral reef underwater.
Date Published: July 15, 2019
Status: Active

Sea-Level Rise and Climate Change Impacts to Reefs

This study is part of the USGS Coral Reef Project.

Contacts: Curt Storlazzi
Image: The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Monitors Kilauea's Summit Eruption
Date Published: July 15, 2019
Status: Active

Coral Reef Project: Hawaiʻi

As part of the USGS Coral Reef Project, the USGS is working on the Kona (west) coast of Hawaiʻi to evaluate geologic resources at two historical parks.

Contacts: Curt Storlazzi
Aerial view of the coastline of Kauai Island
Date Published: July 15, 2019
Status: Active

Coral Reef Project: Kauaʻi

As part of the USGS Coral Reef Project, the USGS is working on the island of Kauaʻi to identify circulation patterns and a sediment budget for Hanalei Bay to help determine any effects to the coastal marine ecosystem.

Contacts: Curt Storlazzi
Sunset in Hawaii
Date Published: July 15, 2019
Status: Active

Coral Reef Project: Kahoʻolawe

As part of the USGS Coral Reef Project, the USGS is trying to better understand how nearshore processes impact the deeper, scattered coral reef communities of Kahoʻolawe.

Contacts: Curt Storlazzi
Image: Waterfall, Maui, Hawaii
Date Published: July 15, 2019
Status: Active

Coral Reef Project: Maui

As part of USGS Coral Reef Project studies, the USGS has been heavily involved in efforts to improve the health and resilience of Maui's coral reef system, bringing expertise in mapping, circulation and sediment studies, and seismic surveys.

Contacts: Curt Storlazzi
Sky view of the coastline of a mountainous island with a shallow coral reef that has lots of deep holes and channels.
Date Published: July 15, 2019
Status: Active

Coral Reef Project: Molokaʻi

As part of the USGS Coral Reef Project, recent USGS work on Molokaʻi includes looking into the coral record to find clues to past sedimentation events.

Contacts: Curt Storlazzi
Coral head that looks like lettuce sits on sandy bottom in clear blue water and is surrounded by brightly colored fish.
Date Published: July 15, 2019
Status: Active

Coral Reef Project

Explore the fascinating undersea world of coral reefs. Learn how we map, monitor, and model coral reefs so we can better understand, protect, and preserve our Nation's reefs.

Contacts: Curt Storlazzi
USGS
Date Published: June 26, 2019
Status: Active

Information by Region-Hawaii

  

Small silver metal boat with USGS lettering on the side, water is splashing up on the side and a small wake is formed.
Date Published: June 3, 2019
Status: Active

PCMSC Marine Facility (Marfac)

Marfac is the operational arm of the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center. The Marine Facility staff provides mechanical and electronics expertise for field operations along the coast, in the nearshore environment, and in the deeper waters of the ocean.

Contacts: Timothy Elfers
View of Oahu, Hi
Date Published: May 6, 2019
Status: Active

Coral Reef Project: Oʻahu

As part of the Coral Reef Project, the USGS is working closely with other local groups to investigate poor water quality issues in Maunalua Bay on the southeast coast of Oʻahu.

Contacts: Curt Storlazzi
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Screen shot of a USGS geonarrative showing Kilauea
September 26, 2019

This geonarrative summarizes Kīlauea’s 2018 events, highlighting the historical context and contributions to science.

A shorebird on a post in Hawaii
September 23, 2019

This data package includes two tables of data for Bristle-thighed curlews (Numenius tahitiensis) captured 2012-2014 on the James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge O'ahu, Hawaii (21.68 N, 157.95 W). One table provides capture, banding, morphology, and genetic data. The second table provides mark-resight data for estimating the size of the wintering population on Oahu in April of 2014.

A shorebird on a post in Hawaii
September 5, 2019

This data set contains bill and tarsal measurements from 114 Bristle-thighed Curlews, captured on breeding grounds in Alaska, and non-breeding areas in Hawaii and Reitoru atoll, French Polynesia.

