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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1940 was a momentous year for Mauna Loa - and for Thomas A. Jaggar ...
June 11, 2010

1940 was a momentous year for Mauna Loa - and for Thomas A. Jaggar

Lava fountains erupt from a fissure in the southwestern part of Moku`aeoweo, Mauna Loa's summit caldera, on April 11, 1940 (view looking to the south-southeast). Patches of white snow cling to the caldera walls as fluid pahoehoe lava flows spread across

Kīlauea plume: now you see it, now you don't...
June 11, 2010

Kīlauea plume: now you see it, now you don't

Kīlauea volcano's summit eruption plume as viewed from the southeast flank of Mauna Loa on 11/30/2009 (top) and 12/20/2009 (bottom). The eruption plume's visible appearance is a complex function of physical eruptive vent conditions, meteorology and atmosp

June 3, 2010

Active lava pond within Pu`u `Ō `ō crater

movie shows the active lava pond within Pu`u `Ō `ō crater, imaged with a thermal camera. The video is shown at x60 speed, and covers about 25 minutes. Lava is being supplied to the crater from two vents, one visible in the upper right corner of the image and one out of view in the lower left. Crustal foundering events, in which a section of the thin surface crust ruptures

Petrologic Monitoring of Kīlauea Volcano: An update for "Rockhounds...
June 2, 2010

Petrologic Monitoring of Kīlauea: An update for "Rockhounds"

An HVO geologist samples lava from an active lava tube. These samples are analyzed routinely to track changes in lava chemistry.

View of lava lake in Overlook vent, Halema‘uma‘u Crater, Kīlauea Vo...
June 1, 2010

View of lava lake in Overlook vent, Halema‘uma‘u, Kīlauea

This photo shows the view into Overlook vent during a relatively high level of the lava lake in 2010. When the lava was at a high stand like this, the plume became very thin and a view of the lava lake was possible. Typically, the fume was too thick to view the lava surface with the naked eye, and HVO geologists then relied on thermal cameras to image the lava surface.

June 1, 2010

Looking into the Halema`uma`u vent cavity

video from a thermal camera looking into the vent cavity at Halema`uma`u around 3pm today. The video is shown at x4 speed. At the beginning of the clip, the lava level is at a high stand, with slowly migrating crustal plates and little spattering. Eventually, small scale spattering begins in the northeast corner of the pond, accompanied by vigorous degassing. As the

Image: Thermal image of Kilauea viewing area
May 21, 2010

Thermal image of Kilauea viewing area

A closer view of the County viewing area, looking northeast. Again, the thermal image is shown together with a normal photograph. Recently emplaced flows, from the past several weeks, are light red (center of image). The currently active breakouts, just 250 yards northwest of the road, show up as white and yellow.

Image: Composite image of Kilauea viewing area
May 21, 2010

Composite image of Kilauea viewing area

This composite image overlays a thermal image on a normal photograph, and shows the flow field in the vicinity of the County viewing area, at the end of the Kalapana access road. Recent flows, from the past few weeks, show up as light red, whereas the currently active breakouts are yellow and white. One active finger of lava was just 250 yards northwest of the viewing area

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Image: Aerial coastline of Kilauea
May 21, 2010

Aerial coastline of Kilauea

An aerial photograph looking west along the coastline of the current flow field. The Ki entry continues to produce a small plume, which is distributed along the newly formed delta. The color change in the ocean near the entry is due to the wave erosion of material from the delta and the lava itself.

Image: Flows Moving Through Kilauea Viewing Area
May 7, 2010

Flows Moving Through Kilauea Viewing Area

A closer view of the recent flows working their way down the road and through the trees. The viewing area has been moved back once again due to its proximity to the lava flows and potential fire hazards.

Image: Aerial Photo of Kilauea Lava Flow
April 28, 2010

Aerial Photo of Kilauea Lava Flow

Distant view looking north at the active flow as it crossing the coastal plain and approaches the ocean. Houses in the Kalapana Gardens subdivision are visible to the right. The lava tube feeding lava to the flow front is delineated by the points of fume at upper left.

Image: Aerial Photo of Kilauea Lava Flow
April 28, 2010

Aerial Photo of Kilauea Lava Flow

View looking back to the north at the terminus of the active flow as it approaches the forested kipuka at the center of the photo. Hwy 130 is at upper right. The old ocean entry viewing area, open from 2008 to early 2010, is visible near the bottom of the photo just to the right of center. The flows area expected to burn through the kipuka and reach the ocean very close to

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USGS
March 6, 2003

The summit of Kīlauea has been quiet for more than 20 years. Pu`u `O`o and Kupaianaha have hogged the limelight since January 3, 1983. Two eruptions took place in the caldera in 1982, however, and one was a bit unusual.

USGS
February 27, 2003

One morning, you're awakened by a violent shaking of your bed; you hear the glass jalousies rattle, and the dog barks hysterically. In the seconds it takes to put your wits together, the sensation is over, and all is calm again.

Ground-level view of lava oozing from under crust
February 25, 2003

Lava toes 175 m above Chain of Craters Road

Slowing breakout moving from under its own crust
February 23, 2003

Two views of breakout above Chain of Craters Road

USGS
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.