Unified Interior Regions


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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October 23, 1992

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory studies mainly the current activity of Hawai`i's volcanoes, and our eruption forecasts are limited to the short-term future (hours, days, months, sometimes a few years). 

Quake starts Kīlauea off on a busy two weeks...
October 16, 1992

The last two weeks have been particularly busy on Kīlauea Volcano. On October 2, starting about 3:30 p.m., the tremor near Pu`u `O`o began to increase, and it appeared as if another phase of the episode 51 eruption would be under way soon.

October 2, 1992

Over the years, scientists at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory have developed good techniques for short-term eruption predictions (a few hours to a few days' warning) for Kīlauea and Mauna Loa Volcanoes. However, our capabilities for long-term predictions consist predominantly of educated guesswork. 

New map defines lava flow hazard zones on the Big Island...
September 25, 1992

The U.S Geological Survey has recently published a new, full-sized map which defines the boundaries of nine lava flow hazard zones on the island. This map is an updated version of the page-sized map included in the USGS booklet Volcanic and Seismic Hazards on the Island of Hawaii published in 1990. 

Eyewitness accounts tell terror of huge quake in 1868...
September 18, 1992

Residents of Pahala felt a small earthquake (magnitude 3.7) at 10:22 p.m. on September 10. This earthquake was located a few miles northwest of the town and about 6 miles deep. Although the earthquake caused no damage, this was the site of the largest historic earthquake in Hawaii, which occurred in 1868. 

September 11, 1992

"With all the lava being erupted, is there a large, empty space within the Earth where the lava came from?" This is a frequent question answered by the staff of the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, and the answer is "no."

Kīlauea vents active but lava has slowed...
September 7, 1992

The episode 51 vents have been continuously active since early in the morning on July 27. The active vents are located just west of the Pu`u `O`o cinder and spatter cone on the East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano. Episode 51 has been characterized by intermittent activity since it began on March 7.

September 4, 1992

To the non-geologist, lava is hot, orange molten rock, or when cooled, smooth and gray, or black and jagged rock. However, to the geologist or volcanologist, lava contains a set of clues to decipher processes occurring in the interior of the Earth and the volcano.

August 14, 1992

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory's primary purpose is to understand how volcanic systems operate. All of the work we do in defining geological hazards posed by the volcanoes, and short-term monitoring of eruptions and lava flows, is made possible by developing this fundamental understanding of volcanic systems.

Episode 51 vents become active again...
July 31, 1992

The episode 51 vents once again became active early Monday morning after a brief pause since the previous Thursday morning. Prior to this last pause, eruptive activity had been continuous since June 21.

Kīlauea's episode 51 finally calls it quits...
July 24, 1992

After being in continuous eruption since Sunday, June 21, the episode 51 vents adjacent to Pu`u `O`o on the East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano finally shut off in the morning on Thursday. Until this extended eruptive period, episode 51 has been characterized by intermittent activity since it began on March 7.

Lava expected to flow over pali toward Kamoamoa soon...
July 17, 1992

The episode 51 vents adjacent to Pu`u `O`o on the East Rift Zone of Kīlauea Volcano have been in continuous eruption since before dawn on June 21. Until this period, episode 51 has been characterized by off-and-on activity since it began on March 7. The current eruptive interval is by far the longest and most stable since that time.