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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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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.

News

Date published: November 25, 2020

Volcano Watch — Remembering the Thanksgiving Eve Breakout from 2007

Recall this lava flow crisis from years ago: lava breaks out of the normal confines of the long-lived Puʻu ʻŌʻō eruption, with flows advancing relentlessly towards residential areas downslope.  Over several months, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and County of Hawai‘i Civil Defense Agency monitor the hazards closely in lower Puna as the situation evolves.   

Date published: November 19, 2020

Volcano Watch — How has topography been modeled at Hawaii’s volcanoes?

In volcano-related cartography and geographic analyses, especially in Hawaii, there is perhaps nothing more important than having an accurate digital model of topography. Such models depict the three-dimensional nature of the land, which elucidate features from past eruptions and help us to determine potential pathways of future activity. But how are these models created?

Date published: November 16, 2020

Photo and Video Chronology – Kīlauea – November 11, 2020

No significant changes at Kīlauea's summit water lake

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Date published: September 11, 2020
Status: Active

Coral Reef Project

Explore the fascinating undersea world of coral reefs. Learn how we map, monitor, and model coral reefs so we can better understand, protect, and preserve our Nation's reefs.

Date published: August 28, 2020
Status: Active

Low-lying areas of tropical Pacific islands

Sea level is rising faster than projected in the western Pacific, so understanding how wave-driven coastal flooding will affect inhabited, low-lying islands—most notably, the familiar ring-shaped atolls—as well as the low-elevation areas of high islands in the Pacific Ocean, is critical for decision-makers in protecting infrastructure or relocating resources and people.

Date published: July 20, 2020
Status: Active

The Value of U.S. Coral Reefs for Risk Reduction

Summary of the report, “Rigorously valuing the role of U.S. coral reefs in coastal hazard risk reduction”

    Contacts: Curt Storlazzi, PhD, Michael Beck
    Date published: February 13, 2020
    Status: Active

    Avian Malaria Genomic Research Project

    Habitat destruction, invasive plants, non-native predators and competitors, and introduced diseases have decimated the diverse, endemic native forest bird community of Hawai‘i. In particular, avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum), which is transmitted by the introduced Culex quinquefasciatus mosquito, has caused dramatic declines and extinctions in many native birds. Fortunately, Cx....

    Date published: December 19, 2019
    Status: Completed

    U.S. Seismic Hazard Maps – Hawaii

    Seismic hazard maps for Hawaii.

    Date published: November 8, 2019
    Status: Active

    Modeling invasion risk and impacts to inform management responses - Helen Sofaer

    Where are invasive species likely to be introduced or become abundant? How should managers respond? On Hawaii and other Pacific Islands numerous invasive species have altered ecosystems, and new species continue to be introduced. Statistical analyses can characterize risk and inform response strategies.

    Date published: November 8, 2019
    Status: Active

    Modeling invasion risk and impacts to inform management responses - Helen Sofaer

    Where are invasive species likely to be introduced or become abundant? How should managers respond? On Hawaii and other Pacific Islands numerous invasive species have altered ecosystems, and new species continue to be introduced. Statistical analyses can characterize risk and inform response strategies.

    Date published: October 28, 2019
    Status: Completed

    Update of the Hawaii Seismic Hazard Model Workshop

    Wednesday, September 18, 2019
    Honolulu, HI
    University of Hawaii at Manoa

    Agenda – PDF (47KB)
    All Presentations - (16.4 MB ZIP file)

    The following links are to PDF...

    Date published: September 18, 2019
    Status: Active

    Coral Reef Project: Kauaʻi

    As part of the USGS Coral Reef Project, the USGS is working on the island of Kauaʻi to identify circulation patterns and a sediment budget for Hanalei Bay to help determine any effects to the coastal marine ecosystem.

    Date published: September 10, 2019
    Status: Active

    Coral Reef Project: Hawaiʻi

    As part of the USGS Coral Reef Project, the USGS is working on the Kona (west) coast of Hawaiʻi to evaluate geologic resources at two historical parks.

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    Date published: April 22, 2020

    Avian Malaria Warning System

    Data for this warning system is a compilation of NOAA NCDC Global Historical Climatology Network data, Dark Sky API 2-week forecast data, and calculated historical annual climatic averages based on the NOAA NCDC data. All data has been statistically adjusted for each individual site location based on collected site data. 

