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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Kīlauea Lower East Rift Zone Fissures and Flows, May 14 at 2:30 p.m...
May 14, 2018

Location of fissure 17. 

Thermal map of fissure system...
May 13, 2018

Map overlays a georegistered mosaic of thermal images collected during a helicopter overflight of Kīlauea's lower East Rift Zone fissures

Kīlauea Lower East Rift Zone Fissures, May 13 at 9:00 a.m. HST...
May 13, 2018

Location of fissure 17. In addition to fissure 17, the map shows earlier fissures, lava flows, and steaming areas.

Kīlauea Lower East Rift Zone Fissures, May 12 at 12:00 p.m. HST...
May 12, 2018

Location of fissure 16, as well as earlier fissures, lava flows, and steaming areas

Thermal map of the Leilani Estates fissures...
May 9, 2018

Thermal map shows the fissure system during an overflight of the area

Kīlauea East Rift Zone Fissure Map with Paths of Steepest Descent a...
May 9, 2018

Locations of fissures and an ‘a‘ā flow erupted

Kīlauea East Rift Zone Fissure Map as of 7:00 p.m. HST, May 8
May 8, 2018

Locations of fissures and an a’a flow erupted

Kīlauea East Rift Zone Fissure Map with Paths of Steepest Descent
May 8, 2018

This map shows the locations of fissures and an ‘a‘ā flow

Kīlauea East Rift Zone Map as of 10:00 a.m., May 5...
May 6, 2018

Locations, mapped by USGS-HVO scientists, of eruptive fissures in the order that they occurred in the Leilani Estates Subdivision

Steepest descent paths and eruptive fissures, Kīlauea East Rift Zon...
May 6, 2018

Locations of eruptive fissures on Kīlauea Volcano's East Rift Zone in the order that they occurred in the Leilani Estates Subdivision

Thermal map of the Leilani Estates fissures...
May 6, 2018

The thermal map was constructed by stitching many overlapping oblique thermal images collected by a handheld thermal camera during a helicopter overflight of the flow field.

Kīlauea East Rift Zone Map as of 8:00 a.m., May 4...
May 5, 2018

Locations, mapped by USGS-HVO scientists, of eruptive fissures in the order that they occurred in the Leilani Estates Subdivision

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GPS station on Mauna Loa
March 27, 2019

GPS survey is completed annually on Mauna Loa

A high-precision Global Positioning System (GPS) survey is completed annually on Mauna Loa. This station was occupied for a period of three days to supplement the continuously operating GPS stations on the volcano. A beautiful view of Mauna Kea (in distance) could seen from this site during the GPS survey. 

 small amounts of sulfur dioxide
March 22, 2019

small amounts of sulfur dioxide

Only small amounts of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) are currently being released from Kīlauea, but they chemically react with each other (oxidation-reduction reaction) to form the bright yellow sulfur deposits visible on the crater walls within Halema‘uma‘u. The current low sulfur emission rates at Kīlauea have contributed to

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March 19, 2019

3D Model of Pu`u `Ō`ō

This 3D model of the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater was constructed from thermal images taken during a recent helicopter overflight. White areas show warm spots in the crater. Despite the absence of active lava in Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō, changes at the crater have continued since magma drained from beneath it on April 30, 2018. The shape of the crater continues to change through occasional small

March 18, 2019

Rockfalls continue to change the shape of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater

This video was taken during an overflight of the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater on Kīlauea Volcano's middle East Rift Zone. No major changes were observed, but the shape of the crater continues to be altered by continued rockfalls.

March 18, 2019

3D model of the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater - March 18, 2019

This 3D model of the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater was constructed from thermal images taken during a recent helicopter overflight. White areas show warm spots in the crater. Despite the absence of active lava in Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō, changes at the crater have continued since magma drained from beneath it on April 30, 2018. The shape of the crater continues to change through occasional small

Color photograph of sulfur deposits and steam on crater wall
March 13, 2019

Sulfur deposits forming in the new Halema‘uma‘u crater

Telephoto zoom of the largest sulfur deposit forming on the NE talus wall in Halema‘uma‘u. The view is from the
USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory's K3cam. Images can be viewed on HVO's website at https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/webcam.html?webcam=K3cam.

test flight of an unmanned aerial system
February 20, 2019

test flight of an unmanned aerial system

A USGS pilot and Hawaiian Volcano Observatory gas geochemist prepare to conduct a test flight of an unmanned aerial system (UAS) on Kīlauea Volcano in November 2018. This UAS was outfitted with a prototype miniaturized multi-gas sensor for the detection of volcanic gases emitted by Kīlauea, including sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide.

