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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Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō and Episode 61 flow field: November 21, 2011...
November 21, 2011

Map showing Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō and the extent of nearby lava flows.

Kīlauea East Rift Zone Eruption Map: November 10, 2011...
November 10, 2011

Map showing the extent of lava flows erupted during Kīlauea's ongoing east rift zone eruption and labeled with the years in which they were active.

Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō and Episode 61 flow field: November 10, 2011...
November 10, 2011

Map showing Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō and the extent of nearby lava flows.

Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō and Episode 61 flow field: November 3, 2011...
November 3, 2011

Map showing Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō and the extent of nearby lava flows.

Kīlauea East Rift Zone Eruption Map: November 3, 2011...
November 3, 2011

Lava flows erupted during Kīlauea's ongoing east rift zone eruption and labeled with the years in which they were active.

Kīlauea East Rift Zone Eruption Map: October 25, 2011...
October 25, 2011

Map showing the extent of lava flows erupted during Kīlauea's ongoing east rift zone eruption and labeled with the years in which they were active.

Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō: October 25, 2011...
October 25, 2011

Map showing Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō and the extent of nearby lava flows.

Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō...
September 22, 2011

Map showing the current configuration of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō.

Kīlauea East Rift Zone Eruption Map...
September 22, 2011

Map showing the extent of lava flows erupted during Kīlauea's ongoing east rift zone eruption.

Kamoamoa Eruption...
March 9, 2011

Map showing the extent of the active flows of the Kamoamoa eruption, which started on March 5, 2011.

Image: July 2007 Eruption--Quarry flow near-view map: July 27, 2010
February 4, 2011

Map showing a close-up view of flow field expansion over the past few days.

July 2007 Eruption—Flow Field Map...
February 4, 2011

Map showing the extent of the "July 2007 eruption", or Episode 58, flow field relative to surrounding communities.

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geophysicist deploys campaign GPS sites on the Kīlauea caldera floor
December 21, 2020

Geophysicist deploys campaign GPS sites on the Kīlauea caldera floor

A Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geophysicist deploys campaign GPS sites on the Kīlauea caldera floor in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park to measure changes in ground motion. The gas plume from the summit eruption within Halema‘uma‘u crater is visible in the background. USGS photo taken by A. Ellis on December 21.

Color photograph of scientists making measurements
December 21, 2020

Scientists use a FTIR spectrometer

On the morning of Dec. 21, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory gas scientists use a FTIR spectrometer on the rim of Halema‘uma‘u crater. The FTIR measures the composition of the gases being emitted during Kīlauea Volcano's ongoing summit eruption by measuring how the plume absorbs infrared energy. The plume being generated by the ongoing eruption is sulfur-dioxide (SO2) rich, but

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December 21, 2020

Lava Returns to Halema'uma'u: Timelapse Captures, December 20-21, 2020

Lava Returns to Halema'uma'u, as captured in this timelapse from the K2cam, located at the HVO Observation Tower (Kīlauea Volcano). Timelapse is from December 20, 2020, 5:50 a.m. to December 21, 2020, 11:57 p.m. The K2cam is a research camera mounted in the observation tower at the previous Hawaiian Volcano Observatory building on the rim of Kīlauea caldera within Hawai'i

Map of lava lake depth
December 21, 2020

December 21, 2020—Kīlauea summit eruption lava lake depth map

Aerial visual imagery collected during an overflight of Kīlauea Volcano's summit just after 11 a.m. HST on December 21, 2020, was used to create a preliminary topographic model. When compared to pre-eruption topographic models, it shows that the bottom of Halema'uma'u crater has been filled by over 100 m (yd) of lava. Map by B. Carr.

Color photograph of eruption and plume
December 21, 2020

Kīlauea summit eruption and plume on Dec. 21, 2020

Photo shows volcanic gases from the current eruption at Kīlauea’s summit being transported southwest into the closed area (left side of photo). This photo also shows the cracks, cliffs, and uneven ground surfaces present in the closed area of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. USGS photo by K. Mulliken on 12/21/2020. 

Animation showing bright orange lava erupting at night and flowing into a pool of lava.
December 21, 2020

Lava Erupting at Kīlauea (Dec 2020)

This animation shows lava erupting from Kīlauea Volcano on Dec 20, 2020. 

Aerial view of the Kīlauea summit eruption showing active fissures and flowing lava.
December 21, 2020

Aerial view of the Kīlauea summit eruption

Aerial view of the Kīlauea summit eruption from a Hawaiian Volcano Observatory overflight at approximately 11:20 a.m. HST. The two active fissure locations continue to feed lava into the growing lava lake in Halema‘uma‘u crater, with the northern fissure (pictured right) remaining dominant.

