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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Satellite image of area around front of Kīlauea's East Rift Zone la...
March 3, 2015

This satellite image was captured on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 by the Landsat 8 satellite. 

Map of flow field west of Kaohe Homesteads with thermal overlay...
February 27, 2015

This map overlays a georegistered mosaic of thermal images collected during a helicopter overflight of Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow west of Kaohe Homesteads on February 27 at about 11:35 AM. 

Map of proximal flow field with thermal overlays...
February 27, 2015

This map overlays georegistered mosaics of thermal images collected during a helicopter overflight of Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow near Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō on February 27 at about 11:50 AM. £

Map of distal flow field with thermal overlay...
February 27, 2015

This map overlays a georegistered mosaic of thermal images collected during a helicopter overflight of the distal part of Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow on February 27 at about 11:40 AM. 

Map of distal flow field...
February 27, 2015

This large-scale map uses a satellite image acquired in March 2014 (provided by Digital Globe) as a base to show the area around the front of Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow. 

Map of proximal flow field with thermal overlay...
February 23, 2015

This map overlays a georegistered mosaic of thermal images collected during a helicopter overflight of Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow near Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō on February 23 at about 12:00 PM.

Map of distal flow field with thermal overlay...
February 23, 2015

This map overlays a georegistered mosaic of thermal images collected during a helicopter overflight of the distal part of Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow on February 23 at about 12:30 PM.

Map of distal flow field...
February 23, 2015

This large-scale map uses a satellite image acquired in March 2014 (provided by Digital Globe) as a base to show the area around the front of Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow.

Small-scale map of flow field...
February 19, 2015

This small-scale map shows Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow in relation to lower Puna. 

Large-scale map of flow field...
February 19, 2015

This large-scale map shows the distal part of Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow in relation to nearby Puna communities.

Thermal overlay of distal part of flow field...
February 19, 2015

This map overlays a georegistered mosaic of thermal images collected during a helicopter overflight of the distal part of Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow on February 19 at about 10:30 AM. 

Map of distal part of flow field...
February 19, 2015

This large-scale map uses a satellite image acquired in March 2014 (provided by Digital Globe) as a base to show the area around the front of Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow. 

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Color map showing lava lake thickness
December 22, 2020

December 22, 2020—Kīlauea summit eruption lava lake depth map

Aerial visual imagery collected during an overflight of Kīlauea Volcano's summit just after 11:30 a.m. HST on December 22, 2020, was used to create a preliminary topographic model. When compared to pre-eruption topographic models, it shows that the bottom of Halema'uma'u crater has been filled by almost 150 m (yd) of lava. Mapping indicates that the more vigorous north 

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Color thermal map of lava lake
December 22, 2020

December 22, 2020—Kīlauea summit eruption thermal map

A helicopter overflight today (Dec. 22, 2020) at approximately ~11:30 AM HST allowed for aerial visual and thermal imagery to be collected of the new eruption within Halema'uma'u crater at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano. This preliminary thermal map shows that the new lava lake is 690 m (yd) E-W axis and 410 m (yd) in N-S axis. The lake area is about 22 hectares (54 acres

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December 22, 2020

Fissure Activity Within Halema‘uma‘u Crater, Kīlauea Volcano

 Telephoto videos capture fissure activity within Halema‘uma‘u crater on December 22, 2020, at approximately 3:35 PM HST. (1) The first video shows the main northern fissure. The lava fountains have built up a horseshoe-shaped spatter cone (dark in color) around the perimeter of the vent. (2) 2) The second video shows the smaller western fissure. This fissure feeds a small

December 22, 2020

Overnight Fissure Activity Halema‘uma‘u Crater, Kīlauea

Two fissure vents feed a growing lava lake at the bottom of Halema‘uma‘u crater. A preliminary calculation of volume suggests that since the start of the eruption on December 20, 2020, approximately 8-10 million cubic meters of lava have been erupted. This is equivalent to over 2 billion gallons, the volume of 3,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

December 22, 2020

Fissures, Lava Lake, Wind Vortex at Halema‘uma‘u, Kīlauea

Fissures Feed a Lava Lake at Halema'uma'u, at Kīlauea Volcano's Summit. Since fissures opened on December 20, 2020 in Halema'uma'u crater, USGS–Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists have maintained a 24-hour watch from the rim, taking measurements and making visual observations. This video captures fountaining activity at the two active vents during the early morning

geophysicist deploys campaign GPS sites on the Kīlauea caldera floor
December 21, 2020

Geophysicist deploys campaign GPS sites on the Kīlauea caldera floor

A Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geophysicist deploys campaign GPS sites on the Kīlauea caldera floor in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park to measure changes in ground motion. The gas plume from the summit eruption within Halema‘uma‘u crater is visible in the background. USGS photo taken by A. Ellis on December 21.

