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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Map showing fissure flows
May 25, 2018

Map as of 2:00 p.m. HST, May 25. 

Thermal map of fissure system and lava flows
May 24, 2018

This thermal map shows the fissure system and lava flows as of 12:15 pm on Thursday, May 24. 

Kīlauea Lower East Rift Zone Fissures and Flows, May 24 at 2:20 p.m...
May 24, 2018

Locations of fissures and an ‘a‘ā flow

Kīlauea Lower East Rift Zone Fissures and Flows, May 23 at 12:00 p....
May 23, 2018

Locations of fissures and an ‘a‘ā flow

Kīlauea Lower East Rift Zone Fissures and Flows, May 22 at 11:00 a....
May 22, 2018

Locations of fissures and an ‘a‘ā flow

Thermal map of fissure system and lava flows...
May 22, 2018

Thermal map shows the fissure system and lava flows. The primary lava flow originates from Fissure 22, but a new flow has been active over the past day from the Fissure 6 area.

Animated GIF of enlarging summit event
May 21, 2018

Series shows changes to the caldera area of Kīlauea Volcano

Thermal map of fissure system and lava flows...
May 21, 2018

Thermal map shows the fissure system and lava flows. The primary lava flows originate from the Fissure 20-22 area.

Kīlauea Lower East Rift Zone Fissures and Flows, May 21 at 8:00 a.m...
May 21, 2018

Locations of fissures and an ‘a‘ā flow

Kīlauea Lower East Rift Zone Fissures and Flows, May 20 at 11:00 a....
May 20, 2018

Locations of fissures and an ‘a‘ā flow

Thermal map of fissure system and lava flows...
May 19, 2018

Thermal map shows the fissure system and lava flows. The two primary lava flows originate from the Fissure 20-22 area.

Kīlauea Lower East Rift Zone Fissures and Flows, May 19 at 10:00 a....
May 19, 2018

Locations of fissures and an ‘a‘ā flow

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Color photograph of lava lake and rainbow
February 26, 2021

February 26, 2021 — Kīlauea

Heavy rains at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano (Hawaii) cleared on the afternoon of Friday, February 26, 2021, to show the steaming surface of the lava lake at Halema‘uma‘u viewed from the west. A rainbow arches over the lake looking east across the crater toward Kīlauea Iki. This photo was taken within an area of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park that remains closed to the

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color photograph of lava flow
February 24, 2021

Close-up view of active lava flow Halema‘uma‘u, February 24, 2021

In the morning of Tuesday, February 23, a new source of spatter appeared on flank of the active western fissure within Halema‘uma‘u at the summit of Kīlauea. It started to feed a short lava flow down the spatter cone and onto the crusted northwest margin of the lava lake. A field crew on Wednesday observed the flow to be active, and captured this photo through the lens of

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Color photograph of lava lake
February 24, 2021

View of Halema‘uma‘u lava lake from the west, February 24, 2021

On Wednesday, February 24, HVO scientists observed the Kīlauea summit eruption in Halema‘uma‘u from the west rim of the crater. In this photo, the active western fissure is marked by an incandescent skylight on the near side of the lava lake. A plume of sulfur dioxide and other volcanic gases rises constantly from the fissure as it effuses lava into the lake, which

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Color photograph of lava flow
February 24, 2021

Eruption in Halema‘uma‘u crater - February 24, 2021

A telephoto image of the small lava flow from the western fissure within Halema‘uma‘u, at the summit of Kīlauea. Occasional incandescence was visible (center) from the weakly active flow on the northwestern lava lake levee. A portion of the active lava lake is visible in the lower-right. This photo was taken within an area of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park that remains

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Color photograph of lava lake
February 23, 2021

View of active portion of lava lake in Halema‘uma‘u - Kīlauea, Feb. 23

The lava lake in Halema‘uma‘u crater, at the summit of Kīlauea, remains active. Active surface lava remains limited to the western portion of the lake, shown here as seen from the south rim of the crater and looking towards the northwest. The western fissure cone is in the center of the photo. The top of the main cone is obscured by volcanic gases, and a small glow area is

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Color photograph of volcanic vent and lava lake
February 22, 2021

February 22, 2021 — Kīlauea

This photo shows a view of the western fissure, feeding the lava lake in Halema‘uma‘u at the summit of Kīlauea. The inlet zone, where lava is entering the lake, is visible at the bottom of the photo. Near the center of the photo, an area of lava driblets can be seen running down the flank of the western fissure's cone. USGS photo by M. Patrick.

