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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March 5, 2011

Collapse of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō Crater Floor on March 5

Video showing the collapse of the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater floor on March 5. The video starts at 4 am and ends at 11 pm. The floor of the crater dropped about 115 meters (377 ft) in just a few hours.

March 3, 2011

Wall and rim collapses of Halema‘uma‘u

There was a series of vent wall and rim collapses on March 3, much like those than occurred in January and February. This video, compiled from the Webcam on the rim of Halema‘uma‘u above the vent, is one of the larger collapses, and shows the northwest rim of the vent falling into the lava lake.

February 25, 2011

Boom from Vent in Halema‘uma‘u!

Booming sounds from the vent in Halema‘uma‘u have been audible around the summit area of Kīlauea for the past several days. Some of these sounds are caused by rocks striking the surface of the lava lake, but most are actually the sound of the vent walls cracking due to heating and expansion of rock. This video, from February 25, illustrates what this sounds like.

February 25, 2011

Lava Lake Decreases from Vent Collapse

The level of the lava lake sometimes changes abruptly. These cycles of rise and fall, which amount to a vertical change of around 15 m (about 50 ft), are occasionally triggered by rockfalls. Here, a small collapse from the vent wall triggers degassing and a drop in the lava level.

February 25, 2011

Lava Lake Popping

As the spattering shown in the previous video intensifies, the walls of the vent heat even more, causing the cracking of the rocks through thermal expansion to speed up, creating the cacophony of popping noises apparent in this video.

February 23, 2011

Time-Lapse of Lava Eruption at Pu`u `Ō`ō Crater

Time-lapse movie showing lava erupting from vents on the floor of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater. Each frame is a composite of eight images comprising a panorama of the crater that is captured every five minutes. During daylight hours, the camera switches to an IR mode so that eruptive activity is easier to monitor. At night, the camera switches back to normal mode.

February 15, 2011

Small Explosive Event at Kīlauea's Summit

Another series of collapses occurred within Kīlauea's summit vent on the floor of Halema‘uma‘u before sunrise on February 15. This movie shows the first of the rockfalls and the resulting small explosive event.

Kīlauea's Summit Vent Churns and Pops as Rocks Fall Into the Lava L...
February 14, 2011

Lava lake activity from inside Halema`uma`u Crater

Sounds of lava lake activity within Kilauea Volcano's summit vent inside Halema`uma`u Crater on the afternoon of February 14, 2011. The continuous "crashing wave" noise is the sound of churning lava as gases are released from the lake surface, which is in nearly constant motion. The discontinuous sharp "pops" occur when rocks falling from the vent wall hit the lava lake

February 6, 2011

Lava Flows in Pu`u `Ō`ō Crater

Movie of lava flows in Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater from February 6-8. Lava has been erupting sporadically from three vents within Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater-a cone on the west side of the crater floor (foreground to left), a cone on the northeast side (center frame), and from an opening on the east crater wall (background).

January 21, 2011

Collapse and Plume (Jan 21, 2011)

Movie of the January 21 collapse and dusty plume captured by a Webcam located in the observation tower at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

January 17, 2011

Collapse and Eruption (Jan 17)

Movie of the January 17 collapse and explosive eruption captured by a Webcam located in the observation tower at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

January 17, 2011

Explosive Eruption (Jan 17, 2011)

Movie of the January 17 collapse and explosive eruption captured by a Webcam located on the rim of Halema‘uma‘u directly above the erupting vent.

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Lava stream flowing against tumulus
February 13, 2003

Videos of lava flow advancing rather quickly across grassland

February 6, 2003

Little more than a mile down the Chain of Craters Road from Crater Rim Drive, a large tract of bare ground suddenly appears on the right, and curious travelers wonder why it is so open. But there's no place to stop, so they move on, and the Puhimau thermal area is quickly forgotten.

January 30, 2003

For more than twenty years, Kīlauea has been erupting almost continuously. In the early years, the eruption alternated between dramatic fountains and periods of repose. For the last 16 years, however, Kīlauea has settled into a stable routine-lava quietly flows out of flank vents on Pu`u `O`o cone into lava tubes, which wind sinuously toward the ocean.

January 23, 2003

The inflation of Mauna Loa Volcano that started last year appears to be slowing down. From May 2002 until very recently, continuously recording instruments spanning Moku`aweoweo, Mauna Loa's caldera, showed that the summit area was extending and rising, indicating that magma was pressurizing a reservoir beneath the surface.

View of Cookie Monster breakout site
January 22, 2003

New breakouts high on Mother's Day tube