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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Glacial end moraine deposits on south flank of Mauna Kea, Hawai‘i...
July 11, 1988

Glacial end moraine deposits on south flank of Mauna Kea, Hawai‘i

Glacial end moraine deposits on south flank of Mauna Kea, Hawai‘i

Pu‘umaKAHAKOkanaka, northeast flank of Mauna Kea, Hawai‘i...
July 11, 1988

Pu‘umaKAHAKOkanaka, NE flank of Mauna Kea, Hawai‘i

12,398 ft elev according to USGS Geographic Names Information System

Upper south flank of Mauna Kea, Hawai‘i. Prominent cinder cone (low...
July 11, 1988

Upper south flank of Mauna Kea, Hawai‘i. Prominent cinder cone (low...

Pu‘u Keonehehe‘e and the two small cones immediately to the northwest (left) are among the youngest cones erupted on the volcano, as recent as about 4,000 years ago. The other cones in this view are part of the Laupahoehoe Volcanics, but much older, dating to 70,000 years ago. The light colored surface between the cones consists of glacial deposits with ages between 40,000

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Northeast flank Mauna Kea, Hawai‘i from about 5,200 ft to summit. P...
July 11, 1988

Northeast flank Mauna Kea, Hawai‘i from about 5,200 ft to summit. P...

The light colored lava flows in foreground are part of the older Laupahoehoe Volcanics, erupted between 70,000 to 13,000 years ago. one of the youngest cinder cones erupted by the volcano,

Tephra jet explosion, Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai‘i...
February 3, 1988

Tephra jet explosion, Kīlauea, Hawai‘i

Explosive interaction between lava and seawater blasts a tephra jet consisting of steam, hot water, black tephra, and molten fragments into the air. This explosion is directed primarily toward the sea, but many explosions also send a shower of lava more than 10 to 20 m inland. Tehpra jets are the most common type of lava-seawater explosion, and typically occur when an open

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Glowing lava flowing down a stream channel with tall rock banks.People watch from the bank tops.
March 31, 1987

Lava flow enters Queens Bath, Kilauea Volcano, 1987

Bystanders watch steam rising from Queens Bath as lava flow enters the water. Lava overran Highway 130 at 0748 Hawaii Standard Time on the same morning at the western margin of the Kapa'ahu flow. By the end of the day, Punalu'u heiau was overrun, and Queens Bath was filled with lava.

Photo taken from the air, looking down on red hot lava fountaining up from a vent, then running in red channels down a slope.
April 22, 1985

Aerial view of waning lava fountain, Kilauea Volcano, 1985

Aerial view, from the east, of waning lava fountain from Pu'u 'O'o on Hawai'i Island's Kilauea Volcano. Taken at the end of eruption episode 32. Pu'u 'O'o rose 209 meters above the pre-1983 surface (928 meters above sea level).

Image: Aerial View of Mauna Loa Volcano, Hawaii
January 9, 1985

Aerial View of Mauna Loa Volcano, Hawaii

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists monitor Mauna Loa, the largest active volcano on Earth. In this 1985 aerial photo, Mauna Loa looms above Kīlauea Volcano’s summit caldera (left center) and nearly obscures Hualālai in the far distance (upper right).

Attribution: Natural Hazards
Lava fountain 450 m (1,475 ft) high from Kīlauea Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō eruption...
September 19, 1984

Lava fountain 450 m (1,475 ft) high from Kīlauea Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō eruption...

Lava fragments ejected by lava fountains are called tephra, a general term for all fragments, regardless of size, that are blasted into the air by explosive activity. A variety of terms are also used to describe specific types of fragments, including Pele's hair, Pele's tears, scoria, spatter, bombs, and reticulite. Other terms are used to describe the size of fragments,

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Low lava fountains from 1984 Mauna Loa "2,900-m vents" signaled dec...
April 8, 1984

Low lava fountains from 1984 Mauna Loa "2,900-m vents" signaled dec...