Color photograph of scientists making measurements
December 21, 2020

Scientists use a FTIR spectrometer

On the morning of Dec. 21, Hawaiian Volcano Observatory gas scientists use a FTIR spectrometer on the rim of Halema‘uma‘u crater. The FTIR measures the composition of the gases being emitted during Kīlauea Volcano's ongoing summit eruption by measuring how the plume absorbs infrared energy. The plume being generated by the ongoing eruption is sulfur-dioxide (SO2) rich, but

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December 21, 2020

Lava Returns to Halema'uma'u: Timelapse Captures, December 20-21, 2020

Lava Returns to Halema'uma'u, as captured in this timelapse from the K2cam, located at the HVO Observation Tower (Kīlauea Volcano). Timelapse is from December 20, 2020, 5:50 a.m. to December 21, 2020, 11:57 p.m. The K2cam is a research camera mounted in the observation tower at the previous Hawaiian Volcano Observatory building on the rim of Kīlauea caldera within Hawai'i

Map of lava lake depth
December 21, 2020

December 21, 2020—Kīlauea summit eruption lava lake depth map

Aerial visual imagery collected during an overflight of Kīlauea Volcano's summit just after 11 a.m. HST on December 21, 2020, was used to create a preliminary topographic model. When compared to pre-eruption topographic models, it shows that the bottom of Halema'uma'u crater has been filled by over 100 m (yd) of lava. Map by B. Carr.

Color photograph of eruption and plume
December 21, 2020

Kīlauea summit eruption and plume on Dec. 21, 2020

Photo shows volcanic gases from the current eruption at Kīlauea’s summit being transported southwest into the closed area (left side of photo). This photo also shows the cracks, cliffs, and uneven ground surfaces present in the closed area of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. USGS photo by K. Mulliken on 12/21/2020. 

Animation showing bright orange lava erupting at night and flowing into a pool of lava.
December 21, 2020

Lava Erupting at Kīlauea (Dec 2020)

This animation shows lava erupting from Kīlauea Volcano on Dec 20, 2020. 

Aerial view of the Kīlauea summit eruption showing active fissures and flowing lava.
December 21, 2020

Aerial view of the Kīlauea summit eruption

Aerial view of the Kīlauea summit eruption from a Hawaiian Volcano Observatory overflight at approximately 11:20 a.m. HST. The two active fissure locations continue to feed lava into the growing lava lake in Halema‘uma‘u crater, with the northern fissure (pictured right) remaining dominant.

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USGS
October 9, 2018

Data Release: Volcanic ash leachate and rainwater chemistry from increased 2018 activity of Kīlauea Volcano, Hawaiʻi

Volcano Craters
October 4, 2018

My 37-year stint with the U.S. Geological Survey—16 years at the Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO) and 21 at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO)—ends this month.

a tiltmeter is ready for installation
September 27, 2018

The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) uses a diverse set of instruments to monitor active volcanoes in Hawaii. These include seismometers, gas sensors, Global Positioning System (GPS) stations, and webcams. Each provides a unique type of data critical to understanding volcanic systems.

thumbnail image of Preliminary summary of Kīlauea Volcano’s 2018 lower East Rift Zone eruption and summit collapse
September 27, 2018

Overview of Kīlauea Volcano's activity from April 30 through September 22, 2018.

Thinly bedded Kīlauea explosion deposits
September 20, 2018

The limited collapse of the inner part of Kīlauea Volcano's caldera this summer fell well short of the larger summit-wide collapses that occurred in the past. How many such limited collapses can we recognize at Kīlauea before written records were kept? The answer is none.

seismologists install a nodal geophone on Kīlauea's lower East Rift Zone
September 13, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano's 2018 lower East Rift Zone eruption and summit collapse provided a rare opportunity to study dynamic eruptive processes beneath and at the surface of the volcano.

lava is rapidly advancing through communities
September 6, 2018

In 1902, Thomas A. Jaggar, a geologist and founder of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO), visited the scene of one of the most deadly volcanic disasters in modern history: Mount Pelee on the Caribbean Island of Martinique.

geophysicist downloads data at a temporary GPS station
August 30, 2018

The USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) has an extensive network of instruments that helps us monitor how the ground deforms due to magma moving underground. However, we are fortunate that scientific colleagues also pitched in to support our responses to Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) eruption and summit collapse.

Before and after views of a water fall.  First shows light flow of water over the falls, the second shows heavy flow.
August 24, 2018

Editor’s note: This article will be updated online with more information on the USGS response to Hurricane Lane as it becomes available.

50,000 tons of sulfur dioxide gas per day
August 23, 2018

Many Island of Hawai‘i residents are familiar with the volcanic air pollution known as "vog." The main culprit in the formation of vog is sulfur dioxide gas (SO2) released from Kīlauea's eruptions (see vog.ivhhn.org/what-vog for more information).

Nighttime scene from shipboard of lava entering the Pacific Ocean
August 16, 2018

The visible part of Kīlauea from the summit to the Lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) makes up only a small portion of the total volcano. Much of Kīlauea lies beneath the sea, including the Puna ridge to the east, and the south flank extending offshore beyond the southern coastline.

visibly active lava on Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone
August 9, 2018

Since the morning of August 4, 2018, activity at Kīlauea Volcano's summit and its lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) has diminished dramatically—and the slowdown continues.