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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Color thermal map of lava lake
December 23, 2020

December 23, 2020—Kīlauea summit eruption thermal map constructed from

A helicopter overflight yesterday (Dec. 23, 2020) at approximately ~10:30 AM HST allowed for aerial visual and thermal imagery to be collected of the new eruption within Halema'uma'u crater at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano. This preliminary thermal map shows that the new lava lake is 715 m (780 yd) E-W axis and 460 m (500 yd) in N-S axis. The most recent estimate of lake

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December 23, 2020

Halema'uma'u Lava Lake Fills from Two Spatter and Fountain Sources

23 December 2020 - Kīlauea Volcano US Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Clip 1: A mid-day helicopter overflight provided aerial views of the eruption in Halema'uma'u crater. This video shows two active fissures erupting lava into a growing lava lake. Visual and thermal images collected during the overflight are used to map the ongoing activity. Clip 2: Three

Color photo of lava lake
December 23, 2020

Kīlauea summit eruption - December 23, 2020

Scientists continue to monitor the ongoing eruption in Kīlauea Volcano's summit caldera, Island of Hawai‘i. This photo, from the south rim of Halema‘uma‘u crater and looking north, shows the volcanic gas plume heading west. USGS photo by M. Patrick. 

Color photograph of scientists monitoring lava lake
December 23, 2020

Monitoring Kīlauea's new summit lava lake

A helicopter overflight yesterday (Dec. 22, 2020) at approximately ~11:30 AM HST allowed for aerial visual and thermal imagery to be collected, which was used to map the area of Kīlauea's growing summit lava lake in Halema‘uma‘u crater. As of yesterday afternoon, the lake is over 690 m (yd) E-W axis and 410 m (yd) in N-S axis. The lake area is more than 22 

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Color graphic of lava lake rise
December 23, 2020

Tracking the lava lake in Halema‘uma‘u

Plot showing rise of Kīlauea's summit lava lake since the eruption in Halema‘uma‘u began on December 20 at 9:30 p.m. Since then, laser rangefinder measurements of lava lake surface are made 2–3 times per day. Photos compare the lava lake on the morning of Dec. 21, when it was about 289 ft (87 m) deep, to the evening of Dec. 23 when it was about 511 ft (155 m) deep. For

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Graph showing depth of Halemaumau lava lake, Kilauea volcano
December 23, 2020

Graph showing depth of Halema‘uma‘u lava lake, Kīlauea volcano

Graph showing the depth of the Halema‘uma‘u crater lava lake at Kīlauea Volcano's summit. HVO scientists measure the Kīlauea summit lava level using a small laser rangefinder mounted on a tripod. Measurements began one day after the start of the eruption on December 20, 2020 and are updated by geologists making observations from the field. HVO field crews use a laser range

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Color photograph of eruption plume
December 22, 2020

Kīlauea summit Volcano's eruption within Halema‘uma‘u crater

Aerial imagery collected during a USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory overflight at approximately 11:35 a.m. HST. The plume from the ongoing eruption rises above the Kīlauea Volcano's summit, within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Ha‘akulamanu (Sulphur Banks) is visible in the foreground. USGS photo. 

Color photograph of fissure
December 22, 2020

Halema‘uma‘u crater fissure

Aerial imagery collected during a USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory overflight at approximately 11:35 a.m. HST. This photo shows the western, weaker of the two active fissures in Kīlauea Volcano's ongoing summit eruption in Halema‘uma‘u crater. USGS photo. 

Color photograph of eruption
December 22, 2020

Kīlauea Volcano's summit eruption within Halema‘uma‘u crater

Aerial imagery collected during a USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory overflight at approximately 11:35 a.m. HST. This photo shows the two active fissures in Kīlauea Volcano's ongoing summit eruption in Halema‘uma‘u crater. These fissures in the wall of Halema‘uma‘u crater feed a growing lake at its base. In the center of the lake, an island rises approximately 17 m (55 ft) 

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Map of volcano summit activity
December 22, 2020

December 21, 2020—Kīlauea summit eruption reference map

The recent eruption at Kīlauea Volcano's summit, within Halema‘uma‘u crater, has generated a lava lake that is being fed by two fissures. Halema‘uma‘u crater has previously been occupied by a water lake (July 2019 to December 2020) and a lava lake (2008 to 2018). The current lava lake is larger than both previous lakes; though it occupies a similar (but larger) location of

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Color photograph of scientist in field
December 22, 2020

HVO scientist checks monitoring equipment

The current eruption is confined to Halemaʻumaʻu crater within Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park but data from tiltmeters and Global Positioning System (GPS) stations show contraction in the upper portion of the East Rift Zone (an area between Kīlauea’s summit and Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō). Similar instruments in down-rift areas, including the site of the 2018 eruption, are stable and do

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Color thermal images of lava lake
December 22, 2020

Kīlauea summit eruption thermal image comparison

This comparison shows thermal images taken yesterday and today during USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory helicopter overflights. The main difference in this 24 hour period is the significant rise and infilling of the lava lake within Halema‘uma‘u crater at Kīlauea summit. This morning, the lake depth was measured at approximately 130 yards. USGS images by M. Patrick. 

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lava temperatures were about 2000 degrees Fahrenheit
July 27, 2018

"What's happening inside the volcano?" is just one of many questions asked about Kīlauea's ongoing lower East Rift Zone eruption. Looking at the geochemistry of erupted lava can help us answer these questions.

image related to volcanoes. See description
July 23, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone

image related to volcanoes. See description
July 21, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone

lava being blasted upward and outward during a hydrovolcanic explosion
July 20, 2018

Since May 3, 2018, Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone eruption has destroyed more than 700 structures, covered more than 32 sq km (12.4 sq mi) of land with black lava, and added about 700 acres of new land to the island. Yet, remarkably, injuries had been few.

USGS
July 19, 2018

Reviews Kīlauea Volcano's ongoing lower East Rift Zone eruption, focusing on the fissure 8 vent, channel, and ocean entry, and describing a credible set of future scenarios and uncertainties, as guide for managing hazards and risks.

USGS
July 18, 2018

A variety of hydrovolcanic explosions may occur as basaltic lava flows into the ocean.

Edge of the Kīlauea vog plume near Waikoloa Village
July 13, 2018

For many Hawaii residents, interactions with Kīlauea Volcano's eruptions is through vog—a hazy mixture of sulfur dioxide gas and sulfate particles. However, sulfur on Kīlauea is not limited to vog components.