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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August 30, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano's Summit

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) team circumnavigates the crater rim at the summit of Kīlauea Volcano, collecting data for digital elevation models that document summit changes. The volume change, from early May 2018 to present, is over 825 million cubic meters (1 billion cubic yards). The vertical collapse of the crater floor is more than 500 m (1600 ft). Limited UAS

August 30, 2018

PubTalk 8/2018 — What on Earth is going on at Kilauea Volcano?

Title: What on Earth is going on at Kilauea Volcano?

  • First significant summit explosions in nearly a century
  • Largest summit collapse volume since at least 1800
  • Voluminous fissure eruptions feeding channelized lava flow
  • Unparalleled new opportunities for understanding the volcanic system
Before and after views of a water fall.  First shows light flow of water over the falls, the second shows heavy flow.
August 23, 2018

Impact of Hurricane Lane on Wailuku River

Two views from the Rainbow Falls overlook, downstream of the Wailuku River streamgage near Hilo, Hawaii. The image on the left shows a typical base flow of about 35 cubic feet per second (cfs). The image on the right shows the early impact of Hurricane Lane with a flow of about 26,000 cfs taken at 8:35 a.m. HST, August 23, 2018. This U.S. Geological Survey streamgage has

August 21, 2018

Kīlauea Volcano's Lower East Rift Zone

An Unmanned Aircraft Systems overflight of fissure 8 on August 21, 2018, showed no incandescence within the cinder cone. Minor amounts of gases, primarily steam, rose from the north wall of the cinder cone and from areas along the lower East Rift Zone. The interior walls of the fissure 8 cone and lava channel are slumping downward and inward. The cinder cone was about 50 m

August 20, 2018

Changes Over Time at Kīlauea (April - August 2018)

Changes at the summit of Kīlauea between April 14 and August 20, 2018, were captured by a USGS–Hawaiian Volcano Observatory camera. This time-lapse series includes roughly one image per day. The lava lake within Halema‘uma‘u is visible in April, with overflows onto the caldera floor on April 23. The lava lake drains in early May, followed by explosive activity over the

Color photograph of caldera
August 18, 2018

Kīlauea summit

At Kīlauea's summit today, a clear morning gave way to heavy rain, which re-mobilized the ash cover between HVO and the Southwest Rift Zone, concentrating the ash in washes.

color photograph of summit of volcano
August 17, 2018

Kīlauea summit

Kīlauea Volcano’s summit, seen here from the northeast rim of the caldera, has remained quiet, with no collapse events since August 2. It remains too soon to tell if this diminished activity represents a temporary lull or the end of summit collapses. HVO continues to record detailed

color photograph of lava channel
August 17, 2018

Fissure 8 lava channel

The fissure 8 lava channel remains inactive and continues to cool. The channel levee (far left) now stands about 8 m (26 ft) above the surface of formerly active 

August 17, 2018

View Into Fissure 8 Cinder Cone

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) team assessed conditions at the fissure 8 cone and upper lava channel on August 17, 2018. At the time of the flight, the lava pond within the cone had crusted over with no observed incandescence. The reddish-brown rock inside the cone is the result of oxidation; the interaction of heated rock and gases causes black basaltic cinders to

August 16, 2018

3D Model of Fissure 8 Cone

This 3-dimensional computer model shows the structure of the fissure 8 cone on Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone. The model was created from thermal images acquired during a helicopter overflight on August 15, 2018. The cone is currently about 30 m (100 ft) tall with a broad base. The bright white area within the cone is a small pond of lava, now largely crusted over

color photograph of sand bar and boat ramp
August 11, 2018

Pohoiki boat ramp and sand bar

Close view of the Pohoiki boat ramp during this morning's overflight. The southern-most flow margin has not advanced significantly toward the Pohoiki boat ramp, but black sand and larger fragments from the entry areas have washed ashore to create a sand bar and beach at this site. Geologists observed several small 

August 9, 2018

Lava Entering Ocean Near Isaac Hale Beach Park

Lava continues to enter the ocean near the Isaac Hale Beach Park on Kīlauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone. Although lava output from fissure 8 remains low, the ocean entry was still active during HVO's helicopter overflight on August 9, 2018. Numerous small streams of lava were oozing into the ocean near Ahalanui, creating weak plumes of laze. The southern flow margin

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At 9:35 pm HST on August 19, there was a large littoral explosion n...
August 21, 2017

Short-lived lava falls at Kamokuna ocean entry

The ongoing Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō eruption is full of anniversaries...
August 17, 2017

The longest-lived and most voluminous rift-zone eruption of Kīlauea Volcano in more than 500 years—the ongoing Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō eruption—began in January 1983, and is fast approaching its 35th anniversary.

Thermal Cameras Keep a Cool Eye on Hot Lava...
August 10, 2017

Thermal cameras have been used by volcanologists around the world for many years to study volcanic processes and search for signs of impending eruptions.

While mapping the flow margins, HVO geologists found an opening int...
August 9, 2017

Activity continues on the 61g flow field and at the ocean entry

Time-lapse sequence shows Halema‘uma‘u gas plume...
August 7, 2017

Time-lapse sequence shows Halema‘uma‘u gas plume

Lava cascades out of perched lava channel into lower channel, Pu‘u ...
August 3, 2017

Kīlauea has now passed the one-year anniversary of the episode 61g lava flow reaching the Pacific Ocean. But what was this busy volcano up to a decade ago?

On the coastal plain, the front of the June 26 breakout was stalled...
July 31, 2017

Kamokuna lava delta subsidence continues

Summit lava lake level continues dropping...
July 29, 2017

Summit lava lake level continues dropping

HVO geologists captured this image of a Koa‘e kea (white-tailed tro...
July 28, 2017

Time-lapse sequence of lava delta subsidence at ocean entry

Largest Hawaiian earthquake in a decade reminds us to be prepared...
July 27, 2017

On June 8, 2017, many Island of Hawai‘i residents were awakened by a sharp jolt just past 7 a.m. This natural wake-up call was caused by a magnitude-5.3 earthquake, the largest to strike Hawaii in over a decade.

Weak, scattered breakouts on the coastal plain...
July 25, 2017

Weak, scattered breakouts on the coastal plain