USGS
September 2, 2019

This data release includes measurements of circulation and waves, profiles of seawater properties, and profiles of resistivity on the shoreline, which can be used to assess the potential for terrestrial groundwater intrusion on the reef and the sources and fate of these water masses. The recent discovery of coral Black Band Disease at Mākua Reef on Kauaʻi, Hawaiʻi prompted an investigation...

USGS
August 29, 2019

To better constrain the influence of sea-level rise on waves and sediment transport over a fringing coral reef flat, an experiment was conducted across a large fringing reef off the south shore of Molokai, Hawai’i. Here we provide data on water levels, waves, currents observed during this field effort. Additional data sets will be added as they become available.

A shorebird on a post in Hawaii
August 26, 2019

This data set contains one table with mark-resight observations of Bristle-thighed Curlews marked on Oahu, Hawaii, with plastic color leg flags, 2012-2017.

Bottom graphic shows view of river and beach from above, top graphic illustrates sediment in same area labeled.
March 21, 2019

This data release supports a study that reports on efforts to estimate future tsunami inundation through stratigraphic analyses of potential tsunami deposits beneath present and former Hawaiian wetlands, coastal lagoons, and river floodplains.

NWIS Mapper screenshot
March 5, 2019

The NWIS mapper provides access to over 1.5 million sites contained in the USGS National Water Information System (NWIS), including sites where current and historical surface-water, groundwater, springs, and atmospheric data has been collected. Users can search by site type, data type, site number, or place.

Map of a coastline and the areas that have been mapped are labeled with dots and letters.
February 14, 2019

The data described here were collected as part of a larger study to examine habitat conditions and coral health with respect to exposure to submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) and urban land uses.

USGS
January 1, 2019

Observations of coral disease and health indicators were documented by scuba divers along pre-determined transects and are presented here in comma-separated format. Included in the table are coral species observed, colony size, types and number of indicators observed, and a size range of indicators observed.

USGS
January 1, 2019

Coral Point Count with Excel extensions (CPCe; Kohler and Gill, 2006) was used to help calculate percent of coral cover or other benthic substrates from a randomly selected subset of seafloor photographs collected on the west Hawaii Island coast.

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thermal map shows relative surface temperatures across Kīlauea's 2018 lower East Rift Zone lava flow field.
August 31, 2019

This preliminary thermal map shows relative surface temperatures across Kīlauea's 2018 lower East Rift Zone lava flow field.

Thermal map of Kīlauea summit
August 22, 2019

This thermal map was constructed from 1008 images collected by a thermal camera during a helicopter overflight on August 22, 2019.

Thermal map of Kīlauea Caldera
April 8, 2019

This thermal map, which was constructed by merging about 1300 images from a morning helicopter overflight on April 8, shows the distribution of some prominent thermal features in Kīlauea's summit caldera. 

preliminary map of Kīlauea lower East Rift Zone lava flow thicknesses
February 19, 2019

Data depicted on this preliminary map of Kīlauea lower East Rift Zone lava flow thicknesses are subject to change.

Kīlauea Lower East Rift Zone Fissures and Flows, May 24 at 2:20 p.m...
May 24, 2018

Locations of fissures and an ‘a‘ā flow

Kīlauea Lower East Rift Zone Fissures and Flows, May 23 at 12:00 p....
May 23, 2018

Locations of fissures and an ‘a‘ā flow

Kīlauea Lower East Rift Zone Fissures and Flows, May 22 at 11:00 a....
May 22, 2018

Locations of fissures and an ‘a‘ā flow

Animated GIF of enlarging summit event
May 21, 2018

Series shows changes to the caldera area of Kīlauea Volcano

Thermal map of fissure system and lava flows...
May 21, 2018

Thermal map shows the fissure system and lava flows. The primary lava flows originate from the Fissure 20-22 area.

