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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Explosion from Halemaumau at Kīlauea Volcano as viewed from Uēkahun...
May 18, 1924

Explosion from Halemaumau at Kīlauea May 18, 1924.

This was probably the strongest explosion of the eruption. Rocks and debris fell among spectators southeast of Halemaumau, causing one fatality. A torrential downpour and an electrical storm followed.

Spectators flee explosion from Halemaumau at Kīlauea Volcano, 1114 ...
May 18, 1924

Spectators flee explosion from Halemaumau at Kīlauea, May 18, 1925

Acting HVO director Ruy Finch snapped this photograph of spectators running away as large blocks were tossed about 600 meters (2000 feet) onto an airplane landing field. Lorrin A. Thurston provided this description: "About three minutes later with a sudden dull roar a column of inky black eruption cloud shot upward from the pit and great masses of gray ash rolled out from

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Park superintendent Thomas Boles after a narrow escape at Kīlauea V...
May 14, 1924

Park superintendent Thomas Boles after a narrow escape at Kīlauea, ...

Boles poses on the grounds of the Volcano House hotel with the Halemaumau eruption plume in the background. He fell cutting his hands and a knee while fleeing an explosion the day before. After his close call the superintendent barred all public access within two miles of Halemaumau.

Explosion at Halemaumau as seen from Uēkahuna Bluff, at Kīlauea Vol...
May 13, 1924

Explosion at Halema‘uma‘u as seen from Uēkahuna Bluff, at Kīlauea, ...

Eight persons, including newspaper and movie men observing the scene at Halema‘uma‘u, were caught in a rain of hot rocks from this explosion. The rocks emitted hissing sounds as hot gas, mainly steam, escaped from them. Park superintendent Thomas Boles was knocked down twice by this bombardment.

Observer examines boulder ejected from Halemaumau, at Kīlauea Volca...
May 11, 1924

Boulder ejected from Halemaumau, at Kīlauea, May 11, 1925

On May 11, Ruy Finch and W.O. Clark visited Halemaumau and found a rock fragment weighing about 180 kg (400 pounds) that had been thrown 60 meters (200 feet) from the rim of the crater.

One of the first explosion clouds from Halemaumau, at Kīlauea Volca...
May 10, 1924

First explosion clouds from Halemaumau, Kīlauea 1925

Later scientists at the Observatory listed May 10 as the first day of the eruptive series. Between this date and May 27, they carefully recorded all explosions, ballistic falls, electric storms, and muddy rains as well as earthquakes felt and recorded on seismographs.

Scientists looking into the bright glow of Mauna Loa's 1942 eruptiv...
April 28, 1924

Scientists looking into bright glow of Mauna Loa's 1942 eruptive ve...

Scientists looking into the bright glow of Mauna Loa's 1942 eruptive vent. Eruption occurred during WWII and was not publicized to prevent Japanese war planes from navigating to the island at night.

Profile of Mauna Kea showing inferred contact (dot-dashed line) bet...

Profile of Mauna Kea showing inferred contact (dot-dashed line) bet...

Profile of Mauna Kea showing inferred contact (dot-dashed line) between postshield-stage Hamakua Volcanics and underlying shield-stage lavas. Approximate contact with Laupahoehoe Volcanics dashed.

View from MT cam

[MTcam] Mokuʻāweoweo Caldera Thermal from the Northwest Rim

This image is from a temporary thermal camera located on the north rim of Mauna Loa's summit caldera. The temperature scale is in degrees Celsius up to a maximum of 500 degrees (932 degrees Fahrenheit) for this camera model, and scales automatically based on the maximum and minimum temperatures on the caldera floor and not the whole frame, which sometimes results in the

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Geologic map of Mauna Kea with generalized surface distribution of ...

Geologic map of Mauna Kea with generalized surface distribution of ...

Geologic map of Mauna Kea with generalized surface distribution of Hamakua Volcanics. Laupahoehoe Volcanics are inferred to overlie a vast area of Hamakua Volcanics on the upper flanks and summit.

[KWcam] - Halemaʻumaʻu and down-dropped caldera floor

[KWcam] - Halemaʻumaʻu and down-dropped caldera floor

Live Panorama of Halemaʻumaʻu and down-dropped caldera floor from the west rim of the new summit collapse features [KWcam]. 

Disclaimer

The webcams are operational 24/7 and faithfully record the dark of night if there are no sources of incandescence or other lights. Thermal webcams record heat rather than light and get better views through

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Gas Plume during the 1984 eruption of Mauna Loa, Hawaii blocks out ...

Gas Plume during the 1984 eruption of Mauna Loa, Hawaii

Gas Plume during the 1984 eruption of Mauna Loa, Hawaii blocks out the sun.

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USGS
April 23, 1998

The eruption of 1942 was noteworthy for several reasons. (1) It was declared a secret so the press was not allowed to publicize the event. (2) This was the second time lava diversion was tried on an eruption of Mauna Loa. (3) The volcanologists were able to predict the timing and place of the eruption.
 

USGS
April 16, 1998

Govenor Ben Cayetano's proclamation of April as "Tsunami Awareness Month" in Hawai`i is a timely one, for a generation of residents has grown up oblivious of the destructive force of these waves. 

USGS
April 9, 1998

In some regards, monitoring an active volcano is easy; the constant bustle keeps a watcher on his or her toes. But what if a volcano hasn't erupted in 200 years?
 

USGS
April 2, 1998

As we all know, there are no facts about the future. We cannot know for sure what will happen tomorrow, much less next year or 1,000 years from now. How, then, can we be so bold as to guess where the next volcano will form in Hawai`i, perhaps 100,000 years or more down the road?
 

USGS
March 26, 1998

While watching the Olympics a few weeks ago, I started wondering how our lava flows would place in typical competitions. Of course, it wouldn't be quite as simple as setting up a course, getting an eruption to happen at a convenient time at the starting point, and accurately timing the result.

USGS
March 20, 1998

Sharing the results of scientific investigations on Hawai`i's volcanoes has always been a primary goal of scientists working at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. In 1912, Thomas A. Jaggar, Director of HVO, published the first series of informal newsletters about the activity of Kīlauea and Mauna Loa.

USGS
March 12, 1998

Two geologists who used to work at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory were back in the state last week viewing Hawai`i's volcanoes from a different perspective. Cruising among the islands aboard a 270-ft ship, Jennifer Reynolds and Dave Clague (HVO's former scientist-in-charge) thoroughly enjoyed the smooth water and sunny weather.

USGS
March 5, 1998

In recent months we have discussed hazards from lava flows in the Hilo and Puna areas. Today we focus on the Ka`u District.
 

USGS
February 26, 1998

Someone once said, "Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get." The weather of the last week or so has brought a sigh of relief to many east Hawaii residents. The return of the trades has brought much needed moisture, creating the joyful sound of water trickling into depleted water tanks and easing fire danger that had reached critical levels.
 

USGS
February 24, 1998

Bench collapse, temporary draining of lava tube are prominent events of the past three weeks

USGS
February 19, 1998

A gentle, effusive style of activity has characterized the ongoing eruption of Kīlauea for well over a decade now. But remember the explosive episodes of 1983, `84, `85 and the first half of `86? Pu`u `O`o burst forth periodically with towering lava fountains that could be seen for miles around. Ever wonder why the change? Just what causes a volcano to flow rather than blow?
 

USGS
February 12, 1998

Japan—only 63 million years away! Advertising like that would put a shipping company out of business, but the Plate Tectonic Express has no competitors when it comes to moving continents and oceanic plates around the globe.