Lava production from these "2,900-m vents" began to decrease in late March but declined most rapidly between April 7 and 9 from about 300,000 m3 per hour to less than 100,000 m3 per hour. Photo taken at 9:09 a.m.

Lava flows from the 1984 eruption of Mauna Loa loom above the town ...
April 4, 1984

Lava flows from the 1984 eruption of Mauna Loa loom above the town ...

Lava flows from the 1984 eruption of Mauna Loa loom above the town of Hilo. Photograph taken near the Hilo airport on April 4.

April 2, 1984

Mauna Loa Lava Flow, April 2, 1984

A USGS scientist walks along a lava flow from the April 2, 1984 Mauna Loa eruption. The scientist stops to observe a standing wave of lava at the end. The lava flow is moving at 64 km/hr (40 mph) towards Hilo, Hawai'i. 
 

Filter Total Items: 2,065
USGS
September 13, 2001

The four youngest vents on West Maui erupted between 610,000 and 385,000 years ago. These newly determined radiometric ages remind us that sporadic small eruptions are possible on Hawaiian volcanoes even as they verge on extinction.

USGS
September 6, 2001

Nothing is constant except change. On August 17 the Kalapana road was reopened, allowing visitors access to a short trail and fine view point overlooking the active ocean-entry bench. Two weeks later, a narrow lava flowcrossed the road just east of the trailhead, and the road was closed. How did this happen, will it happen again, and what can be done about it?

USGS
August 30, 2001

Several decades ago, a person who had an overly active imagination might have been described as being "out in the ozone." Now just where would that be? Well, ozone (O3) exists in two distinct layers in the Earth's atmosphere and is considered "good" or "bad," depending on where it is. The US EPA has coined a maxim to help us remember: "good up high - bad nearby."

USGS
August 23, 2001

What is the summit elevation of Mauna Loa? 13,677 feet (4168.7 m) according to the 1994 Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park brochure; 13,679 feet (4169.4 m) according to the 1998 Atlas of Hawai`i; and 4,169 meters, which equals 13,678 feet, on the 1996 Geologic Map of the Island of Hawai`i. Who is right? Perhaps all?

USGS
August 16, 2001

At 2:00 p.m. on Friday, August 17, the County of Hawai`i officially opened to the public a new viewing area of the current eruptive activity. The viewing area overlooks the spectacular seascape of the lava bench and accompanying black sand beach at the ocean entry east of Kupapa`u.

USGS
August 9, 2001

What's the difference between a bench and a boardwalk? Both offer a view of the sea, but while the latter is a pleasant place for a stroll, a walk on the lava bench can kill you.

USGS
August 2, 2001

Every few months HVO receives a phone call from a concerned citizen explaining that steam is billowing from a new hole in a yard or pasture. Is this foretelling the start of an eruption?

USGS
July 26, 2001

Surfers of our Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) web site might have noticed that, earlier this year, we rolled out a modified web presentation of earthquake activity in Hawai`i. An "After Dark in the Park" evening talk at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park in June also described our new web pages and their operation.

USGS
July 19, 2001

Every so often we receive a number of inquiries from anxious people in Kona about a possible eruption of Hualālai Volcano. The latest spate of questions is apparently being triggered by a personal web site that contains inaccurate information about the volcano. We hope to dispel the rumors by presenting the results of our ongoing observations.

USGS
July 12, 2001

The ground surface subsided abruptly about six weeks ago at Pu`u `O`o, Kīlauea Volcano's active cinder-cone vent. Gaping cracks opened around the edges of the subsidence zone, centered on the southwest edge of the cone. A collapse pit about 30 m (100 ft) in diameter and 15 m (50 ft) deep nibbled into the cone's margin. 

USGS
July 5, 2001

A visitor recently asked, "Does Kīlauea erupt more often at the summit or along its two rift zones?" Let's try to answer that question.

USGS
June 28, 2001

A common sight this time of year, particularly in Puna and the National Park, is a bright yellow tripod topped with a white disk. Usually seen standing by the side of the road, these instruments are Global Positioning System (GPS) antennas, which scientists at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory use to measure small ground motions.