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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Fissure of lava fountains erupting from Mauna Loa's upper southwest...
June 2, 1950

Fissure of lava fountains erupting from Mauna Loa's upper SW rift z...

Fissure of lava fountains erupting from Mauna Loa's upper southwest rift zone, June 2, 1950. Plumes of volcanic gas rise high into the air. Aerial photograph taken by the Air National Guard.

A fast-moving ‘s‘ā flow erupted from Mauna Loa in 1950 as it advanc...
June 2, 1950

A fast-moving ‘A‘ā flow erupted from Mauna Loa in 1950 as it advanc...

Aerial photograph shows the Ka‘apuna lava flow erupted from Mauna Loa in 1950 as it advanced through the forest at about 3,000 feet elevation on the morning of June 2. This rapidly moving ‘a‘ā lava flow traveled from the Southwest Rift Zone vent to the ocean in about 17 hours. Earlier flows from this same eruption reached the ocean in as little as three hours.

Aerial photograph of the 1942 Mauna Loa lava flow spreading downslo...
April 28, 1942

Aerial photograph of the 1942 Mauna Loa lava flow spreading downslo...

Aerial photograph of the 1942 Mauna Loa lava flow spreading downslope toward Hilo; smoke from burning trees in center of flow. Scattered cinder cones at the summit of Mauna Kea, top of photograph.

Aerial view by the Naval Air Service of the 1933 Mauna Loa eruption...
November 22, 1935

Aerial view by the Naval Air Service of the 1933 Mauna Loa eruption...

Aerial view by the Naval Air Service of the 1933 Mauna Loa eruption from a fissure across the rim and floor of Moku‘āweoweo Crater.

video thumbnail: Mauna Loa Volcano Hawaii -- 1930s Eruption (Part 1 of 5)
December 31, 1929

Mauna Loa Volcano Hawaii -- 1930s Eruption (Part 1 of 5)

Part 1 of 5

Remarkable silent film, 16mm Kodachrome movie film. Probably the first color film ever made of a volcanic eruption. Mokuaweoweo Crater eruption filmed probably in late 1935 by Harold T. Stearns, a USGS Hydrologist-Volcanologist. The lava fountains are hundreds of feet high, the erupting fissure inside the crater is about two thousand feet long. The

video thumbnail: Mauna Loa Volcano Hawaii -- 1930s Eruption (Part 2 of 5)
December 31, 1929

Mauna Loa Volcano Hawaii -- 1930s Eruption (Part 2 of 5)

Part 2 of 5

Remarkable silent film, 16mm Kodachrome movie film. Probably the first color film ever made of a volcanic eruption. Mokuaweoweo Crater eruption filmed probably in late 1935 by Harold T. Stearns, a USGS Hydrologist-Volcanologist. The lava fountains are hundreds of feet high, the erupting fissure inside the crater is about two thousand feet long. The

video thumbnail: Mauna Loa Volcano Hawaii -- 1930s Eruption (Part 3 of 5)
December 31, 1929

Mauna Loa Volcano Hawaii -- 1930s Eruption (Part 3 of 5)

Part 3 of 5

Remarkable silent film, 16mm Kodachrome movie film. Probably the first color film ever made of a volcanic eruption. Mokuaweoweo Crater eruption filmed probably in late 1935 by Harold T. Stearns, a USGS Hydrologist-Volcanologist. The lava fountains are hundreds of feet high, the erupting fissure inside the crater is about two thousand feet long. The

video thumbnail: Mauna Loa Volcano Hawaii -- 1930s Eruption (Part 4 of 5)
December 31, 1929

Mauna Loa Volcano Hawaii -- 1930s Eruption (Part 4 of 5)

Part 4 of 5

Remarkable silent film, 16mm Kodachrome movie film. Probably the first color film ever made of a volcanic eruption. Mokuaweoweo Crater eruption filmed probably in late 1935 by Harold T. Stearns, a USGS Hydrologist-Volcanologist. The lava fountains are hundreds of feet high, the erupting fissure inside the crater is about two thousand feet long. The

video thumbnail: Mauna Loa Volcano Hawaii -- 1930s Eruption (Part 5 of 5)
December 31, 1929

Mauna Loa Volcano Hawaii -- 1930s Eruption (Part 5 of 5)

Part 5 of 5

Remarkable silent film, 16mm Kodachrome movie film. Probably the first color film ever made of a volcanic eruption. Mokuaweoweo Crater eruption filmed probably in late 1935 by Harold T. Stearns, a USGS Hydrologist-Volcanologist. The lava fountains are hundreds of feet high, the erupting fissure inside the crater is about two thousand feet long. The

Ejected tephra from Halemaumau at Kīlauea Volcano, May 31, 1924...
May 31, 1924

Ejected tephra from Halemaumau at Kīlauea, May 31, 1925

This scene west of Halemaumau looks toward the rim of the caldera, southwest of Uēkahuna Bluff. New ballistic blocks and ash from the 1924 eruption coat the floor of the caldera.

