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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View of lava lake in Overlook vent, Halema‘uma‘u Crater, Kīlauea Vo...
June 1, 2010

View of lava lake in Overlook vent, Halema‘uma‘u, Kīlauea

This photo shows the view into Overlook vent during a relatively high level of the lava lake in 2010. When the lava was at a high stand like this, the plume became very thin and a view of the lava lake was possible. Typically, the fume was too thick to view the lava surface with the naked eye, and HVO geologists then relied on thermal cameras to image the lava surface.

June 1, 2010

Looking into the Halema`uma`u vent cavity

video from a thermal camera looking into the vent cavity at Halema`uma`u around 3pm today. The video is shown at x4 speed. At the beginning of the clip, the lava level is at a high stand, with slowly migrating crustal plates and little spattering. Eventually, small scale spattering begins in the northeast corner of the pond, accompanied by vigorous degassing. As the

Image: Thermal image of Kilauea viewing area
May 21, 2010

Thermal image of Kilauea viewing area

A closer view of the County viewing area, looking northeast. Again, the thermal image is shown together with a normal photograph. Recently emplaced flows, from the past several weeks, are light red (center of image). The currently active breakouts, just 250 yards northwest of the road, show up as white and yellow.

Image: Composite image of Kilauea viewing area
May 21, 2010

Composite image of Kilauea viewing area

This composite image overlays a thermal image on a normal photograph, and shows the flow field in the vicinity of the County viewing area, at the end of the Kalapana access road. Recent flows, from the past few weeks, show up as light red, whereas the currently active breakouts are yellow and white. One active finger of lava was just 250 yards northwest of the viewing area

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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

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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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volcanic explosion, Kilauea
April 4, 2002

Kīlauea has had many explosive eruptions in the past. Fortunately, we have no evidence that the volcano is building to another one. But it is prudent to examine the past to know what to expect in the future.

photo of lava
March 29, 2002

Spatter structures, and crustal overturning in Episode 55 crater

photo of lava
March 28, 2002

Pu`u `O`o spatter cones, spitting hornito, and rootless shield

USGS
March 28, 2002

How big is an eruption? This is a short question with a long answer. Volcanologists, like other people, judge the size of something by comparing it to something else. Volcanic eruptions span such a large range in size, style, and duration that comparisons can be hard, especially between volcanoes with different eruptive styles.

USGS
March 21, 2002

From time to time, we get calls from people who are writing about Kilauea, hoping to confirm the idea that Kilauea is the most active volcano on Earth. We have to tell them that, no, it's only one of the most active volcanoes.

photo of lava
March 15, 2002

Rootless shield and pond at 2180 feet

USGS
March 14, 2002

A heightened awareness of earthquakes usually follows large and destructive ones, like those occurring in Turkey and El Salvador in 1999 and 2001, respectively. Combined, these earthquakes killed more than 37,000 people.

USGS
March 7, 2002

A number of hills, elongate in an upslope-downslope (mauka-makai) direction, rise 30-425 m (100-1,400 feet) above the surrounding gentle slopes of Mauna Loa, inland from Punalu`u. Ipu`u Ridge, which forms the exceptionally steep southwestern side of Wood Valley above Pahala, is a similar elongate hill.

USGS
February 28, 2002

Wouldn't it be nice to have eruption forecasts as rich in detail as our current weather forecasts, watches, and warnings? "This is your Hawai'i County Civil Defense. There is an eruption warning in effect until 0800 Wednesday morning with a 10% chance of lava flows advancing faster than 1 km/hr."