    Date published: February 18, 2020

    Cross-reef wave and water level data from coral reef environments

    Direct field observations of wave dynamics across coral reefs and the resulting water levels are limited. Here we provide direct in situ measurements of waves and water levels across a number of coral reefs, extending from the fore reef, across the reef crest, and to the shoreline. These measurements are provided to help better understand the evolution of waves across coral reefs and...

    Date published: September 26, 2019

    Kīlauea 2018 - lower East Rift Zone eruption and summit-collapse events

    This geonarrative summarizes Kīlauea’s 2018 events, highlighting the historical context and contributions to science.

    Date published: September 23, 2019

    Data from Bristle-Thighed Curlews at James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge, O'ahu, Hawaii, 2012-2014

    This data package includes two tables of data for Bristle-thighed curlews (Numenius tahitiensis) captured 2012-2014 on the James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge O'ahu, Hawaii (21.68 N, 157.95 W). One table provides capture, banding, morphology, and genetic data. The second table provides mark-resight data for estimating the size of the wintering population on Oahu in April of 2014.

    Date published: September 5, 2019

    Measurements Used to Determine the Sex of Bristle-thighed Curlews (Numenius tahitiensis)

    This data set contains bill and tarsal measurements from 114 Bristle-thighed Curlews, captured on breeding grounds in Alaska, and non-breeding areas in Hawaii and Reitoru atoll, French Polynesia.

    Date published: September 2, 2019

    Observations of coral reef oceanographic and groundwater properties off Makua, Kauai, HI, USA, August 2016

    This data release includes measurements of circulation and waves, profiles of seawater properties, and profiles of resistivity on the shoreline, which can be used to assess the potential for terrestrial groundwater intrusion on the reef and the sources and fate of these water masses. The recent discovery of coral Black Band Disease at Mākua Reef on Kauaʻi, Hawaiʻi prompted an investigation...

    Date published: August 29, 2019

    Waiakane, Molokai, HI, 2018 Coral Reef Circulation and Sediment Dynamics Experiment

    To better constrain the influence of sea-level rise on waves and sediment transport over a fringing coral reef flat, an experiment was conducted across a large fringing reef off the south shore of Molokai, Hawai’i. Here we provide data on water levels, waves, currents observed during this field effort. Additional data sets will be added as they become available.

    Date published: August 26, 2019

    Bristle-Thighed Curlew (Numenius tahitiensis) Mark-Resight Encounter History from the James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge and Surrounding Area, Oahu, Hawaii, 2012-2017

    This data set contains one table with mark-resight observations of Bristle-thighed Curlews marked on Oahu, Hawaii, with plastic color leg flags, 2012-2017.

    Date published: March 21, 2019

    Core logs, scans, photographs, grain size, and radiocarbon data from coastal wetlands on the Hawaiian islands of Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, and Hawaiʻi

    This data release supports a study that reports on efforts to estimate future tsunami inundation through stratigraphic analyses of potential tsunami deposits beneath present and former Hawaiian wetlands, coastal lagoons, and river floodplains.

    Date published: February 14, 2019

    Coral cover and health determined from seafloor photographs and diver observations, West Hawai'i, 2010-2011

    The data described here were collected as part of a larger study to examine habitat conditions and coral health with respect to exposure to submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) and urban land uses.

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    Color map depicting lava flow thickness
    November 23, 2020

    Final map of Kīlauea 2018 lower East Rift Zone lava flow thicknesses

    The September 23, 2020, overflight provided aerial photos of Kīlauea's summit that were used to construct an updated map. Poor w
    September 25, 2020

    The September 23, 2020, overflight provided aerial photos of Kīlauea's summit that were used to construct an updated map.

    thermal map shows relative surface temperatures across Kīlauea's 2018 lower East Rift Zone lava flow field.
    August 31, 2019

    This preliminary thermal map shows relative surface temperatures across Kīlauea's 2018 lower East Rift Zone lava flow field.

    Thermal map of Kīlauea summit
    August 22, 2019

    This thermal map was constructed from 1008 images collected by a thermal camera during a helicopter overflight on August 22, 2019.

    Thermal map of Kīlauea Caldera
    April 8, 2019

    This thermal map, which was constructed by merging about 1300 images from a morning helicopter overflight on April 8, shows the distribution of some prominent thermal features in Kīlauea's summit caldera. 

    preliminary map of Kīlauea lower East Rift Zone lava flow thicknesses
    February 19, 2019

    Data depicted on this preliminary map of Kīlauea lower East Rift Zone lava flow thicknesses are subject to change.

