Unified Interior Regions


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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Image: Aerial coastline of Kilauea
May 21, 2010

Aerial coastline of Kilauea

An aerial photograph looking west along the coastline of the current flow field. The Ki entry continues to produce a small plume, which is distributed along the newly formed delta. The color change in the ocean near the entry is due to the wave erosion of material from the delta and the lava itself.

Image: Flows Moving Through Kilauea Viewing Area
May 7, 2010

Flows Moving Through Kilauea Viewing Area

A closer view of the recent flows working their way down the road and through the trees. The viewing area has been moved back once again due to its proximity to the lava flows and potential fire hazards.

Image: Aerial Photo of Kilauea Lava Flow
April 28, 2010

Aerial Photo of Kilauea Lava Flow

Distant view looking north at the active flow as it crossing the coastal plain and approaches the ocean. Houses in the Kalapana Gardens subdivision are visible to the right. The lava tube feeding lava to the flow front is delineated by the points of fume at upper left.

Image: Aerial Photo of Kilauea Lava Flow
April 28, 2010

Aerial Photo of Kilauea Lava Flow

View looking back to the north at the terminus of the active flow as it approaches the forested kipuka at the center of the photo. Hwy 130 is at upper right. The old ocean entry viewing area, open from 2008 to early 2010, is visible near the bottom of the photo just to the right of center. The flows area expected to burn through the kipuka and reach the ocean very close to

Image: Kilauea Lava Flow
April 28, 2010

Kilauea Lava Flow

Zoomed-in view of the current visitor viewing area at the end of Hwy 130.

Image: Kilauea Lava Flow
April 28, 2010

Kilauea Lava Flow

View looking south at the currently active flow crossing the coastal plain west of Kalapana. The new flow is the silvery lava crossing the photo from lower right to top center where the flow front is burning vegetation. The end of Hwy 130 is visible at upper left.

April 8, 2010

Lava surface deep within Halema`uma`u

movie shows the lava surface deep within the Halema`uma`u vent cavity, captured with a thermal camera that can see through the thick fume. The lava surface is about 70 meters (230 ft) wide, and remains about 200 meters (660 ft) below the cavity rim. The surface is mostly crusted, with a slow migration from north to south. Small spattering sources occasionally break through

Image: Kilauea Flow Field
March 12, 2010

Kilauea Flow Field

No surface flows were active anywhere on the flow field today, due to summit deflation and a reduction in lava supply over the past few days. Summit inflation resumed yesterday, and an increase in lava supply should lead to resumed breakouts over the next several days. This photo shows the area of flows that were active over the past week—they can be identified as the

March 11, 2010

Active lava pond deep with the Halema`uma`u vent cavity

movie shows the active lava pond deep within the Halema`uma`u vent cavity. The lava is upwelling at the northern margin of the pond (the upper margin in this view), and slowly migrating south towards the bottom of the image, where it sinks out of view. The pond is about 50 m wide. Small spattering sources appear and disappear occasionally. This video was taken with a

Image: Kilauea's east rift zone eruption site
January 19, 2010

Kilauea's east rift zone eruption site

Kīlauea's east rift zone eruption site. Pu`u `Ō `ō is to the right, and the TEB vent and upper tube system is to the left and behind Pu`u `Ō `ō.

January 13, 2010

Entire floor of the Halema`uma`u vent

movie shows video collected with a thermal camera during two helicopter overflights of the Halema`uma`u vent. The high vantage point allowed a view of the entire floor of the vent cavity, which is not possible from the ground. Also, the thermal camera can "see" through the thick fume that normally obscures the vent to the naked eye. The first half of the video shows

December 28, 2009

Draining event in the lava pond within the Halema`uma`u vent

movie shows a draining event in the lava pond within the Halema`uma`u vent cavity. The lava column exhibited cycles of filling and draining of the vent cavity, with each cycle lasting a few minutes. As the pond drains, lava cascades into a small hole on the east side (right) of the cavity floor. Also, lava that was covering a large bench to the west of the main pond drains

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August 27, 2003

A moderate earthquake rattled the Big Island of Hawai?i late Tuesday. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reports that the earthquake, with a preliminary magnitude of 5.0, was centered about 30 miles south-southwest of Hilo, Hawai?i, in the Hawai?i Volcanoes National Park, near the base of Kilauea. It struck about 8:24 p.m. local time. Several small aftershocks have been reported.

photo of lave
August 24, 2003

Sunrise and breakouts on a fine Sunday morning

photo of lave
August 22, 2003

Scenes along still-active August 9 breakout

Person lowering borehole tiltmeter into the casing of a ten foot deep hole.
August 21, 2003

Last week, Maurice Sako and Kevan Kamibayashi, physical science technicians from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, spent three cold nights high on Mauna Loa's southwest rift zone.

photo of lave
August 17, 2003

Small hornitos above upper Mother's Day tube

August 14, 2003

On hot summer days in Hilo, many people visit the refreshing waters of the Wailuku River. In addition to offering scenic views, lush vegetation, and beautiful waterfalls, the Wailuku River has the distinction of being Hawai'i's largest river, on average discharging 1 million cubic meters (275 million gallons) of water each day - enough to fill about 300 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

USGS science for a changing world logo
August 8, 2003

Wesley Ward has been named Regional Executive for Geology for the Western Region of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The announcement of Ward’s new appointment was made by John D. Buffington, Western Regional Director, effective Aug. 11, 2003.