Unified Interior Regions


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.

States L2 Landing Page Tabs

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October 18, 2012

Lava Lake at Pu`u `Ō`ō Crater

Quicktime video, taken from the east rim of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō crater, showing the small lava lake that is active in the northeast portion of the crater floor. Unsteady gas escape along the lake margins drives low-level spattering and undulations of the lake surface.

October 17, 2012

Movie showing flowing lava through a skylight

Quicktime movie showing lava flowing through the active 

October 14, 2012

Videos of lava lake in Halema‘uma‘u overlook vent

This video shows spattering at the west edge of the lava lake in the 'overlook' vent in Halema‘uma‘u Crater. The crackling and popping noises are from fracturing of the rocks composing the walls of the vent caused by thermal expansion.

October 14, 2012

Lava Spatter

Video zoomed in on the spattering at the west edge of the lava lake in the 'overlook' vent in Halema‘uma‘u.

October 14, 2012

Video of rocks exploding off of Halema‘uma‘u overlook vent wall

Heat from the high lava lake level in the 'overlook' vent in Halema‘uma‘u is causing the walls of the vent above the lava surface to expand and fracture. This is the source of the cracking and booming noises emanating from the vent in recent days. This video, zoomed in on the back (NW) wall of the vent, shows small fragments of rock exploding from the wall and scattering

Kīlauea's 1971 Southwest Rift Zone Eruption: A First in 52 Years...
October 1, 2012

Kīlauea's 1971 Southwest Rift Zone Eruption: A First in 52 Years

As erupting fissures migrated down Kīlauea's southwest rift zone in September 1971 for the first time in 52 years, many spectators hiked into the Ka‘ū Desert for a closer view of the rare event. Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park rangers patrolled the area on horseback to keep people a safe distance from the lava fountains. Photo courtesy of NPS.

Kīlauea showing familiar pattern—or is it?...
August 2, 2012

Kīlauea showing familiar pattern—or is it?

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory's Recent Earthquakes Web page from Tuesday, July 31, with earthquake shown as colored circles, according to their times of occurrence.

Kīlauea's July 1974 summit eruption: fond memories of dinner by "la...
July 26, 2012

Kīlauea's July 1974 summit eruption

Lava fountains, occasionally surging to heights of 45-55 m (150-180 ft), erupted south and north of Keanakāko‘i Crater (top and middle fissures, respectively) and on the floor of Kīlauea Caldera (foreground fissure) in a spectacular summit eruption on July 19, 1974. A torrent of lava (largely obscured by fume at lower right) gushed to the caldera floor through a pre-

Except for a little friction, Kīlauea's summit and rift zones are w...
July 5, 2012

Kīlauea's summit and rift zones are well connected

A view of the lava lake within the Halema‘uma‘u Overlook vent on an unusually clear day (May 16, 2012) with the Jaggar Museum and the HVO building in the distance.

May 16, 2012

Spattering at Western Margin of Lava Lake at Halema`uma`u

This Quicktime movie shows the impressive spattering at the western margin of the lava lake at Halema‘uma‘u. The continuous spattering is often punctuated by bursts which throw lava onto the ledge (left portion of image), and this accumulating lava is building a spatter rampart. If you focus on the right portion of the image, you can see the slow migration of the lava lake

May 9, 2012

Ongoing spattering at the lava lake in Halema‘uma‘u crater

This Quicktime movie shows spattering that is typical at the margins of the lava lake in Halema‘uma‘u crater. The slow migration of the lava lake surface is normally towards the area of spattering, where the lava sinks back into the magmatic system. Spatter in this clip is being thrown about 5-10 meters (yards) in height. Views like this are fleeting, however, with the

Kīlauea Summit Area Map...
May 7, 2012

Kīlauea Summit Area Map

Map of the summit area of Kīlauea showing the location of the Halema‘uma‘u Overlook vent, and road and trail closures in response to the eruption. Kīlauea's caldera is located within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

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February 20, 2003

The past ten days have seen lava cross the Chain of Craters Road to form a new lava entry at the ocean's edge. Wildfires of the Panau Iki blaze, ignited by the lava flows and fanned by winds as fast as 80 km per hour (50 mph), have scorched 876 ha (2165 acres) of forest and grassland.

February 13, 2003

Hawai`i is often described as the ideal setting for studying active volcanic processes. After all, where else can you find a "drive in" volcano that provides all the amenities that volcanologists want: hot fresh lava; swelling, quaking ground; and the delicate fragrance of sulfurous fumes emanating from abundant fissures and vents?

Lava stream flowing against tumulus
February 13, 2003

Videos of lava flow advancing rather quickly across grassland