    Thermal map of fissure system and lava flows.
    August 15, 2018

    This thermal map shows the fissure system and lava flows as of 6 am on Wednesday, August 15.

    Map showing fissure flows
    August 14, 2018

    Map as of 12:00 p.m. HST, August 14, 2018.

    Thermal map of fissure system and lava flows.
    August 11, 2018

    This thermal map shows the fissure system and lava flows as of 6 am on Saturday, August 11.

    Thermal map of fissure system and lava flows.
    August 9, 2018

    This thermal map shows the fissure system and lava flows as of 6 am on Thursday, August 9.

    Map showing fissure flows
    August 9, 2018

    Map as of 2:00 p.m. HST, August 9, 2018.

    Map showing fissure flows
    August 7, 2018

    Map as of 11:00 a.m. HST, August 7, 2018.

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    multicolored map of Ocean Shores, Washington
    April 13, 2017

    The Pedestrian Evacuation Analyst is an ArcGIS extension that estimates how long it would take for someone to travel on foot out of a hazardous area that was threatened by a sudden event such as a tsunami, flash flood, or volcanic lahar. It takes into account the elevation changes and the different types of landcover that a person would encounter along the way.

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    Color photograph of volcanic crater lake
    November 13, 2020

    Lake at Kīlauea's summit

    Dark brown colors dominated the central and western portions of the lake at Kīlauea's summit. The greenish hues were present in areas that appear to be zone of hot water influx into the lake. USGS photo by M. Patrick.

    Color photograph of volcanic crater lake
    November 11, 2020

    Kīlauea's summit lake between rain showers

    A quick visit to the western caldera rim provided brief views of Kīlauea's summit lake between rain showers. The lake colors were particularly vibrant today, with a deep blue-green color in the western end (bottom of photo), with dark brown near the center. USGS photo by M. Patrick.

    Color graphic of geologic map
    October 22, 2020

    Map of Waiʻōhinu area, Island of Hawaiʻi

    Map of Waiʻōhinu area, Island of Hawaiʻi, showing the location of the 3,740 year old age.

    October 22, 2020

    Emerging tech as STEM platforms in problem-based learning (Kīlauea)

    USGS–Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Geophysicist Jefferson Chang talks about technologies that track activity at Hawaiian volcanoes and how crowdsourcing and citizen science can contribute to a greater understanding of hazards, in this presentation to the 2020 SACNAS Advancing Hispanics/Chicanos & Native Americans in Science virtual conference held October 19-24, 2020 (

    Color photograph of yellow native sulfur crystals
    September 30, 2020

    Close-up image of native sulfur crystals

    A close-up image of native sulfur crystals that formed within fumaroles at the Sulphur Banks in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. In addition to sulfur species and other gases, volcanoes emit water vapor. Here, some of the vapor has condensed to liquid water and formed droplets visible on the sulfur crystals. USGS photo by P. Nadeau. 

    Photograph of tubing inserted into a fumarole
    September 30, 2020

    Tubing inserted into a fumarole

    Tubing inserted into a fumarole at the Sulphur Banks in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park allows HVO gas scientists to sample gas. The gas travels through the tube into gas sampling bottles for later analyses. USGS photo by M. Warren.

    Color photographs of volcanic crater lake
    September 23, 2020

    Kīlauea's summit water lake comparison - September 23, 2020

    HVO geologists made observations of Kīlauea's summit water lake from the east rim of Halema‘uma‘u. This view point is on the large downdropped block that subsided during the 2018 collapse events. From this spot, a view of the entire lake is possible, providing a new perspective on the growth of the lake. The last visit to this spot was on December 18, 2019, when the lake

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    Photograph of volcanic crater lake
    September 23, 2020

    Kīlauea's water lake from the east side - September 23, 2020

    This view shows Kīlauea's water lake from the east side of the crater. On September 23, 2020, the western portion of the lake (top of image) was the most varied in color, with patches of greenish and brown water. The majority of the lake surface, however, was the typical tan hue. USGS photo by M. Patrick.

    Photograph of material floating on volcanic crater lake
    September 23, 2020

    Floating material on Kīlauea's summit water lake on September 23, 2020

    Small patches of light-colored floating material were seen drifting on the surface of Kīlauea's summit water lake on September 23, 2020. The composition of this material is unknown, but future water sampling missions may provide insight. USGS photo by M. Patrick.