December 21, 2020

Fissure Vents Feed New Lava Lake at Halema'uma'u, Kīlauea (Dec 2020)

Lava returns to Halema'uma'u, at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano. During a helicopter overflight on December 21, 2020, at approximately 11:30 AM HST, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists observed the northern fissure and lava cascade (right) supplying the majority of the lava into the lake, while the western (left) fissure was feeding several small channels that were

Close-up of tephra sample from Kilauea eruption 12/21/20
December 21, 2020

Close-up of tephra sample from Kilauea eruption 12/21/20

A close-up photo of a tephra sample taken from one of the sample collection buckets. These small fragments of volcanic glass include Pele’s Hair and Pele’s tears—formed during lava fountaining—which are light weight and can be wafted downwind with the plume. 

Geologist labels tephra samples Kilauea eruption 12/21/20
December 21, 2020

Geologist labels tephra samples Kilauea eruption 12/21/20

HVO geologist retrieves and labels tephra samples from collection buckets placed downwind of Halema‘uma‘u crater after the onset of the Kīlauea summit eruption. These samples are collected for petrological analysis to gain further insight into the eruption dynamics.

Thick gas plume and fresh tire tracks in Kilauea tephra 12/21/20
December 21, 2020

Thick gas plume and fresh tire tracks in Kilauea tephra 12/21/20

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory field crews captured this photo of the thick gas plume, produced by the Kīlauea summit eruption, obscuring the intensity of the sun. Crater Rim Drive (a closed region of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park) is covered in a layer of tephra—volcanic glass—which has been transported by trade winds in the eruption plume, blanketing the pavement below.

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Color photograph of lava lake
December 21, 2020

KW webcam image taken on December 21, 2020, just after 6:30 a.m. HST.

Kīlauea summit KW webam image taken on December 21, 2020, just after 6:30 a.m. HST. The water lake, present until the evening of December 20, 2020, has been replaced by a lava lake; fissures in the wall of Halemaʻumaʻu feed a lava lake that continues to fill the crater. You can view live KW webcam images 

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the sun is illuminating the volcanic gas plume from behind
June 17, 2018

When volcanic gases are released into the atmosphere, resulting plumes sometimes appear to have a faint color. Is this color indicative of a certain gas present? Answering this question requires describing what makes a plume visible in the first place.

Close-up photograph of stem, leaves and flower buds of haha plant
June 8, 2018

Caly isn't likely to wonder off off, but with a remote camera and monitoring station online 24-hours a day, USGS and partners at the State of Hawai‘i Division of Forestry and Wildlife, University of Hawai‘i, and the USFWS can learn how an extremely rare plant is responding to changes in environmental conditions.

low magnification photo shows ash particles
June 7, 2018

Small explosions that produce ashfall from Kīlauea Volcano's summit are not new. However, the mechanism, vigor, plume heights, and extent of ash fallout from the current explosive activity within Halema‘uma‘u are.

Halema‘uma‘u at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano captured from an Unmanned Aircraft Systems
June 1, 2018

With the current activity at the volcano's lower East Rift Zone and summit, it's an understatement to say that Kīlauea has been making worldwide headlines the past month.

USGS
May 29, 2018

Deflation at Kīlauea's summit has caused up to 1.5 meters (about 5 feet) of subsidence, which has stressed the faults around and within Kīlauea Caldera. 

pockets of natural gas from the burning plant material can ignite
May 24, 2018

Numerous hazards are associated with active lava flows, and USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists have written about many of them in past Volcano Watch articles. However, it's been a while since one particular hazard—so-called "methane explosions"—has been addressed.

USGS
May 24, 2018

An explanation of magma movement from Kīlauea's summit through the volcano's East Rift Zone and to the eruption site(s) in lower Puna.

Image: Monitoring Gas Emissions from Kilauea Volcano
May 17, 2018

With ash eruptions occurring from Kilauea’s summit this week, there is a threat of an even larger steam-driven violent explosion. Such an eruption could happen suddenly and send volcanic ash 20,000 feet into the air, threatening communities for miles.

overall vigor of fissure appeared to have dropped from the previous two days
May 17, 2018

False rumors about the ongoing volcanic activity at the summit and lower East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano are causing unnecessary anxiety and confusion. We encourage everyone to check the source of any information you read or hear to be sure that it's factual, accurate, and timely.

USGS
May 14, 2018

Addresses speculative stories, rumors and blogs about the stability of the south flank of Kīlauea and the potential for a catastrophic collapse that could generate a Pacific-wide tsunami.

distribution of ballistics and tephra from the 1924 phreatic explosions
May 11, 2018

Last week's Volcano Watch focused on the East Rift Zone eruption, which continues to impact the lower Puna District on the Island of Hawai‘i. Changes in the eruption are occurring daily, if not hourly, so by the time you read this article, the situation will likely have changed. Nevertheless, here's the status of the eruption as of Friday, May 11 (when this was written):

Screencapture of the International Volcanic Health Hazard Network V...
May 11, 2018

The International Volcanic Health Hazard Network (IVHHN) has a new resource for the current eruptive activity and associated hazards at Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone and summit. Find it at https://vog.ivhhn.org