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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January 24, 2014

Gas Piston in Lava Pond

This Quicktime movie shows weak gas pistoning in the lava pond on the east rim of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō. Gas pistoning is the cyclic buildup and release of gas within the pond, and is common in Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō.

January 24, 2014

Gas Pistoning and Spattering

This Quicktime movie shows some of the spattering associated with the gas pistoning, in which the spattering acts as an outlet for gas accumulating in the pond. Note how the crust in the center of the pond is fluctuating. Lava pond activity and gas pistoning are common in Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō.

January 22, 2014

Lava lake spattering at Halema‘uma‘u Crater

The lava lake in the Overlook crater, within Halema‘uma‘u Crater at Kīlauea's summit, undergoes frequent periods of spattering. The spattering is normally at the lake margins, and the surface crust often flows towards, and is consumed at, the spattering source. Large bubbles bursting at the surface drive the spattering activity, as shown occasionally by large spherical

January 20, 2014

Lava Lake Spattering at Halema'uma'u Crater

21 January 2014 Lava Lake Spattering at Halema'uma'u Crater The lava lake in the Overlook crater, within Halema'uma'u Crater at Kilauea's summit, undergoes frequent periods of spattering. The spattering is normally at the lake margins, and the surface crust often flows towards, and is consumed at, the spattering source. Large bubbles bursting at the surface drive the

Mauna Loa: How well do you know the volcano in your backyard?...
January 8, 2014

Mauna Loa: How well do you know the volcano in your backyard?

Erupting vents on Mauna Loa's Northeast Rift Zone near Pu‘u‘Ula‘ula (Red Hill) on Mar. 25, 1984—just hours after the eruption began—sent massive ‘A‘ā lava flows moving toward Hilo at 4 miles per hour. By the time the eruption ended on April 15, lava flows had reached to within four miles of Hilo city limits. USGS photo.

Two talks about Kīlauea Volcano at UH-Hilo...
January 8, 2014

Two talks about Kīlauea at UH-Hilo

During the first few hours of the Kamoamoa fissure eruption in March 2011, lava bubbled to the surface through a ground crack that propagated along Kīlauea Volcano's East Rift Zone. How it and other Hawaiian fissure eruptions work will be the topic of a talk at UH-Hilo on January 16, 2014.

It was remarkably clear during today's overflight of Kīlauea's east...
November 27, 2013

It was remarkably clear during today's overflight of Kīlauea's ERZ....

It was remarkably clear during today's overflight of Kīlauea's east rift zone. This photo is taken from Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō, and looks northwest. Mauna Kea is at the right, and Mauna Loa is at the left. In front of the summit of Mauna Loa, the degassing plume from the lava lake at Kīlauea's summit is rising vertically.

October 24, 2013

Thermal image sequence of summit lava lake motion

This thermal image sequence shows the typical motion of the lava lake in Halema‘uma‘u Crater. For scale, the lake is about 160 meters (520 feet) wide in this view. The clip spans about 12 minutes, and is shown at 30x speed. The lava upwells along the north margin of the lava lake (in this view, near the top of the image). The crust slowly migrates towards the south, where

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and Jaggar Museum, Kīlauea Volcano, Ha...
August 27, 2013

HVO and Jaggar Museum, Kīlauea, HI

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) and Jaggar Museum are located at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano, and are visible atop the cliff to the right, on the edge of Kīlauea Caldera. HVO is about 2 km (1.25 miles) north-northwest of the lava lake in Halema‘uma‘u, fuming (but not directly visible) at the left edge of the photo.

Small explosion at Halema`uma`u lava lake (Kīlauea, Hawaii)....
August 23, 2013

Small explosion at Halema`uma`u lava lake (Kīlauea, Hawaii).

At 9:48 PM on Friday, August 23, 2013, a collapse of a piece of the wall above the lava lake in Halema`uma`u triggered a small explosion. The explosion bombarded the rim of Halema`uma`u around the old visitor overlook with molten gobs of spatter as big as dinner plates. Dense lithic fragments from the collapsed wall, and at least as large as a baseball, were also thrown

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Lava enters ocean at Kupapa‘u Point, Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai‘i. Phot...
August 7, 2013

Lava enters ocean at Kupapa‘u Point, Kīlauea, Hawai‘i. Photographed...

Lava enters ocean at Kupapa‘u Point, Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai‘i. Photographed with a telephoto lens, the safest way to view the interaction of lava and seawater on the edge of an active delta.

Mowed grasses interspersed with low shrubs in coastal dunes of the Ki’i Unit, in
July 17, 2013

Mowed grasses in coastal dunes of the Ki’i Unit on Oahu, Hawaii

Mowed grasses interspersed with low shrubs in coastal dunes of the Ki’i Unit in James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge on Oahu, Hawaii

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USGS
April 24, 2003

April 26, 2003, marks the 30th anniversary of the magnitude M6.2 Honomu earthquake. This earthquake occurred at 10:26 a. m. and was centered north of Hilo, beneath the town of Honomu. The earthquake caused nearly $6 million in damage, to roads and highways, lifelines and utilities, and over 400 homes and businesses.

Lava spattering from the top of a small cone
April 17, 2003

People like to hear about record-holders-the biggest, fastest, best. That's why we're frequently asked, "What's the world's most active volcano? Is it Kilauea?"

photo of lava
April 15, 2003

Pleasant Sunday morning between rain showers

photo of lava
April 12, 2003

Inflated lava and the ahu: what a difference a day makes

Maui Nui submergence history, showing extent of Maui Nui landmass at different times
April 10, 2003

The four islands of Maui, Moloka`i, Lana`i, and Kaho`olawe were once all connected as a vast landmass known as Maui Nui, literally "big Maui." This concept was first proposed 60 years ago by geologist Harold Stearns, who recognized the geologic evidence for repeated episodes of island submergence and reemergence.

Map showing Koa`e fault system
April 3, 2003

Kilauea has one of the most active fault systems in the world. The Koa`e fault system is 2-3 km (1.2-1.8 miles) wide and extends about 17 km (10 miles) between the east and southwest rift zones, south of Kilauea's caldera.