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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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

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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

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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: Lava flow
January 19, 2010

Lava flow

The terminus of the more vigorous western branch of the active flow on the western side of the TEB flow field near the top of the Royal Gardens subdivision.

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

December 21, 2009

Filling and draining cycle event in the Halema`uma`u vent

Lava within the vent cavity in Halema`uma`u crater continues to be active, and occasionally displays remarkable filling and draining cycles. This Quicktime movie shows the draining portion of one of these cycles, captured in "nightshot" mode in order to see through the thick fume. The video begins with a wide surface of chaotic, agitated lava, with vigorous upwelling and

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USGS
October 10, 2002

In the Volcano Watch article two weeks ago, we broke the news that the summit area of Mauna Loa is swelling for the first time since 1993. If this trend continues, we're on track for the next eruption.

USGS
October 3, 2002

Many streams of lava entering the ocean are shattered to bits in the surf zone. These loose fragments gradually build layers of rubble on the steep submarine slope. The resulting nearshore submarine deposits are complexly interbedded lava flows and fragments ranging in size from boulders to tiny shards of glass and minerals.

Skylight, Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai‘i...
September 27, 2002

Skylight, Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai‘i.

USGS
September 26, 2002

Mauna Loa has gone 18.5 years without eruption--the second longest dry spell since detailed records begin in 1843. The longest period without eruption lasted 25 years, between 1950 and 1975. Clearly the past 52 years have been much less active than the previous 107.

USGS
September 19, 2002

In early August, Pago volcano, on the central coast of New Britain Island, suddenly began exploding rocks and volcanic ash into the air. Thousands of nearby residents quickly left their homes and work to escape possible injury or death.

USGS
September 12, 2002

Recent work sheds light on Mauna Loa's magmatic plumbing. The U.S. Geological Survey has embarked on scientific investigations of the plumbing system of Mauna Loa in cooperation with researchers from University of Washington and University of North Carolina.

USGS
September 5, 2002

Luckily, Hawai`i experiences volcanic ash much less often than it does lava flows. When it comes, though, it can be anything from a nuisance to a disaster for those beneath the falling ash. The most recent ash fall, from Halemaumau in 1924, was minor but affected residents from Maku`u to Pahala. The latest major ash fall, in 1790, resulted from explosions at the summit of Kilauea.

Reginald T. Okamura commorative relief plaque and boquet of flowers
August 29, 2002

"Please do not let this rain dampen your spirits," Senator Daniel Inouye urged the gathering on a misty, breezy Volcano morning.

USGS
August 22, 2002

Big Island residents have long contended with the threat of tsunami. The central Pacific is, unfortunately, ground zero for many of the world's most destructive seismic sea waves.

USGS
August 15, 2002

On May 22, 1960, the largest earthquake ever recorded struck the coast of western Chile. The magnitude of this quake was so great that it literally went off the Richter scale; seismologists estimate the effective magnitude at about 9.5. The amount of fault slip during this quake and the area over which the slip occurred were both staggering.

USGS
August 8, 2002

On May 22, 1960, the largest earthquake ever recorded struck the coast of western Chile. The magnitude of this quake was so great that it literally went off the Richter scale; seismologists estimate the effective magnitude at about 9.5. The amount of fault slip during this quake and the area over which the slip occurred were both staggering.

lava bench, showing lava entries on east side of leading tip of bench.
August 1, 2002

The past two weeks have been exceptional for viewers of Kilauea's lava flows. Both colorful and convenient, the flows have drawn visitors to the island and attracted many residents as well. How did this happen?