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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Pre-moonrise, time-lapse view of Halema‘uma‘u Crater from the Hawai...
April 27, 2008

Pre-moonrise, time-lapse view of Halema‘uma‘u from the HVO, Kīlauea...

Strong tradewinds blow the gas plume from the Overlook vent in Halema‘uma‘u Crater to the southwest. Photograph taken at 4:37 a.m. HST.

HVO geologist collects ash downwind of Halema‘uma‘u Crater, Kīlauea...
April 16, 2008

Geologist collects ash downwind of Halema‘uma‘u, Kīlauea

Ash and other lava fragments erupted from the new vent in HALE‘Ama‘uMAU Crater were collected almost daily from several wooden "tear catchers" located near the crater rim and from many more plastic buckets nearby. Six years later, ash collections are still made several times a week.

Image: Halema'uma'u Crater, Kilauea Volcano Summit Eruption 2008
April 16, 2008

Halema'uma'u Crater, Kilauea Volcano Summit Eruption 2008

Kīlauea Volcano's summit vent within Halema‘uma‘u Crater was about 115 feet in diameter in April 2008, a month after it opened. 

Trade winds blow gas plume from Halema‘uma‘u to the southwest, Kīla...
April 9, 2008

Trade winds blow gas plume from Halema‘uma‘u to SW, Kīlauea

Gas plume rising from the new Overlook Vent in Halema‘uma‘u Crater, Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai‘i. Trade winds blow the plume to the southwest.

Volcanic-gas plume rises from Halema‘uma‘u Crater, Kīlauea Volcano,...
April 7, 2008

Volcanic-gas plume rises from Halema‘uma‘u, Kīlauea

A plume of volcanic gases (chiefly water vapor, carbon dioxide, and sulfur dioxide), tiny lava and rock particles, and droplets drifts southwest in the tradewinds from Halema‘uma‘u Crater. The 500-5,000 metric tons (1.1-11 million pounds) of sulfur dioxide gas emitted each day react in the atmosphere and, with the other gases and particles, form "vog" (volcanic smog)

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April 6, 2008

Littoral explosions at Waikupanaha entry

Movie of the littoral explosions at Waikupanaha

April 2, 2008

Halema`uma`u

Video clip taken from the southeast rim of Halema`uma`u at 3 p.m. on April 2.

USGS CoreCast
March 26, 2008

Dramatic Developments at Kilauea Volcano

Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii has experienced its first explosive eruption in more than 80 years and is now spewing noxious gas at 10 times the normal rate. John Eichelberger, head of the USGS Volcano Hazards Program, fills us in on the situation.

Ash-rich plume rising from Halema‘uma‘u Crater, Kīlauea Volcano 5 d...
March 24, 2008

Ash-rich plume rising from Halema‘uma‘u, Kīlauea 5 days after the f...

View of ash-rich plume rising from a new vent in Halema‘uma‘u Crater in Kīlauea Caldera 5 days after the first explosion from the vent occurred on March 19, 2008. The ash is turning the formerly white steam and gas plume a dusty-brown color. Note the ash fallout down-wind of the plume. Earlier in the day, geologists reported finding Pele's hair, Pele's tears, and spatter

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March 19, 2008

10th anniversary of Kīlauea volcano's summit eruption

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the eruption within Halema‘uma‘u at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano. When the vent first opened on March 19, 2008, it formed a small pit about 115 feet (35 m) wide. Over the past decade, that pit (informally called the "Overlook crater") has grown into a gaping hole about 919 feet by 656 feet (280 x 200 m) in size. Click on the above

HVO technicians working on seismic station at summit of Kīlauea Vol...
February 18, 2008

HVO technicians working seismic station at summit of Kīlauea

HVO technicians install a solar-powered seismic station near the summit of Kīlauea Volcano to monitor earthquake activity. The seismic data is transmitted via radio signal directly to the observatory, where the data is initially analyzed by automatic computer programs and then examined in greater detail by a seismologist. Mauna Loa Volcano in background.

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USGS
August 15, 2002

On May 22, 1960, the largest earthquake ever recorded struck the coast of western Chile. The magnitude of this quake was so great that it literally went off the Richter scale; seismologists estimate the effective magnitude at about 9.5. The amount of fault slip during this quake and the area over which the slip occurred were both staggering.

USGS
August 8, 2002

On May 22, 1960, the largest earthquake ever recorded struck the coast of western Chile. The magnitude of this quake was so great that it literally went off the Richter scale; seismologists estimate the effective magnitude at about 9.5. The amount of fault slip during this quake and the area over which the slip occurred were both staggering.

lava bench, showing lava entries on east side of leading tip of bench.
August 1, 2002

The past two weeks have been exceptional for viewers of Kilauea's lava flows. Both colorful and convenient, the flows have drawn visitors to the island and attracted many residents as well. How did this happen?

USGS science for a changing world logo
July 30, 2002

Lava flows from the Pu`u `O`o vent on the east rift zone of Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii are entering the sea and are rapidly adding new land to the coast, according to the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. The USGS Web site http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/kilauea/update/ features near real time lava flow updates as well as photographs.

USGS
July 30, 2002

USGS Web Site Features Daily Lava Flow Updates and Photographs

Lava flows from the Pu`u `O`o vent on the east rift zone of Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii are entering the sea and are rapidly adding new land to the coast, according to the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

 Lava cascades down sea cliff and moves across bench
July 25, 2002

"The only constant is change" is an adage that certainly applies to Kīlauea Volcano. Over the past weeks volcano watchers have been treated to views of incandescent lava patches high above the coastal flats, spectacular streams of lava cascading down cliffs, lava-induced forest fires, and surface lava toes, lobes and rivulets edging toward the sea.

USGS
July 18, 2002

In early November 2000, the largest earthquake to strike the Big Island in more than a decade occurred, yet no one, not even seismologists, noticed it. This earthquake was not located a great distance offshore; indeed, part of the fault that slipped lies beneath the Chain of Craters Road where it approaches the currently active lava flow. So why was this quake not felt?

USGS
July 11, 2002

For years, scientists have tried to understand what causes earthquakes. They have recorded, catalogued, and analyzed them.

USGS
July 3, 2002

Hawaiian volcanoes are rich in excitement, beauty, and challenge, but they're not awash in mineral resources. How is it, then, that Kīlauea has a "golden pumice?"

USGS
June 27, 2002

Many of us look at a landscape and wonder how it got that way and others wonder how they can make money off it even if they don't use Arthur Anderson as an accountant. Unencumbered by modern profit margins and investors, Hawaiian stories reflect just their observations and thoughts about the origin of their island home.

USGS
June 20, 2002

Pele has been restless lately-she has changed her mood twice since late last year.

USGS
June 13, 2002

When lava flows from an erupting vent or from an active lava tube, scientists face the challenge of determining, or forecasting, which areas are likely to be covered by lava in the next few hours to days.