    Color photograph of road and crater lake
    September 23, 2020

    Kīlauea’s summit water lake and Crater Rim Drive - September 23, 2020

    Portions of Crater Rim Drive, within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, appear cracked, offset, and down-dropped in this photo, taken during an overflight of Kīlauea’s summit on September 23, 2020. To the north, Kīlauea’s summit water lake, within Halema‘uma‘u, is visible. USGS photo by K. Mulliken.

    Photograph of trail and sulfur banks
    September 23, 2020

    Sulphur Banks area and Ha‘akulamanu trail

    Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologists flew over the Sulphur Banks area and Ha‘akulamanu trail within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on September 23, 2020. Fumaroles in the Sulphur Banks area are sampled approximately every three months by Hawaiian Volcano Observatory gas geochemists to track long-term changes in volcanic gas chemistry at Kīlauea. USGS photo by K.

    ...
    Color photograph of steam vents
    September 23, 2020

    Wahinekapu (Steaming Bluff) and the Steam Vents area

    The weather was overcast during an overflight of Kīlauea's summit on September 23, 2020. This view shows Wahinekapu (Steaming Bluff) and the Steam Vents area within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Extensive cracks in the area allow heated groundwater to escape from underground. Cracks reach up to 63 degrees Celsius (145 degrees Fahrenheit), preventing trees from growing.

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    Image: Lava flow
    November 25, 2020

    Recall this lava flow crisis from years ago: lava breaks out of the normal confines of the long-lived Puʻu ʻŌʻō eruption, with flows advancing relentlessly towards residential areas downslope.  Over several months, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and County of Hawai‘i Civil Defense Agency monitor the hazards closely in lower Puna as the situation evolves.   

    Grey-scale digital elevation model showing building outlines
    November 19, 2020

    In volcano-related cartography and geographic analyses, especially in Hawaii, there is perhaps nothing more important than having an accurate digital model of topography. Such models depict the three-dimensional nature of the land, which elucidate features from past eruptions and help us to determine potential pathways of future activity. But how are these models created?

    Color photograph of volcanic crater lake
    November 16, 2020

    No significant changes at Kīlauea's summit water lake

    screenshot of LANDFIRE Remap Existing Vegetation Type over Hawaii
    November 12, 2020

    The fires of Hawaii don’t follow the rules of their continental counterparts. There are fire risk factors at play in the island chain that states like California or Arizona simply don’t deal with.

    Colored, shaded-relief terrain map of Brushy Butte Volcano
    November 12, 2020

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has 5 volcano observatories tasked with monitoring low to high threat volcanoes throughout the United States. 

    image related to volcanoes. See description
    November 6, 2020

    This work, recently published in the scientific journal Nature Communications, discusses the events leading up to Kīlauea's 2018 lower East Rift Zone eruption and summit collapse. The paper details how the 2018 eruption evolved as a sequence of cascading events, allowing minor changes to cause major destruction and historic changes across the volcano. 

    Color photograph of volcanic crater lake
    November 5, 2020

    Famous for glowing red lava and billowing volcanic plumes, Halema‘uma‘u has long inspired poets, painters and photographers to find meaning in the color and light of this dynamic landscape. 

    Animated GIF showing rise of crater lake
    November 4, 2020

    Kīlauea summit water lake changes over the past year

    Map showing earthquake epicenters (blue circles) from a shallow seismic swarm that began on October 23rd, 2020.
    October 29, 2020

    On the evening of Thursday, October 22nd, people living near the summit of Kīlauea Volcano began to feel a series of earthquakes.  They were small, and some could even be mistaken for a strong gust of wind blowing against the house. 

    USGS science for a changing world
    October 23, 2020

    Kīlauea Volcano is not erupting. A small swarm of shallow seismicity over the past 24 hours has occurred near the Ka‘ōiki fault system, northwest of Kīlauea's summit. Other Kīlauea monitoring data streams remain stable and show no signs of increased activity.

    Color photograph of charcoal and overlying lava flow, rock hammer for scale
    October 22, 2020

    One of the fundamental premises of geology is that the "key to understanding the future is to understand the past."  In order to forecast how a volcano will behave, geologists must map the deposits from past eruptions and determine the ages of those deposits. Radiocarbon dating is our principal tool of use.

    Color photograph of two scientists sampling a volcanic fumarole
    October 20, 2020

    Direct gas sampling at Sulphur Banks on September 30, 2020

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