Kīlauea Lower East Rift Zone Fissures and Flows, May 21 at 8:00 a.m...
May 21, 2018

Locations of fissures and an ‘a‘ā flow

Kīlauea Lower East Rift Zone Fissures and Flows, May 20 at 11:00 a....
May 20, 2018

Locations of fissures and an ‘a‘ā flow

Kīlauea Lower East Rift Zone Fissures and Flows, May 19 at 10:00 a....
May 19, 2018

Locations of fissures and an ‘a‘ā flow

Filter Total Items: 108
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Year Published: 2019

Physicochemical controls on zones of higher coral stress where Black Band Disease occurs at Mākua Reef, Kauaʻi, Hawaiʻi

Pervasive and sustained coral diseases contribute to the systemic degradation of reef ecosystems, however, to date an understanding of the physicochemical controls on a coral disease event is still largely lacking. Water circulation and residence times and submarine groundwater discharge all determine the degree to which reef organisms are exposed...

Oberle, Ferdinand; Storlazzi, Curt D.; Cheriton, Olivia; Takesue, Renee K.; Hoover, Daniel J.; Logan, Joshua B.; Runyon, Christina M.; Kellogg, Christina A.; Johnson, Cordell; Swarzenski, Peter W.

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Year Published: 2019

Rigorously valuing the role of U.S. coral reefs in coastal hazard risk reduction

The degradation of coastal habitats, particularly coral reefs, raises risks by increasing the exposure of coastal communities to flooding hazards. The protective services of these natural defenses are not assessed in the same rigorous economic terms as artificial defenses, such as seawalls, and therefore often are not considered in decision making...

Storlazzi, Curt D.; Reguero, Borja G.; Cole, Aaron D.; Lowe, Erik; Shope, James B.; Gibbs, Ann E.; Nickel, Barry A.; McCall, Robert T.; van Dongeren, Ap R.; Beck, Michael W.
Storlazzi, C.D., Reguero, B.G., Cole, A.D., Lowe, E., Shope, J.B., Gibbs, A.E., Nickel, B.A., McCall, R.T., van Dongeren, A.R., and Beck, M.W., 2019, Rigorously valuing the role of U.S. coral reefs in coastal hazard risk reduction: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1027, 42 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191027.

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Year Published: 2019

Sedimentary evidence of prehistoric distant-source tsunamis in the Hawaiian Islands

Over the past 200 years of written records, the Hawaiian Islands have experienced tens of tsunamis generated by earthquakes in the subduction zones of the Pacific "Ring of Fire" (e.g., Alaska-Aleutian, Kuril-Kamchatka, Chile, and Japan). Mapping and dating anomalous beds of sand and silt deposited by tsunamis in low-lying areas along Pacific...

La Selle, Seanpaul; Richmond, Bruce M.; Jaffe, Bruce E.; Nelson, Alan; Griswold, Frances; Arcos, Maria E.M.; Chague, Catherine; Bishop, James M.; Bellanova, Piero; Kane, Haunani H.; Lunghino, Brent D.; Gelfenbaum, Guy R.

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Year Published: 2019

Organic geochemical investigation of far‐field tsunami deposits of the Kahana Valley, O'ahu, Hawai'i

Far‐field tsunami deposits observed in the Kahana Valley, O'ahu, Hawai'i (USA), were investigated for their organic‐geochemical content. During short high‐energy events, (tsunamis and storms) organic and chemical components are transported with sediment from marine to terrestrial areas. This study investigates the use of anthropogenic based...

Bellanova, Piero; Frenken, Mike; Richmond, Bruce M.; Schwarzbauer, Jan; La Selle, Seanpaul; Griswold, Frances; Jaffe, Bruce E.; Nelson, Alan R.; Reicherter, Klaus

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Year Published: 2018

Honolulu Magnetic Observatory

Tucked in a grove of thorny mesquite trees, on an ancient coral reef on the south side of the Hawaiian island of Oahu, west of Pearl Harbor, a small unmanned observatory quietly records the Earth’s time-varying magnetic field. The Honolulu Magnetic Observatory is 1 of 14 that the U.S. Geological Survey Geomag­netism Program operates at various...

