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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Tracking the latest moves of Kīlauea and Mauna Loa...
January 1, 2018

Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) images of Kīlauea (left) and Mauna Loa (right) spanning the past several years.

Lava Inundation Zones Identified for Mauna Loa...
January 1, 2018

Inundation zones shown on map sheets as numbered colored boxes.

Map of Flow Field...
December 13, 2017

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow field. 

Thermal map of flow field...
December 12, 2017

Thermal map over the Episode 61g lava flow. 

Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō Crater annotated map...
November 29, 2017

This map shows Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō Crater on Kīlauea Volcano's East Rift Zone on November 22, with labels of the crater's main features.

Thermal map of flow field...
November 22, 2017

Thermal map over the Episode 61g lava flow.

Map of flow field...
November 22, 2017

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow field.

Map of flow field...
November 1, 2017

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow field.

Thermal map of flow field...
October 12, 2017

Thermal map over the Episode 61g lava flow.

Map of flow field...
October 12, 2017

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow field. 

Thermal map of flow field...
September 21, 2017

Thermal map over the Episode 61g lava flow. 

Map of flow field...
September 21, 2017

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow field.

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Color photograph of lava lake
January 6, 2021

KW webcam image taken January 6, 2021, just after 6:30 a.m. HST.

Kīlauea summit KW webam image taken on January 6, 2021, just after 6:30 a.m. HST. The eruption in Halemaʻumaʻu continues and this photo shows that activity remains focused at the west vent as of Jan. 6 morning. You can view live KW webcam images here. USGS

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Color map of lava lake temperature
January 6, 2021

January 5, 2021—Kīlauea summit eruption thermal map

A helicopter overflight on January 5, 2021, at approximately 8:30 a.m. HST allowed for aerial visual and thermal imagery to be collected of the eruption within Halema'uma'u crater at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano. The dimensions of the lava lake are 760 m (831 yd) E-W axis and 470 m (514 yd) in N-S axis. The most recent estimate of lake area is about 28 hectares (69 acres

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Color photograph of rainbow and lava lake
January 6, 2021

Double rainbow extending over the lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu crater

View to the northwest from the south rim of Halemaʻumaʻu crater showing the lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu at Kīlauea Volcano's summit. The active western fissure is visible above the lake, producing minor spatter and a gas plume from vents at the top. This vent is also sending lava into the lake from a lava tube opening at the lake surface, and producing a small dome fountain

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January 5, 2021

Kīlauea — Halema‘uma‘u West Vent Activity (Jan 5, 2021)

The activity at the Halema‘uma‘u west vent area on January 5, 2021, was dynamic. In the foreground, a “dome fountain” upwells from beneath the lake surface, pulsing with a bubble-like geometry. Just behind it, an effusive lava flow emerges from the base of the vent structure. A mid-elevation vent is also active, emitting another effusive lava flow. Finally, the higher

Color map of topography
January 5, 2021

January 5, 2021—Kīlauea summit topographic changes

Topography of Halema'uma'u crater, at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano, on December 26, 2020 (left), and January 5, 2021 (right). These Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) are created from aerial imagery collected during helicopter overflights. They show that the lava lake within Halema'uma'u continues to rise and deepen. Eruptive vents are evident on the wall of Halema'uma'u,

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Color photograph of volcanic vent
January 5, 2021

Kīlauea west vent “dome fountain” activity for 5 January, 2021

View through the laser rangefinder from the south rim of Halema‘uma‘u, Kīlauea Volcano summit, and showing the “dome fountain” and west vent effusive lava flow around 3:30 p.m. HST on January 5, 2021. A glowing vent is also visible at the top of the spatter structure. USGS photo by K. Lynn.

Color photograph of lava lake
January 5, 2021

Halema‘uma‘u lava lake on the evening of 5 January, 2021

View looking north across Kīlauea caldera from the south rim of Halema‘uma‘u, showing the ongoing eruption around 5:30 p.m. HST on January 5, 2021. The west vent activity included the “dome fountain,” effusive lava flows from a mid-elevation vent, and weak strombolian spattering activity from the high-elevation vent. USGS photo by K. Lynn. 

Color photograph of volcanic vent
January 5, 2021

Halema‘uma‘u west vent activity for the evening of 5 January, 2021

Telephoto view of the lava flow and “dome fountain” activity at the west vent of the ongoing eruption in Halema‘uma‘u, Kīlauea Volcano summit, at 5:45 p.m. HST on 5 January, 2021. USGS photo by K. Lynn. 

January 4, 2021

Image of the Week - Fires Tear Through Former Cane Fields

The waves of sugar cane that once defined the Hawaiian island landscape of Maui, have slowly given way to non-native annual grasses in recent decades. Those grasses have become a fire hazard along the way.

