Unified Interior Regions

Hawaii

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.

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May 25, 2011

Refilling of Pu`u `Ō`ō Crater

This Quicktime movie shows the refilling of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō over the past two months, taken from a thermal camera on the south rim of the crater. Lavadrained from Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō on March 5 during the Kamoamoa fissure eruption, and remained absent for several weeks. This thermal camera began recording on March 18, and shows the abrupt return of lava to the crater floor on March 26.

This aerial view of Mauna Loa's summit shows the cinder-cone and la...
May 23, 2011

This Mauna Loa's summit shows the cinder-cone and lava flows that w...

This aerial view of Mauna Loa's summit shows the cinder-cone and lava flows that were erupted in 1949. The crack extending down the left side of the cone is the northeast-southwest trending 1984 fissure that bisected the southwest flank of the cone during the initial phase of the eruption. Light-brown tephra erupted from the 1949 cone thins to the west. The steep caldera

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An aerial view of the 1940 cinder-and-spatter cone on the floor of ...
May 23, 2011

An the 1940 cinder-and-spatter cone on the floor of Mauna Loa's sum...

An aerial view of the 1940 cinder-and-spatter cone on the floor of Mauna Loa's summit caldera as seen from the southeast. The west wall of the caldera (background) is about 170 m (560 feet) high. Most of the caldera floor around the cone is covered by lava flows erupted in 1984.

Spectacular views of Mauna Loa's Southwest and Northeast Rift Zones...
May 23, 2011

Spectacular views of Mauna Loa's Southwest and NorthERZs

View looking up Mauna Loa's spectacular Southwest Rift Zone. Pu‘u o Keokeo fills the lower half of the photo. The black lava beyond is mostly from 1916 and 1926. The summit of Mauna Loa is in the background.

View from just below the summit of Mauna Loa looking back down the ...
May 23, 2011

View from just below the summit of Mauna Loa looking back down the ...

View from just below the summit of Mauna Loa looking back down the Southwest Rift. The Sulfur Cone is the white area just above center frame. Pu‘u o Keokeo is the barely visible bump just above Sulfur Cone at the crest of the Southwest Rift.

View looking downslope at the various cones that dot Mauna Loa's No...
May 23, 2011

View looking downslope at the various cones that dot Mauna Loa's No...

View looking downslope at the various cones that dot Mauna Loa's Northeast Rift Zone. The edge of North Pit, on the north side of Moku‘āweoweo, is in the foreground.

View from above Mauna Loa's upper Northeast Rift Zone looking acros...
May 23, 2011

Mauna Loa looking across an unnamed cone toward Mauna Kea

View from above Mauna Loa's upper Northeast Rift Zone looking across an unnamed cone toward Mauna Kea.

Shield-volcano Mauna Kea viewed from the northern slope of Mauna Lo...
May 23, 2011

Shield-volcano Mauna Kea viewed from the northern slope of Mauna Lo...

Shield-volcano Mauna Kea viewed from the northern slope of Mauna Loa (cinder cones in the foreground) shows off its broad shield shape. The bumps on its profile are large cinder cones.

The high point of Mauna Loa, in the background at an elevation of a...
May 23, 2011

The high point of Mauna Loa, in the background at an elevation of a...

The high point of Mauna Loa, in the background at an elevation of about 13,679 ft, is actually just the highest point along the rim of the steep cliffs that surround Mauna Loa's summit caldera, Moku‘āweoweo, Dark-colored lava flows of recent vintage (1984) cover the floor of Moku‘āweoweo. View is looking southwest.

This view of Mauna Loa's summit is looking toward the northeast. Th...
May 23, 2011

This view of Mauna Loa's summit is looking toward the NE. The east ...

This view of Mauna Loa's summit is looking toward the northeast. The east flank of Mauna Kea is to the left, and North Pit, on the northeast end of Moku‘āweoweo, is straight ahead.

This view of Mauna Loa's 1940 vent cone, looking to the southwest, ...
May 23, 2011

This view of Mauna Loa's 1940 vent cone, looking to SW, shows a fis...

This view of Mauna Loa's 1940 vent cone, looking to the southwest, shows a fissure that bisected it during the 1984 eruption (crack on the right side of the cone). Pāhoehoe flows and spatter erupted from the 1984 fissure blanket the caldera floor northwest of the cone (foreground).

A close-up view of the 1984 fissure that cut through the southwest ...
May 23, 2011

1984 fissure that cut through the SW side of Mauna Loa's 1940 vent ...

A close-up view of the 1984 fissure that cut through the southwest side of Mauna Loa's 1940 vent cone. The crack on the right side of the cone is the 1984 fissure.

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USGS
February 26, 2004

People frequently ask, "What's with all these eruptions I hear about? Is volcanic activity increasing?" Indeed, a plot of reported eruptions over the last 200 years shows ever-increasing numbers, but it is very likely that this is due to increased interest and ease of worldwide communication rather than increased volcanic activity.

USGS
February 19, 2004

In 2003, the seismic data analysts at the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) examined and archived 10,591 earthquakes on the island of Hawai'i. Of these, 2,079 were magnitude 1.5 or greater.

This is a photo of East Pond Vent and January Vent.
February 15, 2004

Incandescence at Pu`u `O`o on a Sunday morning

USGS
February 12, 2004

Last week, the judging phase of the Hawai`i District Science Fair was completed and the awards given to deserving young scientists. The staff at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory decided to honor two long-time local staff members and made personal donations to fund four awards for the fair.

USGS
February 5, 2004

Any institution, whether commercial, academic, or governmental, requires novel ideas to thrive. Fresh ideas come from training, sudden insights (the proverbial light bulb is turned on), hard work, and young talented staff members who bring in innovative concepts and abundant energy.

USGS
January 29, 2004

As reported in the previous Volcano Watch, a new vent opened on the south flank of Pu`u `O`o two weeks ago, on Sunday, January 18. The behavior of the volcano during the previous few months mimicked the behavior that preceded the Mother's Day breakout on May 12, 2002.

USGS
January 22, 2004

If Pu`u `O`o were human, it would make a great baseball pitcher. It throws blazing fastballs, slow change-ups, and sharp curveballs that leave the volcanologist batter fanning at the breeze. But all pitchers have bad days, and Pu`u `O`o had one on January 18, when it tossed a hanging curve that fooled nobody. Here's the story.