Love, Jeffrey J.; Finn, Carol A.
Love, J.J., and Finn, C.A., 2018, Honolulu Magnetic Observatory: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2018–3029, 2 p.

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Year Published: 2018

Groundwater-level, groundwater-temperature, and barometric-pressure data, July 2017 to February 2018, Hālawa Area, Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi

The Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, operated by the U.S. Navy and located in the Hālawa area, Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi, includes 20 underground storage tanks that can hold a total of 250 million gallons of fuel. In January 2014, the U.S. Navy notified the Hawaiʻi Department of Health and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of release of an estimated...

Mitchell, Jackson N.; Oki, Delwyn S.
Mitchell, J.N., and Oki, D.S., 2018, Groundwater-level, groundwater-temperature, and barometric-pressure data, July 2017 to February 2018, Hālawa Area, O‘ahu, Hawai‘i: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1147, 35 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181147.

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Year Published: 2018

Volcanic aquifers of Hawai‘i—Hydrogeology, water budgets, and conceptual models

Hawai‘i’s aquifers have limited capacity to store fresh groundwater because each island is small and surrounded by saltwater. Saltwater also underlies much of the fresh groundwater. Fresh groundwater resources are, therefore, particularly vulnerable to human activity, short-term climate cycles, and long-term climate change. Availability of fresh...

Izuka, Scot K.; Engott, John A.; Rotzoll, Kolja; Bassiouni, Maoya; Johnson, Adam G.; Miller, Lisa D.; Mair, Alan
Izuka, S.K., Engott, J.A., Rotzoll, Kolja, Bassiouni, Maoya, Johnson, A.G., Miller, L.D., and Mair, Alan, 2018, Volcanic aquifers of Hawai‘i—Hydrogeology, water budgets, and conceptual models (ver. 2.0, March 2018): U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2015-5164, 158 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20155164.

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Year Published: 2018

Spatially distributed groundwater recharge estimated using a water-budget model for the Island of Maui, Hawai`i, 1978–2007

Demand for freshwater on the Island of Maui is expected to grow. To evaluate the availability of fresh groundwater, estimates of groundwater recharge are needed. A water-budget model with a daily computation interval was developed and used to estimate the spatial distribution of recharge on Maui for average climate conditions (1978–2007 rainfall...

Johnson, Adam G.; Engott, John A.; Bassiouni, Maoya; Rotzoll, Kolja
Johnson, A.G., Engott, J.A., Bassiouni, Maoya, and Rotzoll, Kolja, 2018, Spatially distributed groundwater recharge estimated using a water-budget model for the Island of Maui, Hawai`i, 1978–2007 (ver. 2.0, February 2018): U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2014–5168, 53 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20145168.

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Year Published: 2017

Rigorously valuing the role of coral reefs in coastal protection: An example from Maui, Hawaii, U.S.A.

The degradation of coastal habitats, particularly coral reefs, raises risks by exposing communities to flooding hazards. The protective services of these natural defenses are not assessed in the same rigorous, economic terms as artificial defenses such as seawalls, and therefore often not considered in decision-making. Here we present a new...

Storlazzi, Curt D.; Reguero, Borja G.; Lowe, Erik; Shope, James B.; Gibbs, Ann E.; Beck, Mike; Nickel, Barry A.
Storlazzi, C.D., Reguero, B., Lowe, E., Shope, J.B., Gibbs, A.E., Beck, M.W., and Nickel, B., 2017. “Rigorously valuing the role of coral reefs in coastal protection: An example from Maui, Hawaii, U.S.A.” Coastal Dynamics 2017, p. 665-674.