The closure of central Maui's last large cane mill in 2016 opened up some 36,000 acres for new growth. Some of those acres burned in 2019 during one of the island

Color photographs of lava lake
January 3, 2021

Channel crusting over at the base Halema'uma'u's west vent

The west vent in Halema‘uma‘u crater continues to erupt at Kīlauea’s summit. These telephoto images from December 29 (left) and December 30 (right) compare the lava lake surface below the west vent. The west vent is supplying lava to the lake through a crusted over channel, which was starting to form by December 30. USGS photos by H. Dietterich.

Color photograph of volcanic vent spattering
January 3, 2021

Kīlauea summit eruption - Jan. 3, 2020, at 1:30 a.m. HST

Early this morning, the west vents in Halema‘uma‘u spattered from two places at the top of a small cone plastered on the northwest wall. This process can be seen in Kīlauea Volcano's summit F1 thermal webcam view of the lava lake. USGS photo by H.

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Color photograph of volcanic vent spattering and lava lake
January 3, 2021

Kīlauea summit eruption - Jan. 3, 2020, at 1:30 a.m. HST

At Halema‘uma‘u, the west vents (visible in the foreground of this photo as two glowing holes on a cone-shaped feature) erupt occaisional spatter. Lava is also emerging in a small dome fountain above the lake crust in front of the west vents, probably from a submerged portion of the vent (visible in the background of this photo as a bright spot with lava crust boundaries

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Aerial view of Halema‘uma‘u at the summit of Kīlauea
August 1, 2019

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) scientists usually base their research on observations, either visual or instrumental. Interpretations come from these observations, so they must be as good as possible. Incorrect observations can, and have, led to erroneous interpretations. 

panoramic view of the 1935 Humu‘ula flow
July 25, 2019

In ongoing media coverage of demonstrations at the base of Mauna Kea, many hundreds of people can be seen standing on a black lava flow that surrounds the Pu‘uhuluhulu Native Tree Sanctuary adjacent to the Daniel K. Inouye Highway. That same lava flow continues on the other side of the highway, which traverses the saddle between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea.

USGS
July 25, 2019

HVO seismologist Brian Shiro discusses similarities and differences between the 2018 Hawai‘i and 2019 California earthquake sequences.

Preview image for Routine overflight of Mauna Loa summit video.
July 19, 2019

Video shows Moku‘āweoweo, the caldera at the summit of Mauna Loa, during a routine overflight. 

residual heat, steam, and small amounts of other gases continue to escape
July 18, 2019

One year ago, activity on Kīlauea Volcano was remarkably different than it is today. Lava was flowing toward the sea, robust ocean entry plumes were fumigating coastal areas, and island air quality was impacted by huge amounts of volcanic gases and particles.

USGS
July 12, 2019

On July 2, HVO raised the Volcano Alert Level for Mauna Loa from "Normal" to "Advisory".

eruptive fissures along the Northeast Rift Zone of Mauna Loa
July 11, 2019

Shortly before midnight on July 5, 1975, Mauna Loa Volcano awakened with a shudder. Quickly responding to a seismic earthquake/tremor alarm at 11:18 p.m., USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) staff rushed to their offices, where, at 11:42 p.m., they noted red glow above the mountain. The 1975 eruption lasted less than a day, but it ended Mauna Loa's then longest-known repose period. 

Volcano Alert Levels
July 3, 2019

Hawaii residents are likely familiar with the Volcano Activity Updates that the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) issues for Kīlauea and other active Hawaiian volcanoes. These updates, which provide situational awareness of volcanic activity and hazards, were formally established in 2006. 

Map showing the islands of Hawaii to show the areas where coral reefs are found.
July 1, 2019

A new USGS Open-File Report describes the coral reefs of Maui, Moloka‘i, Lānaʻi, and Kahoʻolawe in detail, including location, extent, coral cover, and connectivity.

Lava fountains erupting from fissure 22
June 27, 2019

Kīlauea Volcano, on the Island of Hawai‘i, has two rift zones. The East Rift Zone is longer, with 50 km (about 31 miles) on land plus another 80 km (about 43 miles) below sea level. The Southwest Rift Zone, which is historically less active, is 40 km (about 20 miles) long with only a small portion underwater.

Interferogram for the period from April 6 to June 2, 2019
June 20, 2019

Since the early 1990s, scientists have used radar satellites to map movement, or deformation, of Earth’s surface. Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) calculates the difference between two radar images acquired by an orbiting satellite taken at different times but looking at the same place on Earth.

Screenshot of a seismic webicorder from the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
June 13, 2019

The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO), along with its partners at NOAA's Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) and the National Strong-Motion Project (NSMP), operates a network of seismic monitoring stations on the Island of Hawai‘i and throughout the state.