Explosive eruption columns of ash rising
December 31, 2018

Explosive eruption columns of ash rising

Explosive eruption columns of ash rising from Halema‘uma‘u at 11:15 a.m. on May 18, 1924 (top) and at 11:05 a.m. on May 15, 2018 (bottom) look similar. Researchers are re-evaluating early assumptions about the role groundwater played in triggering these explosive eruptions at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano and are now looking at the build-up of gases from retreating magma

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Map of selected earthquakes beneath a portion of southeast Hawaii
December 31, 2018

Map of selected earthquakes beneath a portion of southeast Hawaii

Map of selected earthquakes beneath a portion of southeast Hawai`i from May 4, 2018 to March 14, 2019, showing principally aftershocks following May 4, 2018 M6.9 earthquake. Black dots indicate epicenters of 13,083 earthquakes located during this time interval; yellow stars show locations of the M6.9 earthquake and the March 13, 2019 M5.5 earthquake.

Lava flow thickness 2018
December 31, 2018

Lava flow thickness 2018

This preliminary thickness map of Kīlauea Volcano's 2018 lower East Rift Zone lava flows was calculated by subtracting pre-eruption ground surface elevations from post-eruption ground surface elevations mapped with USGS Unmanned Aerial System (drone) flights. The drones acquired 2,800 aerial photos from which 1.5 billion common points were automatically selected by Surface

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Image of wind turbine towering over trees
December 31, 2018

Wind turbine towering over trees

A wind turbine rising above Oʻahu trees forms part of a wind energy installation where USGS bat research is taking place.

Equipment set up on the ground below a wind turbine.
December 31, 2018

Equipment set up at wind energy site

Bat detection and monitoring equipment set up below a turbine at an Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi wind energy site.

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Kīlauea Volcano’s 2018 summit collapse
December 13, 2018

January 2019 marks the 10th annual “Volcano Awareness Month” on the Island of Hawai‘i.

View into fissure 8
December 6, 2018

One of the most frequently asked questions of USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) scientists over the last several months has been, “Is the eruption over?”

What is next for Kīlauea Volcano
November 29, 2018

This is, without a doubt, the most intellectually exciting time to be a volcanologist at the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. The current inactivity at Kīlauea has so many possible outcomes that it is a real challenge to figure out what might happen next. And intellectual challenges are stimulating and exciting.

Sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide gases
November 21, 2018

In this season of giving thanks, Island of Hawai‘i residents and visitors can be thankful for the return of good air quality, generally free of volcanic air pollution.

earthquakes that occurred beneath the island
November 15, 2018

November 2018. Has it already been six months since lava began flowing through Hawai‘i County's lower Puna District? Has it only been three months since activity at fissure 8 ended rather abruptly?

Kīlauea Volcano showing the main collapse area
November 8, 2018

The prolonged yet dramatic partial collapse of Kīlauea caldera this past summer was the first to be observed in detail and the largest measured by subsidence volume of more than a dozen summit collapses in the past 200 years. The earliest known collapses (1823, 1832, and 1840) were large in subsidence volume but the process was not recorded by witnesses.

map of Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone
November 1, 2018

During Kīlauea Volcano's recent lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) eruption, lava-flow maps were a staple of the public outreach effort by the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO).

panoramic view, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park's Crater Rim Drive
October 25, 2018

The 2018 summit collapse and lower East Rift Zone eruption at Kīlauea Volcano were dramatic and, for many Island of Hawai‘i residents, tragic events. As with all eruptive crises, these events offered exceptional opportunities to learn more about how volcanoes work and to answer some "bigger picture" questions.

thumbnail image of cover of Scientific Investigations Report 2018-5140
October 25, 2018

The U.S. Geological Survey assesses active and potentially active volcanoes in the U.S., focusing on history, hazards and the exposure of people, property and infrastructure to harm during an eruption. The findings are in the newly published 2018 Update to the U.S. Geological Survey National Volcanic Threat Assessment.

2018 Volcanic Threat Assessment helps prioritize risk efforts at U.S. volcanoes
October 24, 2018

Since 1980, there have been 120 eruptions and 52 episodes of notable volcanic unrest at 44 U.S. volcanoes.

Kīlauea volcanic ash sample
October 18, 2018

Sulfur dioxide (SO2)-rich emissions have long been a feature of Kīlauea Volcano's summit activity. However, vigorous volcanic ash production during the 2018 eruption raised new concerns about potential impacts for downwind communities.

inferred rupture area
October 11, 2018

On May 4, 2018, a powerful magnitude-6.9 earthquake on the south flank of Kīlauea Volcano shook the Island of Hawai‘i. It was the largest quake in Hawaii in 43 years. Today, more than five months later, smaller-magnitude earthquakes in the same area are still occurring.