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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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.

Explosion from Halemaumau at Kīlauea Volcano as viewed from Uēkahun...
May 18, 1924

Explosion from Halemaumau at Kīlauea May 18, 1924.

This was probably the strongest explosion of the eruption. Rocks and debris fell among spectators southeast of Halemaumau, causing one fatality. A torrential downpour and an electrical storm followed.

Spectators flee explosion from Halemaumau at Kīlauea Volcano, 1114 ...
May 18, 1924

Spectators flee explosion from Halemaumau at Kīlauea, May 18, 1925

Acting HVO director Ruy Finch snapped this photograph of spectators running away as large blocks were tossed about 600 meters (2000 feet) onto an airplane landing field. Lorrin A. Thurston provided this description: "About three minutes later with a sudden dull roar a column of inky black eruption cloud shot upward from the pit and great masses of gray ash rolled out from

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Park superintendent Thomas Boles after a narrow escape at Kīlauea V...
May 14, 1924

Park superintendent Thomas Boles after a narrow escape at Kīlauea, ...

Boles poses on the grounds of the Volcano House hotel with the Halemaumau eruption plume in the background. He fell cutting his hands and a knee while fleeing an explosion the day before. After his close call the superintendent barred all public access within two miles of Halemaumau.

Explosion at Halemaumau as seen from Uēkahuna Bluff, at Kīlauea Vol...
May 13, 1924

Explosion at Halema‘uma‘u as seen from Uēkahuna Bluff, at Kīlauea, ...

Eight persons, including newspaper and movie men observing the scene at Halema‘uma‘u, were caught in a rain of hot rocks from this explosion. The rocks emitted hissing sounds as hot gas, mainly steam, escaped from them. Park superintendent Thomas Boles was knocked down twice by this bombardment.

Observer examines boulder ejected from Halemaumau, at Kīlauea Volca...
May 11, 1924

Boulder ejected from Halemaumau, at Kīlauea, May 11, 1925

On May 11, Ruy Finch and W.O. Clark visited Halemaumau and found a rock fragment weighing about 180 kg (400 pounds) that had been thrown 60 meters (200 feet) from the rim of the crater.

One of the first explosion clouds from Halemaumau, at Kīlauea Volca...
May 10, 1924

First explosion clouds from Halemaumau, Kīlauea 1925

Later scientists at the Observatory listed May 10 as the first day of the eruptive series. Between this date and May 27, they carefully recorded all explosions, ballistic falls, electric storms, and muddy rains as well as earthquakes felt and recorded on seismographs.

Scientists looking into the bright glow of Mauna Loa's 1942 eruptiv...
April 28, 1924

Scientists looking into bright glow of Mauna Loa's 1942 eruptive ve...

Scientists looking into the bright glow of Mauna Loa's 1942 eruptive vent. Eruption occurred during WWII and was not publicized to prevent Japanese war planes from navigating to the island at night.

Black and white photographs of lava lakes in crater
December 11, 1919

Halemaʻumaʻu lava lake on December 11, 1919

Panorama photos taken of Halemaʻumaʻu lava lake on December 11, 1919, showing the outer ring-shaped lake, the ring-shaped island of tilted crusts along the inner edge, and the central lava lake at Kīlauea's summit. USGS photos by T.A. Jaggar. 

View from MT cam

[MTcam] Mokuʻāweoweo Caldera Thermal from the Northwest Rim

This image is from a temporary thermal camera located on the north rim of Mauna Loa's summit caldera. The temperature scale is in degrees Celsius up to a maximum of 500 degrees (932 degrees Fahrenheit) for this camera model, and scales automatically based on the maximum and minimum temperatures on the caldera floor and not the whole frame, which sometimes results in the

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Profile of Mauna Kea showing inferred contact (dot-dashed line) bet...

Profile of Mauna Kea showing inferred contact (dot-dashed line) bet...

Profile of Mauna Kea showing inferred contact (dot-dashed line) between postshield-stage Hamakua Volcanics and underlying shield-stage lavas. Approximate contact with Laupahoehoe Volcanics dashed.

[M1cam] Mauna Loa's Northeast Rift Zone from HVO Observation Tower

This image is from a research camera positioned in the observation tower at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. The camera looks northwest toward the summit and Northeast Rift Zone of Mauna Loa.

Disclaimer

The webcams are operational 24/7 and faithfully record the dark of night if there are no sources of incandescence or other lights. Thermal

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USGS
October 31, 1997

Dr. Mark Schaefer, Interim Director of the USGS and Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science, will meet and address USGS personnel on Tuesday, November 4 at 4:00 p.m. in the Ohia Room of KMC.

USGS
October 24, 1997

Recently, fall "vog season" returned to east Hawai`i, ushered in with phone calls to the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO). Residents from Hamakua to Volcano have called us with concerns about what has been some of the worst regional air quality of the year.
 

USGS
October 21, 1997

Pu`u `O`o lava overflows the cone repeatedly

USGS
October 17, 1997

A volcano is a complex system. During periods of sustained eruption, such as the present time, Kīlauea Volcano undergoes little internal change.

USGS
October 10, 1997

The eruption of Kīlauea Volcano has settled into a stable vent site, extrusive rate, and route to the sea. This statement would have been unimaginable in the early days of episode 55.
 

USGS
October 2, 1997

Lava flows are the biggest volcanic hazard in east Puna. In the past two centuries, four eruptions from Kīlauea's east rift zone have produced widespread lava flows: in 1790 (more than 45 km2 [16 mi2]), 1840 (22 km2 [7.9 mi2]), 1955 (17 km2 [6.1 mi2]), and 1960 (11.5 km2 [4.1 mi2]).

USGS
September 19, 1997

The Director of the U.S. Geological Survey, Gordon Eaton, announced his retirement last week at the agency's National Center in Reston, VA. Dr. Eaton was appointed to the post by President Clinton in 1994. When he retires on October 1 of this year, Dr. Eaton will have completed over 17 years of public service under the USGS banner.
 

Lava entering sea...
September 12, 1997

The billowing steam plumes rising from where lava enters the ocean are an indication that Kīlauea's eruption may be returning to normal, after several months of unsettled behavior. 

USGS
September 5, 1997

"A curtain of fire extended far down the rift zone. Fire fountains played to great heights. Burning embers fell to the ground. Smoke drifted downwind from the fountains of fire. Rivers of fire flowed downslope."
 

USGS
August 29, 1997

For over a decade, we have watched lava flows from Kīlauea overrun nearly 40 square miles of land, destroying precious forests, communities, and sacred ground. At other times, major earthquakes have generated damage over considerable parts of the island of Hawaii and, in the cases of the 1871 and 1938 earthquakes, even other islands.