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Year Published: 2017

Measuring surface-water loss in Honouliuli Stream near the ‘Ewa Shaft, O‘ahu, Hawai‘i

The Honolulu Board of Water Supply is currently concerned with the possibility of bacteria in the pumped water of the ‘Ewa Shaft (State well 3-2202-21). Groundwater from the ‘Ewa Shaft could potentially be used to meet future potable water needs in the ‘Ewa area on the island of O‘ahu. The source of the bacteria in the pumped water is unknown,...

Rosa, Sarah N.
Rosa, S.N., 2017, Measuring surface-water loss in Honouliuli Stream near the ‘Ewa Shaft, O‘ahu, Hawai‘i: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2017–5042, 14 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20175042.

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Year Published: 2017

Spatially distributed groundwater recharge for 2010 land cover estimated using a water-budget model for the Island of O‘ahu, Hawai‘i

Owing mainly to projected population growth, demand for freshwater on the Island of Oʻahu is expected to increase by about 26 percent between 2010 and 2030, according to the City and County of Honolulu. Estimates of groundwater recharge are needed to evaluate the availability of fresh groundwater. For this study, a water-budget model with a daily...

Engott, John A.; Johnson, Adam G.; Bassiouni, Maoya; Izuka, Scot K.; Rotzoll, Kolja
Engott, J.A., Johnson, A.G., Bassiouni, Maoya, Izuka, S.K., and Rotzoll, Kolja, 2017, Spatially distributed groundwater recharge for 2010 land cover estimated using a water-budget model for the Island of O‘ahu, Hawai‘i (ver. 2.0, December 2017): U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2015–5010, 49 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20155010.

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Year Published: 2016

Panel regressions to estimate low-flow response to rainfall variability in ungaged basins

Multicollinearity and omitted-variable bias are major limitations to developing multiple linear regression models to estimate streamflow characteristics in ungaged areas and varying rainfall conditions. Panel regression is used to overcome limitations of traditional regression methods, and obtain reliable model coefficients, in particular to...

Bassiouni, Maoya; Vogel, Richard M.; Archfield, Stacey A.

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multicolored map of Ocean Shores, Washington
April 13, 2017

The Pedestrian Evacuation Analyst is an ArcGIS extension that estimates how long it would take for someone to travel on foot out of a hazardous area that was threatened by a sudden event such as a tsunami, flash flood, or volcanic lahar. It takes into account the elevation changes and the different types of landcover that a person would encounter along the way.

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September 27, 2019

Water appears in Halemaʻumaʻu - Kīlauea Volcano

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists Matt Patrick and Jim Kauahikaua talk about the water that appeared at the bottom of Halemaʻumaʻu, a crater at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano, in July 2019 and continues to rise today. They address why it appeared, how it’s monitored, and its potential hazards.
 

view looking north across Mauna Loa's summit caldera
September 8, 2019

early morning view looking north across Moku‘āweoweo

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. Frost covered much of the caldera floor that was still shadowed, and weak steaming issued from the usual areas. Overall, there were no significant changes observed at the summit. The 1940 and 1949 cones are visible in

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pond of water in Halema‘uma‘ crater
August 18, 2019

Water pond in Halema‘uma‘u 8-18-19

Water pond in Halema‘uma‘u August 18, 2019. The water level continues to slowly rise in Halema‘uma‘u, drowning many of the small rocks that were previously exposed in the center of the pond. Ripples across the water surface were evident today. The color of the water ranged from semi-translucent blue to opaque green-yellow in the western part of the pond.

Volcano crater
August 11, 2019

Aerial view of the Halema‘uma‘u water pond

The ponded water at the bottom of Halema‘uma‘u has continued to slowly rise. This wide view shows much of Halema‘uma‘u and the fumaroles on the upper walls of the pit.

August 9, 2019

Close-Up of Ponded Water at Halema`uma`u

This video shows a close-up of the ponded water at the bottom of Halema'uma'u. Yesterday, the separate ponds joined into a single elongate pond. The water level has continued to slowly rise.

