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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February 9, 2014

Time-Lapse at Pu`u `Ō`ō Spatter Cone

This Quicktime movie shows a time-lapse sequence of activity at the northeast spatter cone in Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater on February 9-10. Rapid fluctuations in the height of the lava pond are caused by gas pistoning, which is the gradual buildup and release of gas in the pond. Mauna Kea is visible in the upper right portion of the frame. The sequence was captured by an inexpensive

Satellite image shows Kīlauea's activity from summit to east rift z...
February 3, 2014

Satellite image shows Kīlauea's activity from summit to ERZ

This image was acquired by the Earth Observing 1 satellite's Advanced Land Imager sensor on February 2, and shows Kīlauea's summit and east rift zone. Although this is a false-color image, the color map has been chosen to mimic what the human eye would expect to see. Active lava is shown by the bright red pixels, present at the summit - in the lava lake at Halema‘uma‘u

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February 3, 2014

Time-lapse sequence of Halema‘uma‘u degassing plume

This Quicktime movie is a time-lapse sequence from a camera in the HVO observation tower, and shows one week of activity at Kīlauea's summit vent in Halema‘uma‘u Crater. The sequence starts on February 3 at 12:01 am and ends on February 9 at 11:59 pm. The continuously active lava lake produces a degassing plume that is normally carried by the tradewinds to the southwest (

February 1, 2014

Summit Lava Lake Activity

This Quicktime movie shows typical activity at the summit lava lake. Spattering at the summit lava lake has been common over the past several years, and today's winds provided a clear view of the primary spatter area on the lake margin. The lava lake today was about 50 m (160 ft) below the floor of Halema‘uma‘u Crater. The spattering is driven by bursting gas bubbles, with

Preview image for video: Winter storm deposits snow on Mauna Loa's ...
January 29, 2014

Preview image: Winter storm deposits snow on Mauna Loa's summit

Preview image for video: This Quicktime video shows a time-lapse sequence spanning from dawn to dusk on Tuesday, January 28, using images collected by our webcam near the summit of Mauna Loa Volcano (13,680 ft above sea level). The dawn is sunny with clear views across the summit caldera (Moku‘āweoweo), but this clear weather soon deteriorates into thick clouds and steady

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Preview image for video: Winter storm deposits snow on Mauna Loa's ...
January 29, 2014

Preview image: Winter storm deposits snow on Mauna Loa's summit

Preview image for video: This Quicktime video shows a time-lapse sequence spanning from dawn to dusk on Tuesday, January 28, using images collected by our webcam near the summit of Mauna Loa Volcano (13,680 ft above sea level). The dawn is sunny with clear views across the summit caldera (Moku‘āweoweo), but this clear weather soon deteriorates into thick clouds and steady

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January 28, 2014

Winter storm deposits snow on Mauna Loa's summit

This Quicktime video shows a time-lapse sequence spanning from dawn to dusk on Tuesday, January 28, using images collected by our webcam near the summit of Mauna Loa Volcano (13,680 ft above sea level). The dawn is sunny with clear views across the summit caldera (Moku‘āweoweo), but this clear weather soon deteriorates into thick clouds and steady snowfall as a winter

January 24, 2014

Pu`u 'Ō`ō Lava Pond

This Quicktime movie shows a lava pond, about 15 m (50 ft) in diameter, on the east rim of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō. Several small spatter sources are active on the pond margin, and release gas from within the pond. Lava pond activity like this is common in Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō.

January 24, 2014

Gas Piston in Lava Pond

This Quicktime movie shows weak gas pistoning in the lava pond on the east rim of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō. Gas pistoning is the cyclic buildup and release of gas within the pond, and is common in Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō.

January 24, 2014

Gas Pistoning and Spattering

This Quicktime movie shows some of the spattering associated with the gas pistoning, in which the spattering acts as an outlet for gas accumulating in the pond. Note how the crust in the center of the pond is fluctuating. Lava pond activity and gas pistoning are common in Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō.

January 22, 2014

Lava lake spattering at Halema‘uma‘u Crater

The lava lake in the Overlook crater, within Halema‘uma‘u Crater at Kīlauea's summit, undergoes frequent periods of spattering. The spattering is normally at the lake margins, and the surface crust often flows towards, and is consumed at, the spattering source. Large bubbles bursting at the surface drive the spattering activity, as shown occasionally by large spherical

January 20, 2014

Lava Lake Spattering at Halema'uma'u Crater

21 January 2014 Lava Lake Spattering at Halema'uma'u Crater The lava lake in the Overlook crater, within Halema'uma'u Crater at Kilauea's summit, undergoes frequent periods of spattering. The spattering is normally at the lake margins, and the surface crust often flows towards, and is consumed at, the spattering source. Large bubbles bursting at the surface drive the

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USGS
March 25, 2004

March 25 marks the 20th anniversary of the most recent eruption of Mauna Loa. The eruption was preceded by roughly three years of increasing numbers of shallow- and intermediate-depth earthquakes. A marked increase in earthquake activity occurred nearly six months before the eruption.

This is a photo of a bright glow above flow field as seen from end of Chain of Craters Road.
March 22, 2004

Bright glow above flow field as seen from end of Chain of Craters Road

This is a photo of Pu`u `O`o and distant lava flow.
March 21, 2004

Distant lava flow viewed from Pu`u Huluhulu

USGS
March 18, 2004

When we think of the negative impact that volcanoes have on people, the local geographic area of the eruption generally comes to mind. Ash, lava, and mudflows are all destructive and hazardous for people who live close to volcanoes. 

USGS
March 11, 2004

The worst volcanic disaster of the 20th century occurred in 1902 on Martinique, an island in the French West Indies.

USGS
March 4, 2004

About 2.5 km (1.5 miles) down the Hilina Pali Road in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park are two tiny kipuka that help geologists decipher obscure parts of Kīlauea's past 1,500 years.

This is a photo of lava flow erupting from Dave's pit vent.
March 2, 2004

Dave's pit vent active inside Pu`u `O`o

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.