HVO Photos & Video

Photo & Video Chronology

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May 21, 2015 — Kīlauea

Puʻu Kahaualeʻa nearly gone; lava flow intersects old tube

Puʻu Kahaualeʻa has been buried slowly by the Puʻu ʻŌʻō eruption over the years, and the ongoing June 27th flow has nearly finished the job. The image on the left shows Puʻu Kahaualeʻa on June 30, 2014, a few days after the June 27th flow started (the ʻaʻā flow just behind the cone is from the early stages of that flow); the image on the right shows Puʻu Kahaualeʻa today (May 21, 2015) from nearly the same perspective. Only the highest parts of Puʻu Kahaualeʻa's twin craters remain.

The most distant active tip of the June 27th flow, visible at the left edge of the photo, was about 8.5 km (~5.3 miles) from Puʻu ʻŌʻō today. This lobe of the flow intersected an old lava tube earlier in the week that transported lava a short distance downslope, where it emerged from skylights to make several small isolated pads of lava (center of the photo). The view is to the southwest, so Puʻu ʻŌʻō is well off in the distance beyond the top of the photo.

May 15, 2015 — Kīlauea

Kīlauea summit vent lava lake continues to drop

Kīlauea Volcano's summit lava lake continued to drop today (May 15, 2015). Measurements of the lake surface late this afternoon showed that it was 62 m (203 ft) below the top of the newly-created vent rim, a ridge (or levee) of solidified lava about 8 m (26 ft) thick that accumulated on top of the Halemaʻumaʻu Crater floor from multiple overflows of the vent during the past two weeks.

HVO webcams captured a short-lived dusty-brown plume generated by a small rock fall from the summit vent wall at 3:24 p.m., HST, this afternoon (May 15, 2015).

May 13, 2015 — Kīlauea

Webcam images capture lava veneer falling into summit lava lake

This sequence of HVO webcam images of Kīlauea Volcano's summit vent, recorded between 1:28 and 1:32 p.m., HST, on May 12, 2015, captures the moment a section of the dark-colored "bathtub ring" (a veneer of fresh lava that coats the vent wall as the lava lake level drops) fell into the lava lake (center). The lava veneer collapse, which produced a visible cloud of rock and lava fragments, agitated the lava lake surface and exposed lighter-colored layers of older rock in the vent wall (right).

May 12, 2015 — Kīlauea

Lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater drops with summit deflation

The summit lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater has dropped significantly over the past two days, as Kīlauea's summit has deflated. The dropping lava level has allowed lava veneer on the walls of the Overlook crater to fall away, clearly exposing the contact between the original rim of the Overlook crater (which is the original, pre-overflow floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater) and the stack of recent lava overflows. These overflows are roughly 8 meters (26 feet) thick in total.

May 7, 2015 — Kīlauea

Summit lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater remains at high level

The lava lake in the Overlook crater, within Halemaʻumaʻu Crater at Kīlauea's summit, remains at a high level and close to the Overlook crater rim. Overflows onto the Halemaʻumaʻu Crater floor have built up the rim of the Overlook crater several meters, and recent overflows are visible in the right side of the photograph. The lake level this afternoon was about 7 meters (yards) above the original (pre-overflow) floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater. Spattering was vigorous today in the southern portion of the lake. From this view, the spattering was hidden behind a portion of the Halemaʻumaʻu Crater wall, but airborne spatter can be seen in the bottom left portion of the photo. The summit of Mauna Loa can be seen in the upper right.

This Quicktime movie shows spattering at the margin of the summit lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater. Spattering has been common at the lake, and when it occurs is easily visible from the public viewing area at Jaggar Museum. This video shows a closer view from the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu, which is closed to the public due to volcanic hazards.

May 5, 2015 — Kīlauea

Breakouts continue northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō

The June 27th lava flow remains active, with breakouts focused in several areas northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. The farthest downslope activity observed on today's overflight was roughly 8 km (5 miles) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. This photograph shows one of the active breakouts closer to Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

One of several lobes on the June 27th flow that was at the forest boundary today, burning vegetation northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

Summit lava lake in Halemaʻumaʻu Crater remains at high level

Over the past week, the summit lava lake in the Overlook crater rose and spilled out onto the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, creating the dark flows in the south part of Halemaʻumaʻu (left side of crater from this direction). The extent of the lake itself, set within the Overlook crater, is slightly difficult to distinguish from this view but the spattering at the lake margin is visible. The overflows onto the Halemaʻumaʻu Crater floor, not counting the area of the lake itself, total about 11 hectares (28 acres).

