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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)

April 6, 2008

Littoral explosions at Waikupanaha entry

Movie of the littoral explosions at Waikupanaha

April 2, 2008


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

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

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.

Image: Vog from Kilauea
January 31, 2008

Vog from Kilauea

The rim of Kīlauea Volcano’s summit caldera, normally clear on trade-wind days (left), became nearly obscured by vog (right) on some non-trade wind days beginning in 2008, when sulfur dioxide emissions from the volcano’s summit increased to unusually high levels. (This photo has been edited.)

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April 1, 1999

It started innocently enough. The long-lived lava lake disappeared from Halema`uma`u on February 21. Seventy-eight earthquakes were recorded in March, many along Kīlauea's east rift zone as far as 45 km (27 miles) from HVO; one on the 29th was felt in Hilo.

March 25, 1999

Earth scientists know a lot about Mauna Loa above sea level but much less about it under water. Studies have naturally focused on the easily accessible island, where one can directly observe and sample rock exposures, gauge the time between eruptions, and trace evolutionary changes in the chemical makeup of the lava flows. 

March 18, 1999

One common saying in the real estate business is that location is everything. This is particularly true from both geological and biological standpoints here in Hawaii. The Hawaiian hot spot has produced one of the most isolated island chains in the world, with some benefits not often appreciated. One of them is the natural quarantine imposed by more than 3000 km (2,000 miles) of open ocean.

March 11, 1999

Kīlauea's summit magma chamber is connected to the rift-zone vents like a water tank linked by hose to an irrigation system. The hose comprises the dikes that lie at 3-4 km depth along the trace of the rift zones. 

March 4, 1999

Among the many tools earth scientists use, the measurement of gravity variations over the earth's surface is one of the most useful for studying Hawaiian volcanoes. You're surprised to hear that gravity is not a constant?

February 25, 1999

Some readers will know that the largest eruption in the world during the 20th century took place in Alaska in 1912, producing the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes near Mount Katmai (13 cubic kilometers; 3.1 cubic miles). These same readers may also know that the second largest eruption of this century formed the caldera at Mount Pinatubo, Philippines, in 1991 (5.3 cubic kilometers; 1.3 cubic miles).

February 18, 1999

This past week, the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) hosted 68 Japan Broadcasting Company (NHK) personnel and associates. NHK is scheduled to transmit a live 90-minute program from HVO to Japan on Saturday, February 20. Kīlauea Volcano and HVO are featured to demonstrate the quality of high definition TV and to attract a large audience.

February 11, 1999

Imagine this scene: the crew at the Hilo Fire Department receives a call telling them to stand by because an arsonist is setting a fire. If the blaze warrants a response, the fire crew will be notified. In the volcano-monitoring business, we receive standby calls about four to six times a year.

February 4, 1999

During the past couple of months, those of us living in east Hawai`i have experienced several episodes of poor air quality, owing to disruptions of the northeasterly trade winds. The trades usually bring us rain (especially during the last two weeks!) but also sweep the air-polluting volcanic smog (vog) away from east Hawai`i.

January 28, 1999

Reggie and the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory were inextricably associated for 34 years. I was privileged to be part of the relationship for much of this time.

January 21, 1999

One of the most striking aspects of a newly formed lava flow is its barren and sterile nature. The process of colonization of such flows by plants and animals is called primary succession, and it is also found on other newly formed surfaces such as glacial deposits, large landslides, and river deposits.

January 14, 1999

Here's a quiz for all you volcano junkies: What's the second highest volcano in North America? Hint—it was named by the Aztecs and has been erupting on-and-off for the last four years. If you guessed Popocatepetl, you pass, and if you can pronounce it, go to the head of the class!