Airplane landing field at Kīlauea Volcano strewn with blocks from s...
May 22, 1924

Airplane landing field at Kīlauea strewn with blocks from several e...

Prior to the eruption of 1924, this area was swept clean and used as a landing field for airplanes. This view looking toward the north rim of Halemaumau shows the air field littered with ballistic blocks from explosions in the 1924 eruption.

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USGS
July 10, 1998

Eruption Continues and New Land Frequently Collapses

USGS
July 9, 1998

When lava enters the sea, it begins a struggle to build new land. We name these entries for nearby geographic features—Lae`apuki, Kamoamoa, Kamokuna, Waha`ula, to list a few. For a brief time they become places memorable to anyone who visits and watches the spectacle of incandescent lava, immense steam plumes, and spattering explosions. That's how entries begin, but how do they end?
 

USGS
July 2, 1998

It has been more than 18 years since Mount St. Helens had its powerful eruption, almost 12 years since its latest quiet dome-building eruption, and 8 years since its latest small explosions. But this length of time is just a wink of the eye to a volcano. 

USGS
June 25, 1998

Discussions of volcanic air pollution from Kīlauea frequently start out with a conversation about the large amount of sulfur dioxide gas (SO2) that bubbles out of the volcano and is converted in air to the tiny acidic sulfate particles that form vog (volcanic smog). 

USGS
June 18, 1998

This week marks the ninth anniversary since the last large (greater than 6 magnitude) earthquake on the island of Hawaii. At 5:27 p.m. on Saturday, June 25, 1989, a magnitude 6.1 earthquake shook the Hawaiian Islands. The epicenter of the earthquake was 11 km (6.6 mi) west of Kalapana at a depth of 9 km (5.4 mi).
 

USGS
June 11, 1998

Four of us HVO lava junkies had the rare opportunity to witness a partial bench collapse on Monday evening, June 8. The collapse began at 7:40 p.m. when a slab of incandescent lava fell outward from the bench edge into the ocean. The hot rock was fragmented by steam explosions as it hit the sea water, and the steam cloud became abruptly darker as the rock fragments were blasted upward.
 

USGS
June 4, 1998

Billowing clouds of steam rising from two discrete locations along the Kamokuna-Waha`ula coastline are often the only reminders we have of Kīlauea Volcano's near-constant effusion of lava into the sea.

USGS
May 28, 1998

The gravitational attraction of the Sun and the Moon produce the familiar ocean tides and the less familiar earth tides. Why are volcanologists interested in earth tides? Earth tides are cyclical, small, and slow ground movements that we use to calibrate and test sensitive volcano deformation- monitoring instruments. They might also trigger volcanic events.
 

USGS
May 21, 1998

Precisely 74 years ago today, the final chapter of one of Kīlauea's most alarming displays of volcanic power came to a close. Halema`uma`u, the fire pit nestled in Kīlauea's summit caldera, ended a 10-day-long outburst of violent steam explosions on May 24, 1924.
 

USGS
May 14, 1998

The story is told of how Maui snared the sun, holding it hostage atop Haleakalā until he slowed its passage across the sky. One result of this slow burn is a barren, rocky landscape devoid of soil or vegetation. Geologically speaking, the devastation resulted as numerous cinder cones and fissures erupted lava that flowed across the crater floor. How young are these flows?

USGS
May 7, 1998

The announcement last week that astronomers at Keck Observatory had looked back 12.3 billion years in time was astounding. When you think about it, though, it is pretty amazing that we can determine the age of any natural event that took place before written records, whether it be 12.3 billion years or a few hundred. How is this done?
 

USGS
April 30, 1998

As April draws to a close, so ends Tsunami Awareness Month in the State of Hawai`i. Tsunami Awareness Month featured programs and events coordinated among a number of government and private-sector organizations in order to increase awareness and understanding of the hazards posed by tsunamis.