Left: A closer look at the lava lake and overflows on the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater. The outline of the Overlook crater, and the active lake, is easier to distinguish in this view. Right: From this angle, the extent of the lava lake within the Overlook crater is much easier to distinguish from the surrounding overflows. The closed Halemaʻumaʻu parking lot is in the right side of the photograph.

May 3, 2015 — Kīlauea

Rockfall triggers small explosive event at summit lava lake

A portion of the Halemaʻumaʻu Crater wall collapsed at 1:20 pm today, impacting the lava lake and triggering a small explosion of spatter and a robust particle-laden plume. Fist-size clasts were deposited around the closed Halemaʻumaʻu visitor overlook.

A sequence of still images taken from the webcam positioned at the closed Halemaʻumaʻu overlook, spanning about six seconds. The collapse originated from a portion of the wall directly below the webcam, but just out of view. Large pieces of molten spatter can be seen flying through the air and being deposited on the crater walls below the camera.

This Quicktime movie shows a small explosive event that occurred at 1:20pm today at the summit lava lake. A collapse of a portion of the Halemaʻumaʻu Crater wall impacted the lake and triggered an explosion of spatter. Fist-size clasts were found scattered along the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater near the closed visitor overlook.

April 30, 2015 — Kīlauea

Summit lava lake level remains high

Following several episodes of lava overflowing onto the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, the lava lake level remains high, and close to the rim of the Overlook crater. This photograph was taken from the southern rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, where a time-lapse camera keeps watch on the lava lake and overflow activity. The recent overflows are visible in the center of the photograph. HVO and Jaggar Museum are on the high point on the skyline near the top-center portion of the photograph. Mauna Loa is in the upper left portion of the photograph.

April 29, 2015 — Kīlauea

Summit lava lake overflows vent rim

Photo from the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu showing the lava lake in the completely filled Overlook crater. Repeated overflows are beginning to construct levees around the lake, such that the level of the lake is now perched about 2 m (7 ft) above the original floor of Halemaʻumaʻu.

Left: Photo of the overflowing lava lake taken from the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu. Right: Identical to photo at left, but with labels. The dashed white line indicates the lava lake rim.

Kīlauea Volcano’s summit lava lake, which was about 12 m (40 ft) below the vent rim on April 25 (left), overflowed the vent rim for the first time at about 9:40 p.m., HST, on April 28. As of noon on April 29 (right), the lava lake had overflowed the vent rim several more times. These Webcam images capture the summit vent before and after the overflows.

An early morning view of the lava lake with a recent overflow onto the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater.

April 28, 2015 — Kīlauea

Lava lake level remains high, rockfall triggers explosive event

A rockfall from the wall of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater impacted the lava lake around 10:20 am, triggering an explosion of spatter and smaller particles. HVO geologists working on the far side of the crater captured the initial moments of the plume rising. The explosion deposited a large amount of spatter around the closed Halemaʻumaʻu visitor overlook.

Quicktime movie of the rockfall and subsequent explosion at 10:20 a.m., HST, on April 28, 2015. Rocks falling into the summit lava lake generated an explosion that threw large fragments of molten lava onto the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, 85 m (280 ft) above the lake. These fragments pose a significant hazard, and are one reason this area remains closed.

Left: A closer look at the Halemaʻumaʻu Crater overlook. The large boulders were ejected during the 1924 explosion, but today's explosive event carpeted the ground with many large pieces of brown spatter. Right: A close look at one of the large pieces of spatter thrown onto the rim of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater by today's explosion (keys are for scale). The spatter hit the ground in a semi-fluid state, deforming on impact. The small, multi-colored particles incorporated in the spatter are fragments of the altered crater wall that collapsed into the lake, while the brown spatter represents fresh lava from the lake.

Left: The explosion threw spatter that hit the remaining fencing on the Halemaʻumaʻu overlook, partly burning it. Keys for scale. Right: Portions of the Halemaʻumaʻu overlook fencing were knocked down by previous explosive events, and also by the wind over the past several years. The downed fencing, shown smoldering here, was then ignited by hot spatter from today's explosive event.

Left: Spatter from the explosion also landed on the Halemaʻumaʻu webcam, melting some of the wire insulation but not enough to interrupt its operation. Right: Gas in the lava lake was rapidly released during the 10:20 am explosive event, causing the lava lake surface to drop a few meters (yards). This photo was taken moments after the explosive event, and shows the overhanging ledge of lava along the rim that was exposed as the lava level dropped.

Early this morning, prior to the explosive event at 10:20 am, the lake was close to the floor of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, with spattering along the lake margin.