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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June 3, 2006

Gas Pistons Within Drainhole Vent at Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō

(June 2, 2006, 18:30:02 to June 3, 2006, 02:00:03) Gas-pistoning is an interesting phenomenon seen at Kīlauea and some other basalticvolcanoes. It is caused by the accumulation of gas near the top of the lava column within a volcanic vent (Swanson and others, 1979). The shallow accumulation of gas causes the lava surface to rise (the "piston"). Eventually, the gas breaches

May 29, 2006

Lava Tube Bubble Bursts on the East Lae‘apuki Lava Delta

(May 29, 2006, 10:45:46 to 19:30:49) The interaction of sea water and lava creates a volatile situation (Mattox and Mangan, 1997). When this happens inside the confined space of a lava tube, or a narrow, water-filled crack, the results can be impressive. In this movie, lava bubbles, bursting from the top of the PKK lava tube, put on quite a show for several hours. Some of

Large cracks in active lava delta, Kīlauea Volcano...
May 19, 2006

Large cracks in active lava delta, Kīlauea

Substantial cracks cutting across a lava delta are clear indication that the delta is subsiding as it grows across the unstable pile of interfingering lava flows and fragments built on the steep submarine slope. The larger cracks on this delta are 1-2 m (3-6 ft) wide. Lava flows spread onto the delta from some of the cracks and then, after solidifying, were cut by renewed

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Active lava delta on southeast coast of Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai‘i...
May 19, 2006

Active lava delta on SE coast of Kīlauea, Hawai‘i

Lava delta at East Lae‘apuki on the southeast coast of Kīlauea Volcano is about 17 hectares (43 acres). The delta extends about 400 m seaward from the sea cliff and is about 850 m long parallel to the shoreline. The steep sea cliff embayment resulted from collapses of earlier deltas; the collapses undermined and took away parts of the cliff. Note similar inactive delta

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Juvenile ‘i‘iwi in the hand
April 10, 2006

Multi-colored juvenile ‘i‘iwi

‘I‘iwi are one of the most charismatic Hawaiian honeycreepers extant today. Their long, curved bill allow them to reach nectar deep inside specially evolved Hawaiian flowers. As they mature, juvenile ‘i‘iwi will go from these mottled, multi-colored feathers to bright red coloration. 

March 22, 2006

Shatter Ring on the PKK Lava Tube

(March 20, 2006, 11:30:10 to March 22, 2006, 07:00:16) The flow field feature seen here in profile is a shatter ring. Shatter rings are circular to elliptical volcanic features, typically tens of meters in diameter, that form over active lava tubes (Kauahikaua and others, 2003; Orr, 2011) They are typified by an upraised rim of blocky rubble and a central depression.

US Army helicopter flies over the heads of researchers on Mauna Kea
February 23, 2006

US Army helicopter flies over the heads of researchers on Mauna Kea

A US Army helicopter from Pohakuloa Training Area flies overhead of palila researchers on Mauna Kea volcano, Hawai‘i Island, Hawai‘i. 

Poster laid out with photos, images, and text.
December 31, 2005

Mud Damages Hawaiian Coral Reefs

Large-scale poster describing USGS work.

Scientists from the USGS, the University of Hawaiʻi (UH), and the University of Washington (UW) are studying the coral reefs near several Hawaiian islands. Using air photos, satellite photos, underwater photos, and underwater instruments, we've found that mud washed offshore by large storms can damage coral reefs. Corals need

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November 28, 2005

Lava Delta Collapse at East Lae‘apuki

At 11:10 in the morning on November 28, 2005, the lava delta at the East Lae‘apuki ocean entry, on Hawai‘i's southeastern coast, began to collapse into the ocean. This was not a catastrophic failure of the 13.8-hectare delta, but instead occurred by piecemeal calving of the front of the delta over a period of just less than 5 hours. The collapse removed nearly the entire

Nene adults and goslings in a grassy field
November 27, 2005

Nene adults and goslings

A mating pair of adult nēnē (Branta sandvicensis) keep a close watch on three young goslings. An endangered species and the state bird of Hawai‘i, nēnē are the last remaining species of Hawaiian goose.    

Kīlauea Volcano's east Lae‘apuki lava delta after 70-100 m (230-330...
August 27, 2005

Kīlauea's east Lae‘apuki lava delta after 70-100 m (230-330 ft) lon...

Embayment of lava delta shows result of collapse. The initial collapse was large enough to send waves washing over much of the east half of the delta, because visibility was completely lost for almost 20 minutes, due to a steam white-out. Note rocky debris hurled by the waves onto the delta surface in foreground.

Kīlauea Volcano's east Lae‘apuki lava delta pictured hours before i...
August 26, 2005

Kīlauea's east Lae‘apuki lava delta pictured hours before it collap...

Kīlauea Volcano's east Lae‘apuki lava delta pictured hours before it collapsed into the sea over a 90-minute period. White plume marks location of lava entering sea fed by a lava tube within delta.

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USGS science for a changing world logo
December 27, 2002

On January 3, 2003, Kilauea Volcano, perhaps the world’s most active volcano on the Island of Hawai`i, will have been erupting continuously for 20 years. Since the eruption began in 1983, lava flows have covered 43 square miles of the volcano, added nearly 550 acres to the island, created local volcanic air pollution known as "vog," and drawn millions of people to experience and enjoy volcan

USGS
December 27, 2002

On January 3, 2003, Kilauea Volcano, perhaps the world’s most active volcano on the Island of Hawai`i, will have been erupting continuously for 20 years. Since the eruption began in 1983, lava flows have covered 43 square miles of the volcano, added nearly 550 acres to the island, created local volcanic air pollution known as "vog," and drawn millions of people to experience and enjoy...

USGS
December 26, 2002

As we approach the end of 2002, we pause to look back at the year. What can we say about earthquakes in 2002?

USGS
December 19, 2002

Last month, some readers may have noticed a ship cruising back and forth off South Point and the South Kona districts of the Island of Hawai`i.

USGS
December 12, 2002

This is the season when the aroma of pine and fir greets KTA supermarket shoppers as they arrive to buy their fish and poi. Although more than 60,000 trees are imported for the Christmas season, Hawai`i is also home to some trees of its own that deserve hearty celebration.

USGS science for a changing world logo
December 6, 2002

Standard fare in geology textbooks and school classrooms across the world is that the hot springs, geysers and volcanoes of Yellowstone National Park, Hawaii, Iceland, and many other volcanic regions were "created" by plumes of hot rock that rise from near the Earth’s core. New results from recently published U.S. Geological Survey research hint, astonishingly, that such plumes may not exist.