What does water in Halema‘uma‘u mean
August 8, 2019

What does water in Halema‘uma‘u mean

These images look east at the pond within Halema‘uma‘u on August 8 and 14, 2019. The pond widened mainly toward the south (right). The north-south width of the pond on August 14 was about 32 m (105 ft), about 10 m (35 ft) wider than on August 8. The pond has widened and deepened slowly and steadily rate since measurements began on August 3.

HVO now tracking ponds of water, not lava, at Kīlauea's summit
August 7, 2019

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

A telephoto view of the ponded water at the bottom of Halema‘uma‘u on August 7, 2019. For scale, the largest pond is about 15 meters (50 feet) in diameter.

August 4, 2019

August 4 field observations of Halema‘uma‘u

This video shows steaming from the main pond of water at the bottom of Halema‘uma‘u as captured on Sunday, August 4. Two smaller areas of ponded water were present a short distance east of this spot. Thermal images indicate that the water surface is roughly 70 degrees Celsius (158 degrees Fahrenheit). USGS video by M. Patrick, 08-04-2019.

Aerial view of Halema‘uma‘u at the summit of Kīlauea
August 1, 2019

Aerial view of Halema‘uma‘u at the summit of Kīlauea

Aerial view of Halema‘uma‘u at the summit of Kīlauea taken during a USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory helicopter overflight on August 1, 2019. The small green patch visible at the bottom of Halema‘uma‘u is a new pond forming at the lowest point of the crater. The pond is at about 525 m (about 1722 ft) elevation.

Halema‘uma‘u taken during a helicopter lidar survey on July 25, 2019
July 25, 2019

Halema‘uma‘u taken during a helicopter lidar survey on July 25, 2019

Telephoto views of water in the bottom of Halema‘uma‘u taken during a helicopter lidar survey on July 25, 2019 (left), when the pond was first observed, and a USGS overflight on August 1, 2019 (right). The pond grew slightly in size and depth between the two dates; an "X" marks the same rock in both photos for comparison. Left photo courtesy of Ron Chapelle, Quantum

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residual heat, steam, and small amounts of other gases continue to escape
July 18, 2019

residual heat, steam, and small amounts of other gases continue to esc

Although Kīlauea Volcano's 2018 lower East Rift Zone eruption is over, residual heat, steam, and small amounts of other gases continue to escape from ground cracks and vents in the lower Puna area near Highway 130 as molten rock underground cools.

July 10, 2019

Routine overflight of Mauna Loa summit

This video shows Moku‘āweoweo, the caldera at the summit of Mauna Loa, during a routine overflight. The flight path goes from northeast to southwest, and begins at North Pit crater before crossing over the main caldera floor. In the southwest portion of the caldera floor, the 1940 and 1949 cones can be seen. The video ends as the helicopter flies over South Pit, at the

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geophysicist downloads data at a temporary GPS station
September 25, 2019

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.

Kīlauea volcanic ash sample
September 25, 2019

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.

Screen shot of a USGS geonarrative showing Kilauea
September 19, 2019

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

view looking north across Mauna Loa's summit caldera
September 9, 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.

The Hilina Pali on Kīlauea Volcano's south flank
August 29, 2019

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 volcano.

pond of water in Halema‘uma‘ crater
August 26, 2019

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.

False-Color Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager
August 22, 2019

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. 

pond of water in Halema‘uma‘ crater
August 21, 2019

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

National Historical Park south of Kona on the big island of Hawaii
August 15, 2019

In the land of Kamehameha, south of Kona on the big island of Hawaii, a sacred landscape called Puʻuhonua O Hōnaunau faces the uncertainty of the rising seas.

The bones of royal chiefs rest there. Stories of how ancient Hawaiian lawbreakers flocked to this place of refuge still resonate throughout the 180-acre national historic park that surrounds Hōnaunau Bay.

What does water in Halema‘uma‘u mean
August 15, 2019

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?

HVO now tracking ponds of water, not lava, at Kīlauea's summit
August 8, 2019

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.

Aerial view of Halema‘uma‘u at the summit of Kīlauea
August 1, 2019

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. 

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