Color photograph of island in  lava lake
February 22, 2021

February 22, 2021 — Kīlauea

This photo shows the main island, just west of the lake center, in Halema‘uma‘u lava lake at the summit of Kīlauea. The recent drop in lake level, associated with ongoing summit deflation, is shown by the raised edge around much of the perimeter of the island. USGS photo by M. Patrick.

Color photograph of crater, lava lake, and rainbow
February 22, 2021

February 22, 2021 — Kīlauea

A pot of lava at the end of the rainbow? A rainbow formed over Halema‘uma‘u crater following an afternoon rain shower on February 22. Rainbows are often observed over Halema‘uma‘u, as mist and rain move across the caldera. This photo was taken from within an area of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park that remains closed to the public for safety reasons. HVO scientists

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Color photograph of volcanic vent,  lava lake, and islands
February 22, 2021

February 22, 2021 — Kīlauea

The lava lake in Halema‘uma‘u crater, at the summit of Kīlauea, remains active. Active surface lava remains limited to the western portion of the lake, shown here. Ongoing summit deflation has been associated with a slight drop in the lake level, now a few meters below the rim of the levee. The western fissure cone is in the upper left corner of the photo, and inlet where

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February 22, 2021

February 22, 2021 — Kīlauea

An HVO geologist uses a sketch in their fieldbook to note the location of laser rangefinder measurements of the lava lake in Halema‘uma‘u crater, at the summit of Kīlauea. Using the laser rangefinder, HVO geologists can derive the elevation of various spots on the lava lake surface, and are able to track how the elevation of features within the lava lake change over time.

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HVO geologists use a laser rangefinder to measure the distance to the Halema‘uma‘u lava lake
February 19, 2021

Halema‘uma‘u lava lake observations, Kīlauea summit February 19

HVO geologists use a laser rangefinder to measure the distance to the Halema‘uma‘u lava lake, and other eruptive features, at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano. These lava lake measurements are used to help calculate the depth, volume, and how it has evolved throughout the eruption. The stagnant eastern portion of the lava lake is visible in the lower-left. USGS photo taken by

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The lava lake within Halema‘uma‘u crater, at the summit of Kīlauea, remains active.
February 17, 2021

Views of Kīlauea's summit lava lake on February 17

The lava lake within Halema‘uma‘u crater, at the summit of Kīlauea, remains active. The active lava was retained by a levee several meters (yards) high along the west margin. The levee is formed from numerous small rafted crustal plates that have stacked upon one another, and likely fused together. USGS photo taken by M. Patrick on February 17, 2021.

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USGS science for a changing world
December 4, 2020

Magnitude-4.1 earthquake on Mauna Loa’s northwest flank, Island of Hawai‘i

The U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) recorded a magnitude-4.1 earthquake located beneath Mauna Loa's northwest flank on Friday, December 4, at 7:44 a.m., HST. 

Color photograph of volcanic crater lake
December 3, 2020

Timelapse showing surface motion of Kīlauea's summit water lake and small rockfalls at Kīlauea summit

USGS science for a changing world
December 3, 2020

Kīlauea Volcano is not erupting. Earthquake activity increased below Kīlauea summit between November 29–December 3, 2020. Kīlauea summit ground deformation rates accompanying the earthquake activity had a brief excursion from trends observed in the past several months; other monitoring data streams remained stable.

Color photograph of tephra
December 3, 2020

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to travel from the depths of Kīlauea and be hurled into the air as a tiny grain of volcanic ash? How high would you go and how far would you fly? Let’s take a look at the theory of airborne rocks to find out!

Color photograph of moon over rift zone
December 2, 2020

Moon over Mauna Loa's Northeast Rift Zone

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.