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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January 7, 2020

Transitions: What's next for HVO and the volcanoes it monitors?

2018 and 2019 were years of profound change at Kīlauea Volcano and the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. Devastation caused by the largest lower East Rift Zone eruption and summit collapse in at least 200 years resulted in many transitions for island residents, including HVO. Tina Neal, Scientist-in-Charge of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, describes the current status

January 6, 2020

How Our Reefs Protect Us: Valuing the Benefits of U.S. Reefs

The degradation of coastal habitats, particularly coral reefs, raises risks by increasing the exposure of coastal communities to flooding hazards during storms. The protective services of these natural defenses are not assessed in the same rigorous economic terms as artificial defenses, such as seawalls, and therefore often are not considered in decision-making. Here we

Aerial imagery of islands is marked to show different data about each island's coast.
January 1, 2020

Hawaiʻi Coral Reefs and Coastal Hazard Risk Reduction

Rigorously Valuing the Role of Hawaiʻi’s Coral Reefs in Coastal Hazard Risk Reduction

Estimated Annual Benefits

Maps of Hawaiʻi showing the distribution of the value of averted direct building damages, indirect economic activity losses, and population annually protected from flooding by coral reefs. Results at 10 m2 resolution are aggregated into

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Ohia forest with dieback resulting from Rapid Ohia Death, Hawaii Island.
December 31, 2019

Ohia forest with dieback

Aerial photo of ʻōhiʻa forest on Hawaii Island, including dieback resulting from Rapid Ohia Death.

Ohia seedlings in dibble tubes, prior to planting
December 31, 2019

Ohia seedlings before planting

ʻŌhiʻa seedlings in dibble tubes, prior to planting.

Animated GIF showing rise of crater lake
December 31, 2019

Kīlauea summit water lake KW webcam images 11-1-2019 to 10-30-2020

ANIMATED GIF: The KWcam webcam has been imaging the Kīlauea summit water lake for just over a year now, tracking visual changes in the lake including water level and color. This animated image file (GIF) includes a series of webcam images in a continuous loop showing the changes in the lake between November 1, 2019 and October 30, 2020, using approximately one image per

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Animated GIF showing rise of crater lake
December 31, 2019

Kīlauea summit water lake KW webcam images 11-1-2019 to 10-30-2020

ANNIMATED GIF: This animated image file (GIF) of the Kīlauea summit water lake is a cropped version this file, showing a close-up view of the lake. It includes a series of KWcam webcam images in a continuous loop showing the changes in the lake between November 1

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Grey-scale digital elevation model showing building outlines
December 31, 2019

Digital elevation model from the 2019 LiDAR survey of Kīlauea

A sample of the digital elevation model from the 2019 LiDAR survey of Kīlauea, showing the vicinity of the former HVO office and Jaggar Museum in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. The buildings have been digitally “flattened” because the instrument’s light pulses are not able to penetrate structures; this flattening approximates the “bare earth” ground surface below the

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December 27, 2019

Virtual flyover of Kīlauea summit

An overflight on December 18 provided aerial photographs of Kīlauea caldera, which were used to construct a 3D model. The water pond is visible in the deepest portion of Halema‘uma‘u crater. For scale, the water pond is 189 m (650 ft) long and approximately 600 m (1970 ft) below the western caldera rim.

December 27, 2019

Timelapse video of the water pond at Kīlauea summit

This timelapse sequence shows two hours of activity at the water pond in Halema‘uma‘u, at Kīlauea's summit. Flow is evident along the sharp orange color boundary in the center of the pond, as well as along portions of the shoreline. The pond is 189 m (650 ft) long. The vido was taken on the eastern rim.

December 8, 2019

How Our Reefs Protect Us: Valuing the Benefits of U.S. Reefs (AD)

The degradation of coastal habitats, particularly coral reefs, raises risks by increasing the exposure of coastal communities to flooding hazards during storms. The protective services of these natural defenses are not assessed in the same rigorous economic terms as artificial defenses, such as seawalls, and therefore often are not considered in decision-making. Here we

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direction of motion measured by GPS stations
February 22, 2018

Today's Volcano Watch begins with a question: Can you guess when the next slow slip event will happen on Kīlauea Volcano's South Flank? As a hint, the last one was in October 2015, and before then, events occurred in May 2012, February 2010, and June 2007. If this seems like a pattern, you're right.

Why are HVO scientists talking so much about Mauna Loa?...
February 15, 2018

In recent weeks, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) joined forces with several other agencies to talk about Mauna Loa at community events and other public meetings. Unfortunately, some information presented at these gatherings has been misinterpreted.

bursting bubble on the surface of a lava lake
February 8, 2018

If you visit Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park's Jaggar Museum Overlook when the wind is calm, you might be able to hear the sounds of gas bubbles bursting and lava splashing in the Halema‘uma‘u lava lake at the summit of Kīlauea. What you hear is only part of a rich chorus of sounds emitted from many processes near the surface of an active lava lake.

Early evening view of the lava lake
February 1, 2018

In November 2017, "Volcano Watch" entered its 27th year of publication. The long history of this column is, in large part, thanks to the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) scientists and affiliates who write the weekly articles, Hawaii newspapers and online news outlets that print and post the column, and you, the dedicated readers who peruse it each week.

Volcanic Air Pollution Hazards in Hawaii Fact Sheet....
February 1, 2018

Volcanic Air Pollution Hazards in Hawaii is an updated fact sheet that provides information on the science of Kīlauea's volcanic air pollution, known as "vog."

Halemaʻumaʻu lava lake with Mauna Loa in background...
January 31, 2018

A 24-minute USGS video recounts the eruptive history of Halema'uma'u and tells the story of Kīlauea Volcano's current summit eruption, from its start in 2008 through today.

Why do some earthquakes have negative depths?...
January 25, 2018

Astute visitors to the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) website may have noticed that some recent earthquakes have negative depths. This does not indicate a change in seismicity but, rather, an upgrade in HVO's seismic data processing system.

USGS
January 22, 2018

"During the current lapse in appropriations U.S. volcano observatories including the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory will continue to monitor volcanic activity and issue updates, warnings, and notifications through the usual channels, including this website, email, and news releases." 

Clear views at Kīlauea summit and east rift zone eruptions...
January 18, 2018

With recent attention focused on the need to be prepared for all hazards, this week's Volcano Watch offers ways to stay informed about Hawaiian volcanoes and earthquakes.

First high-definition thermal image of the Halemaumau lava lake
January 4, 2018

With the Wolf Moon illuminating Kīlauea Caldera from above and the Halema‘uma‘u lava lake glowing below, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) looks forward to another year of investigating the island's magnificent, active volcanoes. Not surprisingly, 2018 will see additions and improvements to our monitoring and research toolkit.

Happy birthday Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō! A look back at what happened in 2017...
December 28, 2017

On January 3, 2018, Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō on Kīlauea Volcano's East Rift Zone reaches its 35th birthday. 

Evolving tube network blocked and diverted lava from the Kamokuna d...
December 21, 2017

Lava erupting from the active vent on the east flank of Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō has not entered the ocean or reached the Kamokuna lava delta during the past month. Instead, small lava flows are scattered across the 61g flow field, breaking out from the lava-tube network between Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō and the coastal plain.